Sunday » August 27 » 2006

May wins leadership of federal Green party

Celeste Mackenzie
Canadian Press

Sunday, August 27, 2021

CREDIT: Kier Gilmour / Ottawa Citizen
Sharon Labchuk celebrates with newly chosen Green Party leader Elizabeth May and May's daughter, Victoria-Cate May-Burton at the Green Party of Canada 2006 Annual General Meeting at the Ottawa Congress Centre, Aug. 26, 2006.

OTTAWA -- Environmental activist Elizabeth May has won a decisive victory for leadership of the federal Greens with a promise to broaden the fledgling party's appeal and finally get a toehold in the House of Commons.

May won with 2,145 votes, or 65.34 per cent of the valid ballots cast, party officials announced Saturday at a national convention before 400 cheering delegates.

She replaces outgoing leader Jim Harris, who has led the Greens since 2003 and will remain as a party strategist.

David Chernushenko, a consultant who advises organizations on becoming environmentally friendly, placed second with 33.38 per cent of the votes. Jim Fannon, a real estate agent and small businessperson, was a distant third with under one per cent.

May, 52, former director of the Sierra Club, called for party unity and said it must build a strong platform well before the next election. She said some voters have chosen the Greens only as a protest vote.

"What we need to do is clearly build a method and a platform so that they are not voting for `none of the above' but so that they are voting for `all my dreams,' " May said.

The party, launched in 1983, has run full slates in the last two federal elections but has not come close to winning a seat in the Commons.

The new leader said she would run in a Cape Breton riding unless there is a byelection somewhere else first. May said she will be in the gallery in Parliament during Question Period and will talk with the press.

"Since (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper isn't giving interviews, maybe some of you have some free time," May joked to reporters after her victory speech.

During the speech, May criticized the recent deal on softwood lumber between Canada and the United States, saying it demonstrates why the North American Free Trade Agreement needs to be renegotiated with the U.S. and Mexico.

"In signing this deal, Mr. Harper has said, `If you push us enough we will say uncle.' We're not against trade but trade must be fair and carbon neutral."

May said she would also push for compliance with the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

"We must stand up to the big lie that Canada cannot meet its Kyoto targets," she said.

To give the party more visibility, May said she is already talking with supportive senators and parliamentarians about creating a "green caucus" on Parliament Hill.

The Greens garnered 664,000 votes in the January election, or 4.5 per cent of the vote. That was only a slight improvement on its showing in 2004, when it won 582,000 votes or 4.3 per cent.

But because of new federal financing rules in effect for both elections, the party found itself on much stronger financial footing.

By surpassing the two per cent threshold required for party financing under Elections Canada rules, the Greens were eligible for $1.75 for each vote annually. That worked out to more than $1 million.

A Decima Research poll of 1,004 Canadians released earlier this month suggested the party currently has seven per cent support nationally, perhaps helped by a leadership campaign that increased party membership to 8,694 from 5,517.

During the campaign, tensions rose when Chernushenko publicly demanded an internal audit of May's campaign financing, saying he was concerned speaking tours on the oil sands and to promote a book should have been deemed electoral events, and their budgets included as May's campaign spending.

The complaint upset May, who questioned why Chernushenko called for an internal audit before the candidates' first financial audits were due.

In the end the squabble subsided, and both the May and Chernushenko camps said they were satisfied with each others financial reporting.

Pollster Nik Nanos of SES Research says the party has a lot of goodwill and potential, but needs the organization and infrastructure to translate that into votes.

Surveys since the 2004 federal campaign suggest a third of Canadians would consider voting Green, compared with 40 per cent who said the same of the NDP, he said.

"The party is particularly strong with voters under 40, and could make inroads in the west Quebec and Ontario."

May said she will make a special effort to reach out to youth, and noted the sector was important for her leadership victory. Acknowledging her French needs improvement, she said she hopes to take intensive lessons.

"I plan to be fluently bilingual by the time of the next leadership debates," May said.

© Canadian Press 2006
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Green Party of Canada, Saskatchewan Candidates
Federal election, January 23, 2022

To make contact with any of these Green Party of Canada candidates for the January 23, 2022 election, click on the email addresses provided.  To learn more about the federal campaign click on the Green Party of Canada logo immediately above this section.  These Federal Candidates may or may not be members of the GPS and may or may not adhere to GPS Principles.  The GPS and the GPC are autonomous political parties operating at different levels.

The Green Party of Canada organizer for Saskatchewan is Amber Jones.  Contact Amber at: 

We congratuate candidates for their work during the campaign.

Norbert Kratchmer
Farm, Unity, SK

(306) 228-3588
Mike Fornssler

(306) 955-9251
Desnethe-Missinippi-Chruchill River
John McDonald

(780) 923-3548
Cypress Hills-Grasslands
Amanda Knorr

(306) 778-7482
Larissa Shasko

(306) 692-7925
Prince Albert
Larry Zepp

(306) 764-5532
Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre
William Sorochan

(306) 352-2921
Brett Dolter

(306) 778-7482
Mike E. Jones
325 3rd Ave N
Saskatoon, SK
S7K 2H9
(306) 653-0233
Rick Barsky
325 3rd Ave N
Saskatoon, SK
S7K 2H9
(306) 653-0233
Don Cameron
325 3rd Ave N
Saskatoon, SK
S7K 2H9
(306) 653-0233
Souris-Moose Mountain
Matthew Smith

(306) 483-5210
Nigel Taylor

(306) 584-8155
Keith Neu

(306) 865-2103



The Green Party of Saskatchewan is a registered provincial political party in the Province of Saskatchewan. It is an autonomous organization. In provincial elections it fields candidates and carries out campaigns. Between elections it is involved in a wide range of extra-parliamentary campaigns. It is loosely affiliated with the Green Party of Canada and has links of solidarity with the international movement of Green parties.

Within Saskatchewan there is a separate organization, the Green Party of Canada, Saskatchewan Section which is a formal branch of the Green Party of Canada. In federal elections the Green Party of Canada, Saskatchewan Section, fields candidates and conducts campaigns in the Province of Saskatchewan. It has very close fraternal and other ties to the provincial Green Party of Saskatchewan. Information on the Green Party of Canada, Saskatchewan Section, is posted on this web site at this location. To connect to the web site of the Green Party of Canada, make the link


Popular Participation in Creating a Platform for the Next Election

The Green Party of Canada has initiated a participatory process for creating the draft of a policy platform for the next federal election. It is a Wiki site, and anyone can register and log in and make a contribution. In February 2005 there has been some controversy over how this works, and the material has been edited and purged of some material by the GPC head office, but it is up and running again on a new site: This should be the link:

Green Party of Canada Living Platform

Green Party of Canada, Saskatchewan Section Meets in Saskatoon:

The Saskatchewan Section of the Green Party of Canada met on the afternoon of November 28. This was a separate meeting from the NGA meeting. Dave Greenfield, the Saskatchewan representative on the Federal Council, gave a detailed report on developments since the federal election in June. Most important is the formation of a committee on the constitution, which has a mandate from the August 2004 biennial convention to draft a new constitution. The Saskatchewan group is strongly in favour of a decentralized organization. The GPC will hold a special policy conference in Ottawa in October 2005.

Much discussion centred on how the party will divide the revenues it is now starting to receive under the new federal election legislation. Because of the strength of the vote for GPC candidates in the June 2004 federal election, over $1 million in government funds will be going to the party every year. There is much debate and disagreement now over how these funds should be divided.

Originally, Jim Harris, the leader of the GPC, proposed that these funds be divided one third for the central office in Ontario, one third for each provincial jurisdication, and one third for the local electoral districts. This was endorsed by the Federal Council. However, the federal party borrowed heavily during the 2004 election, and the party hierarchy is now arguing that this division cannot be made until all the debts are paid.

At the Saskatoon meeting of the Saskatchewan Section of the GPC there was consensus that one third of the funds should be more than adequate for the central office. It was agreed that organizing at the provincial and local level can best be done by provincial groups. This would be consistent with Green principles of decentralization and local control. There was strong agreement that when there is a vote on this issue all GPC members should have the right to vote.

There was a new election of the executive of the Saskatchewan Section of the Green Party of Canada. They are: Neil Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer; Rick Barsky, Provincial Secretary; Ben Webster, Financial Officer; Patrick Lavergne-Smith, Membership Secretary; Dave Greenfield, Provincial Representative to the Federal Council; and at large board members: Elaine Hughes and Gordon Dumont. The provincial constitution was read, and one amendment was made.

Green Party of Canada, Saskatchewan Section, issues declaration

Members of the Green Party of Canada, Saskatchewan Section, met in Saskatoon in mid-November 2004. There was a wide discussion of the state of the Green Party of Canada, its relationship to the provincial New Green Alliance, the structure of the federal party, and the policies of the Green Party of Canada. Out of the consensus decision made at this meeting, a formal declaration was adopted:

Green Party of Canada, Saskatchewan Section Issues Formal Declaration




Statement on the GPS, GPC - Sask Division and GPC

This draft statement on the relationship of the Green Party of Saskatchewan to the Green Party of Canada.  This statement was prepared by Jack Warnock on behalf of the membership of the GPC- Sask Section and the GPS which met in Craik on September 24, 2005.  When submitting suggestions for change to be considered by the Executive, please refer to this as the WARNOCK DRAFT


The Green Party of Saskatchewan is a registered provincial political party in the province of Saskatchewan. It is an autonomous organization. It is loosely affiliated with the Green Party of Canada and has links of solidarity with the international movement of Green parties.

Within Saskatchewan there is a separate organization, the Green Party of Canada, Saskatchewan Division which is a formal branch of the Green Party of Canada. In federal elections the Green Party of Canada, Saskatchewan Division, fields candidates and conducts campaigns in the province of Saskatchewan. It has very close fraternal and other ties to the provincial Green Party of Saskatchewan. Many Greens in Saskatchewan belong to both organizations, but there are those who belong to only one of these organizations.

Across Canada there is a debate under way over the mission of the Green Party of Canada. Some believe that under the new leadership the federal party has been moving to the political right. This debate has been reported in the mass media. Within the Green Party of Canada there is a major debate under way over the degree to which the party should be centralized at the head office in Ottawa and the degree to which it should be decentralized.

The Green Party of Saskatchewan and the Green Party of Canada, Saskatchewan Division have prepared this policy statement on these questions.

I. Policy position

The policy of the Green Party of Canada must be firmly based in all of the Four Pillars of the international Green movement and the other six principles which make up the Ten Key Values that are endorsed in some form by all Green parties, including the GPC. We would expect the policy and platform of the GPC to be similar to those of other Green parties in the advanced industrialized world. Given the deep integration between Canada, the United States and Mexico, we would expect the GPC to build close co-operative links with the Green Parties in those countries.

(1) Grassroots democracy, decentralization of power and decision making, and community based economics and economic justice. Canadian Greens support the international Green commitment to fair trade and the right of all countries to pursue a policy of self reliance. We oppose the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the proposed Free Trade Agreement for the Americans.

(2) Social justice. Greens have a long commitment to social justice and human rights which includes access by all to the welfare state as a citizenship right. A commitment to greater equality requires a system of taxation according to ability to pay and progressive taxes on corporations. Greens everywhere have an historic commitment to international solidarity which requires the reduction of the enormous difference in standard of living between the industrialized countries and the less developed countries.

(3) Ecological wisdom. Humans are a part of nature, must support true sustainability, and must protect future generations and all species. The world now faces an enormous catastrophe in global warming and climate change, and radical solutions are needed right now. Canadian Greens must be committed to making the changes necessary to cut fossil fuel consumption by 70%, the level deemed necessary by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

(4) Peace, disarmament and non violence. Greens everywhere have a strong commitment to disarmament and non-violence. Canadians Greens have opposed membership in military alliances and have supported peacekeeping operations under UN direction. We have also called for the reform of the UN to prevent any country from gaining control of the Security Council and using it to promote militarist policies. Canadian Greens have strongly opposed the U.S.-led wars on Afghanistan and Iraq.

II. Structure of the Green Party of Canada

When Green Parties were first formed in Australia, New Zealand and England, and then later in Germany, there was a consensus that the new parties would not just be parties like the others but would be qualitatively different. Thus the Greens have a long historic commitment to participatory democracy, consensus decision making, decentralization and openness. The Greens made a strong commitment to equality for women at all levels of party operations. Canadian Greens must remain committed to these principles The first Green parties established groups as the basic units in the party. This was a recognition that the Green parties would "walk on two legs", with one in the legislature and the other in popular extra-parliamentary organizations. Greens were community activists. Saskatchewan Greens are strongly committed to this basic principle. We are not just an electoral party; we are part of a movement for change. Canada is a very large country and is one of the most decentralized federations in the world. At official political meetings every province and territory has a single equal vote. There is also recognition of special rights for Quebec. Aboriginal Canadians also have status recognized in the Constitution. The Green Party of Canada must be structured to reflect the political history of Canada and the Green commitment to decentralization and participatory democracy. There is no place in the Green movement for a highly centralized and hierarchical party. The best way to build the Green Party in Canada is to develop strong provincial parties, and this has to be done on the local level.





Green Party of Canada
Saskatchewan Section

Saskatchewan Declaration

November 2004

We, the Greens of Saskatchewan, commit ourselves to a Green Politics based on the Ten Core Values of Ecological Wisdom, Social Justice, Participatory Democracy, Non-violence, Respect for Diversity, Community-based Economics, Personal, Social and Global Responsibility, Decentralization, Gender Equity and Sustainability.

We commit ourselves to the building of a Green politics in our home province and across Canada which understands the role that global capitalism plays in the destruction of both eco-systems and human communities, and which understands the need for principles of ecology to be deeply intertwined with a commitment to peace, social justice and democracy in all contexts. We wish to foster a political culture within the Green Party of Canada that flows from the bottom-up and resists the temptation for the GPC to become one more corporate machine among many. We are leery of the trend toward centralization within the GPC and of the drift toward placing greater power in the hands of non-elected, hand-picked, groups of paid and volunteer staff, and will seek to promote courses of action in all areas which nurture the autonomy of provincial divisions, the strengthening of a democratic culture within the party and the supremacy of elected bodies, such as the Federal Council, as the truest representation of the will of the membership at the national level, between general meetings.

At a policy level, we seek to counter the tendency to confuse the message of ecology with the message of a mean and lean capitalism, confusing physical conservation (the call for all to live lightly on the earth) with fiscal conservatism (telling the poor to tighten their belts so the rich can continue to feast). An ecological society can only be brought about if the power of the corporate elites is broken and replaced by the power of non-corporate grass roots community. We seek to be a peace and social justice conscience within the Green Party of Canada and to work with others in the party across Canada who have similar concerns. We will promote policies which better reflect the Global Greens Charter and are more in line with the thinking of progressive Green Parties around the world.

Policy of the Green Party of Canada

On a more specific policy level, the Green Party of Canada, Saskatchewan Section, commits itself to historic Green Party of Canada policies. These include the following policies which were not included in the 2004 platform of the federal Green Party of Canada. These policies are based on the four basic pillars of the international Green movement. They bring our policy into line with that of the European Federation of Green Parties, the Green Party of the U.S.A., the Australian Greens, and the Green Party of New Zealand.

(1) Commitment to fair trade and self reliance. Canada must oppose multilateral free trade agreements including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), and other agreements through the World Trade Organization or any other body that seeks to put trade agreements in place which threaten the sovereignty of nations to protect and enhance the health of the environment, democratic institutions, services and practices, and the health of workers and all people around the world.

(2) Rejection of militarism and military alliances. Canada must withdraw it's membership from, and advocate for the dismantling of, military alliances such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the North American Aerospace Defense Agreement (NORAD). Canada must not become an active participant in the U. S. National Missile Defense program and shall advocate the demilitarization of the world. Canada will continue with peacekeeping efforts through it's peacekeeping missions worldwide.

(3) Promotion of Green social justice. Canada must implement policies that will reduce our impact on global pollution and help close the gap between rich and poor Canadians. Strategies such as a reduced work week, a shift to a green economy with a focus on increased employment, more housing, taxes based on ability to pay, and a decentralised democracy will bring about the positive changes that will create a safe, healthy, and prosperous Canada for many generations to come.

(4) Global warming and climate change. Canada must take a lead in the area of global warming and climate change, going well beyond the small first step put forth in the Kyoto Protocol. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change has insisted that we need to reduce fossil fuel consumption by 70% as quickly as possible if we are to stabilize climate change. Under the present policy direction, Canadian greenhouse gas emission are steadily increasing - not decreasing.

The Green Party of Canada, Saskatchewan Section, recognizes that an alternative energy system is feasible and will promote Green economic development, a cleaner environment and better health, and therefore supports the more comprehensive and far reaching plans put forth by the Tellus Institute and Torrie Smith Associates for the David Suzuki Foundation and by Dale Marshall for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and other similar plans.