Calgary Greens sticking with May as party leader

Addressing the Greens: Natalie Odd, left, and Thana Boonlert addressing Green volunteers and supporters at Last Best in Calgary on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. Odd was the Green Candidate for the Calgary Confederation riding, whole Boonlert ran in the Calgary Centre riding in the federal election. (Photo by Samuel Donnelly/The Press)

Calgary area Green Party members say they stand behind party leader Elizabeth May going into the future.

Green candidates in the Oct. 21 federal election, and volunteers in the Calgary area gathered at Last Best, on 11th Avenue S.W. on election night, to watch the returns and congratulate each other on the work they did campaigning and bringing awareness to their party.

None of them were elected, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the group.

“Obviously we want to form a government. We need a Green government and we need Green politicians in our government system,” said Marco Reid, Green candidate for the Calgary Signal Hill riding.

Asked what the Green Party would do after election night, Reid said that they will get some rest and get right back to spreading the Green Party’s message to Canada by speaking to Canadians.

“We’re all somewhat confident that Greens are definitely getting momentum across the country and especially here in Alberta,” said Reid.

One question facing the party is who will be the leader, going forward.

Thana Boonlert, the Green candidate in the Calgary Centre riding, said that long-time Elizabeth May has been looking for a successor for the party.

“I think she is looking for a transition. I mean, she is getting older,” said Boonlert.

Before the results for the election were fully out, Boonlert said that hopefully more Green members would be elected and that maybe those people would pick up a leadership role.

But he wasn’t sure when the transition would occur.

“Those are big shoes to fill, really big shoes to fill.”

The Greens elected three members in the election: May and incumbent Paul Manly on Vancouver Island, and Jenica Atwin in Fredricton, New Brunswick.

Natalie Odd, the Green candidate for the Calgary Confederation riding, said that there weren’t any plans to elect a new leader to the Green Party, but said the plan was to stick with May.

“She is brilliant and she is a strong woman and a strong leader for this party,” said Odd.

Odd added that she hopes the existing electoral system is changed.

The existing first-past-the-post system for choosing MPs results in people “voting against other people,” she said.

” I know a lot of people in that situation,” said Odd.

Odd is hoping for proportional representation to be brought in for the next election.

At the Bar: Marco Reid in Last Best during the night of the 2019 federal election on Oct. 21, 2019. Reid was the Green Party candidate for Calgary Signal Hill riding. (Photo by Samuel Donnelly/The Press)