Since Ricochet Media published some of Elizabeth May’s leaked emails last week, several people have asked me to comment on the particular quote where she incorrectly states that I “without regard to the Quebec green constitution, removed elected members.”
Although I have already made the following facts clear to both Elizabeth May and her senior staff, I feel I should address these issues publicly. The story begins in 2007 when the Green Party of Québec achieved our best results to date, capturing 3.85% of the vote across the province.
Following the 2007 election, and the record breaking show of support for the Greens, Pauline Marois, leader of the Parti Québecois recruited former Green Party leader Scott McKay to her party fold and parachuted him into a winnable riding without a nomination race. In exchange, Scott McKay would campaign vigorously against the Green Party in the next provincial election in an attempt to paint the PQ as the “greenest” mainstream provincial party and to convince our supporters to vote for the PQ.
When the results of the 2008 election came in, the liberals were given a majority government, Pauline Marois became the leader of the official opposition and former Green Party leader Scott McKay was elected to the legislature under the PQ banner.
In a 2010 by-election, Pauline Marois met with the Green Party candidate and brokered an arrangement under which he would remain on the ballot as a green candidate but would publicly support the Parti Québecois. This incident brought a great deal of embarrassment to the party. That same year, Ms Marois recruited one of our most prominent founding members; Daniel Bretton who was a well known environmental activist. In the 2012 election Green Party leader Claude Sabourin faced a difficult situation with both of these former Green members running as PQ candidates while attacking our party and undermining his credibility.
During the 2012 campaign, the president of the Green Party’s executive and one of our candidates publicly endorsed the PQ and pressured our former leader to do the same. When Claude Sabourin refused to give in to their intimidation tactics, they called for his resignation through the media, less than three days before the vote.
When I was elected as leader of the Green Party of Québec in 2013 the party was in a state of disarray. There was a culture of toxic infighting, our credibility had been compromised and things needed to change quickly if the party was to survive the next election campaign. In the weeks that followed my election as leader, it became very clear that certain members of the party’s provincial executive were loyal to other provincial political parties and that they were intent on using their roles as board members of the provincial green party to harm the organization.
After consulting with Elections Québec, I, as well as the party’s organizer and official agent, who were the three people recognized as directors of the party under the electoral law passed a resolution calling for new elections for the party’s executive. The internal elections were held over the next two months and were open to all members. No candidacies were refused and we were fully prepared to campaign against the more problematic members of the outgoing executive if necessary. Out of the 8 members of the outgoing executive one of them was re-elected and went on to become our provincial campaign manager. The others chose not to run.
The 2014 election campaign began just five months after the conclusion of the leadership race. We ran 44 candidates and managed to restore a great deal of credibility to the organization not only by improving the environmental program, but also by taking a clear stand against discrimination towards religious minorities while supporting modern social movements, public healthcare, free transit and public education. During the campaign, I was able to do my job as leader of the organization by criticizing the Parti Québecois’s environmental program and divisive identity politics. It was critical for me to do so, especially since just days before the 2014 election campaign began both Daniel Bretton and Scott McKay announced their support for hydraulic fracturing on Anticosti island. They also supported the arrival of tar sands oil through the Enbridge pipeline and the use of super oil tankers on the Saint-Lawrence. In that campaign, it was important for the Green Party to distance itself from their actions and to criticize their incomprehensible support for these policies. I did so, and the mainstream media amplified our message.
The following summer, the party held it’s annual general assembly and the membership not only supported the results of the internal elections but also the actions that were taken by myself, the provincial organizer and and the official agent to call these elections in the first place.
Although the fact that internal elections were held in late 2013 was controversial, it was necessary to ensure the survival of the party.
Please dont hesitate to contact me for more information.
Leader of the Green Party of Québec
Why won’t Elizabeth May comment on her decision to exclude the members of her shadow who support BDS and her politically motivated boycott of the Green Party of Québec?
Does she really think that she can boycott Ricochet Media, one of the only independent media outlets in the country, just because they have reported on these events?
Is this the kind of leadership we can expect from Ms May going forward?