Elizabeth May has officially stepped down as leader of the Green Party after over a decade of leadership.
According to the Globe and Mail, May made the announcement in Ottawa on Monday exactly two weeks after the Canadian federal elections in which the Green Party gained three seats in the House of Commons.
Until a permanent leader is chosen, the new interim leader of the party is Jo-Ann Roberts who represented the Green Party in Halifax this year and came third.
May will continue on as the parliamentary leader of the Green Party caucus, and will therefore still represent the riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands as MP.
“I want to make sure that when I leave as leader of the Green Party of Canada, we’ve got momentum, we’ve got growth, we’ve got exciting leadership, and I know we will have all of these,” said May.
Her service to the party and country was lauded by former Green Party leader Andrew Weaver in a tweet on Monday morning.
“You’ve been an inspiration to many, including me. If it weren’t for you, climate change wouldn’t have been a central election issue in #elxn43. You’ve demonstrated what integrity looks like in Ottawa,” he writes.
Thank you @ElizabethMay for your incredible service to Canada. You've been an inspiration to many, including me. If it weren't for you, #climatechange wouldn't have been a central election issue in #elxn43 You've demonstrated what integrity looks like in Ottawa. #cdnpoli
— Andrew Weaver (@AJWVictoriaBC) November 4, 2019
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also tweeted his acknowledgement of the news, calling May a “champion for the environment for decades”.
.@ElizabethMay, you’ve been a champion for the environment for decades, and your leadership on the climate crisis has helped push our country forward. I know you’ll continue to inspire Canadians of all ages & political stripes to fight for a better & cleaner future.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 4, 2019
Elizabeth May has been leading the Green Party since 2006, and became the first Green MP to take the stage at the federal leaders’ debate last month.
In the 2019 elections, she and the Green Party did not experience the voting surge they may have initially expected, but they did see some moderate gains, tripling their seat count from 2015 and doubling their vote count from the last election.
May also won her riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands for the third election in a row.