GUELPH - With the future leadership of the Green Party of Canada now open, Guelph’s member of provincial parliament says he is not interested in applying for the job.
Mike Schreiner, the Green Party of Ontario leader and Guelph’s MPP, said Monday he is not interested in seeking the federal Green Party leadership after an announcement earlier in the day that Elizabeth May was stepping down from that post.
“I love being the MPP for Guelph, I love being the leader of the Green Party of Ontario and I am really excited about leading the party into the next provincial election in 2022,” said Schreiner by phone Monday.
Schreiner said he appreciates the number of visits May has made to Guelph over the last decade.
“Knocking on doors with her in Guelph and in other communities — people just light up when they see Elizabeth May. There is something about who she is and what she represents that people are inspired by,” said Schreiner. “I deeply appreciate how much attention and focus she has placed on Guelph.”
In a statement sent early Monday afternoon, Schreiner called May a personal friend, mentor and hero to him.
“Elizabeth’s legacy is indisputable, and for the last decade she has been the heart and soul of the Green movement in Canada,” said Schreiner. “I respect her decision, her desire to spend more time with family and the importance of moving the party forward with new voices.”
Elizabeth May took on leadership of the Green Party of Canada in 2006 and has held that post in the 13 years since. In 2011, May became the first elected Green member in Canada.
Schreiner said she has been the ‘heart and soul’ of the Green movement in Canada.
“As the first elected Green in Canada, she ignited a movement that now counts 18 Greens in legislatures in Ottawa, BC, PEI, New Brunswick and Ontario,” he said.
Deputy party leader Jo-Ann Roberts will stand as interim leader until a successor is selected. Roberts did not win her riding in the recent federal election and is not currently an MP.
By phone, Schreiner said he is looking forward to seeing who the next leader of the federal Greens will be.
“I will certainly work with the next leader in the way I have had a close, working relationship with Elizabeth,” he said.
Currently, there are three elected Green members going to Parliament Hill for the upcoming session of parliament: May, Vancouver MP Paul Manly and newly-elected Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin.