Elizabeth May (1954 - )
Former Green Party Leader
Elizabeth May is the former leader of the Green Party and an advocate for social justice, the environment, human rights, and sensible economic solutions. She is an environmentalist, writer, activist and lawyer. She has suffered much abuse by the media in her career as a politician.
- In the 1970s she was involved in a grassroots movement against proposed spraying chemicals from airplanes on the forests to kill insects near her home on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The effort stopped spraying from airplanes from occurring again in that province. In this campaign, she was personally attacked in the media for her looks rather than her ideas or accomplishments.
- In 1986, when she was an environmental policy advisor in Ottawa, May was instrumental in the creation of several national parks. She was involved in negotiating the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer with new legislation and pollution control measures.
- May is the author of seven books. Her book Frederick Street focused on the Sydney Tar Ponds and the health threats to children in her community — the issue that led her to go on a seventeen-day hunger strike in May 2001 in front of Parliament Hill. She also writes about the decline in democracy in Canada.
- May became leader of the Green Party in 2006.
- In the 2011 election, May made history by being the first Green Party candidate to be elected to the House of Commons.
- In 2012, she was voted Parliamentarian of the Year and in 2013, Hardest Working MP by her colleagues in the House of Commons.
- May was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005. In 2010, Newsweek magazine named her “one of the world’s most influential women.” She lives in Sidney, BC.