Liberal Party of Canada makes deal with Green Party leader

Friday, April 13, 2007

Elizabeth May at the Green Party of Canada leadership debate on June 21, 2006.

After Green Party leader Elizabeth May announced her plans for running against Conservative MP Peter MacKay in his riding of Central Nova in the next federal election, the Liberal Party of Canada have decided to not have a candidate in the riding. In return, the Greens have agreed not run a candidate against Liberal leader Stéphane Dion in his riding of Saint-Laurent—Cartierville in Quebec.

Both Stéphane Dion and Elizabeth May held a joint news conference today in Central Nova to talk about their plans.

The riding has a long history of Conservative MPs which finds it a tough race to fight for May with the Liberals backing her.

The decision earned some criticism from NDP leader Jack Layton. "It's incredible that this matter of such importance is being decided by two leaders in secret," Layton told reporters. "That's not what democracy is about. It is the citizens that ought to make choices about who is going to be representing them..."I'm surprised to see Ms. May support the member of Parliament [Stéphane Dion] who was at the Liberal cabinet table during the decade that greenhouse gases went up by more than 30 per cent."

Stéphane Dion held the Minister of Environment portfolio under former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin. At the end of his Liberal leadership campaign he changed his campaign colour to green to represent his interest for environmental issues in Canada. May is an environmentalist and is largely noted as founder of the Sierra Club of Canada.

The Green Party of Canada has run a full slate of candidates in the last two elections, but has yet to win a seat in Parliament. If May wins the riding in the next federal election, she would be the first one ever.