Elizabeth May and Jonathan Pedneault: an unlikely duo to rebuild the Green Party of Canada

Elizabeth May and Jonathan Pedneault: an unlikely duo to rebuild the Green Party of Canada


OTTAWA | Elizabeth May is aiming for a return to the head of the Greens as co-leader in the company of a Quebecer, in order to rebuild the party after two years of heartbreak. 

The unlikely duo are Ms May and Jonathan Pedneault, a former reporter and aid worker at Human Rights Watch.

If the pair have their way, the Green Party of Canada (PVC) would become the first on the federal scene with two leaders on an equal footing. To do this, a change in the party constitution will be necessary.

“Quebecers are familiar with the concept of co-leadership thanks to Québec solidaire. This is less the case at the national level. There will be a lot of education and explanation work to be done,” explains Mr. Pedneault.

The race for the leadership of the Green Party really begins today, with the unveiling of the list of candidates. 

A native of Lac-Saint-Jean, the 32-year-old man began to test the waters of the PVC in March, after returning from Ukraine to Human Rights Watch account.

Email exchanges between him and Elizabeth May in May led to a first meeting in June. From there, they understood that they complemented each other well: “Where I am weak, there is strong,” she says. “And vice versa,” he retorts.

Nothing out of the ordinary

The idea of ​​a co-leadership is not is not far-fetched for greens elsewhere in the world. Elizabeth May takes as an example the Green Parties of the United Kingdom, New Zealand or Germany, all led by a male-female duo.

Mr. Pedneault acknowledges that the Green Party has not always been “sensitive to the realities of Quebecers”, despite former deputy leaders such as Georges Laraque or Daniel Green. He hopes that his presence could be a game-changer, he who “knows” and “likes” the regions of Quebec, where he hopes to run in the future.

A party on its knees

To those who laugh at the idea that Elizabeth May could represent the revival of PVC, she who spent almost 15 years at its head, she says to them: “I agree. I don't want to do the same as in the past when I was leader of the Green Party. I looked for another path, another approach. We are together to prepare something completely different. ”

“There is not a tree that comes without its roots, explains Mr. Pedneault. To rebuild that party, which is on its knees, we need Elizabeth's expertise, we need her work in Parliament. 

The May-Pedneault duo will propose to members to put the Quebecer's name first and Mrs. May's second. The next leader(s) will be known on November 19, the date of the second round.

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