Today is the 5-year anniversary of my election as leader of the Green Party of Quebec.
It’s been an honour and a privilege to be at the helm of an organization as dynamic, energetic and mobilized as ours. It’s a privilege to be able to work with such a wonderful a team of candidates, employees, volunteers and stagiaires who are active on the ground across all regions of Quebec. These are genuine people who are involved for the cause and who are determined to move Quebec towards a future that’s greener, more sustainable, and more equitable, and I’m proud to be a part of our team.
During my first campaign in 2012, I had been looking for someone else to be a candidate instead of me. I saw myself as more of a behind-the-scenes person, and I chose to put in my candidacy to defend my core values and go head-to-head with the Liberals who were about to increase tuition. The Liberals who treated me and my peers as criminals when it came to their new anti-protest laws.
I am, above and beyond anything, an activist. For me, the Green Party was an extraordinary platform that allowed me to influence the debate and contribute positively to democracy in an important way.
Despite the many environmental challenges we are faced with, I remain optimistic. Optimistic for the future of the planet, for our movement, for our party. In a political environment where ideas are generally stagnant, the Green Party is a force of positivity and progressive ideas.
Becoming party leader at the age of 25 was certainly not easy. Lots of people criticized me, especially the old boys club that existed within the confines of this party. Lots of obstacles popped up along the way. Being a young person in politics can be very difficult, and I have a profound respect for everyone who chooses to run, no matter what party they are with. Bringing forward new ideas and perspectives is never terribly easy. It certainly isn’t everyone who supports us, and it also isn’t everyone who wants to see more young people in politics.
Despite the obstacles thrown our way, we’ve put together a solid, dynamic and ambitious team to take on the challenges.
In 2013, when I was arrested with my peers in the streets for simply having participated in a peaceful demonstration, I couldn’t stand idly by. I had to get involved to represent my generation in the face of a neoliberal system that just wasn’t sustainable. I had to get involved to protect the environment and the rights of First Nations, as well as to engage in the battle against climate change. I had to get involved to combat intolerance, hatred and racism. I had to get involved to fight poverty and to counter the right’s agenda. It’s for those reasons that I entered the leadership race.
With a budget of $250, a computer and a cell phone, I ran a strong grassroots campaign. I personally contacted all party members to explain my vision for the party and for Quebec as a whole. For months, we ran a ground campaign to gain the trust of members and it was an honour to have won your support 5 years ago today.
As you know, the 2014 elections were called just 5 months after the leadership race. During that time, we reinvented the party, the platform and the team of candidates to create a more progressive, youthful and feminine party. On that point, I’m very proud to say that in 6 years, our party went from a team of 20% women to 58% in these elections. A great success! Since 2014, we’ve almost doubled our number of candidates and we are present across all the regions of Quebec. We rebuilt the credibility of the party in the eyes of the electorate and civil society in general.
It was a team project and I cannot tell you how proud I am to be able to work with each and every one of our 97 candidates.
In these elections, our party stands out. We are by far the youngest team in Quebec politics.
We are progressives, feminists, and dynamic individuals.
As far as I am concerned, there is no limit to what we can accomplish together. With your support, anything is possible. Let’s keep up the good work until October 1st and then in the years to come.
We are a movement. We are the future. We are the Green Party of Quebec.
Thank you once again for your trust, your support and your involvement. Let’s continue working together and let’s keep promoting our values to the population of Quebec.
Long live Quebec, long live the environment and long live the Green Party of Quebec!
Today is the 5-year anniversary of my election as leader of the Green Party of Quebec.It's been an honour and a…