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Green Party of Canada facts for kids

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Green Party of Canada
Parti vert du Canada
Leader Elizabeth May
Deputy Leader Jonathan Pedneault
President Ian Soutar
Founded 1983; 41 years ago (1983)
Headquarters 116 Albert Street
Suite 812
Ottawa, Ontario
Youth wing Young Greens of Canada
Membership (2022) Decrease 22,000
Continental affiliation Federation of the Green Parties of the Americas
International affiliation Global Greens
Colours      Green
0 / 105
House of Commons
2 / 338

The Green Party of Canada (French: Parti vert du Canada) is a federal political party in Canada, founded in 1983 with a focus on green politics.

The Green Party is currently the fifth largest party in the House of Commons by seat count. It elected its first member of Parliament (MP), leader Elizabeth May, in the 2011 election, winning in the Saanich—Gulf Islands. In the 2019 election, the party expanded its caucus to three. In the 2021 election, the party fell to two seats.

Elizabeth May has served as the party leader since 19 November 2022. She previously served as party leader from 2006 to 2019. The deputy leader is Jonathan Pedneault.

The Green Party is founded on six principles, including ecological wisdom, non-violence, social justice, sustainability, participatory democracy, and respect for diversity.


About two months before the 1980 federal election, eleven candidates, mostly from ridings in the Atlantic provinces, issued a joint press release declaring that they were running on a common platform. It called for a transition to a non-nuclear, conserver society. Although they ran as independents, they unofficially used the name "Small Party" as part of their declaration of unity, a reference to the "small is beautiful" philosophy of E. F. Schumacher. This was the most substantial early attempt to answer the call for an ecologically oriented Canadian political party. A key organizer (and one of the candidates) was Elizabeth May, who later became leader of the Greens in 2006.

The Green Party of Canada was founded at a conference held at Carleton University in Ottawa in 1983. Under its first leader, Trevor Hancock, the party ran 60 candidates in the 1984 Canadian federal election.

The Quebec wing hosted the 1990 Canadian Greens conference in Montreal. Soon after, Canada's constitutional problems interfered; as a result, many Quebec candidates abandoned the Greens in favour of a Quebec sovereigntist party, the Bloc Québécois. There were only six Green candidates from Quebec in the 1993 election. In the spring of 1996, although the hopes of electing a representative to the BC legislature proved premature, Andy Shadrack in the interior of the province received over 11% of the vote. Overall, the party's proportion of the popular vote surged to a new high. Shadrack was also the most popular Green candidate in the 1997 federal election, scoring over 6% of the popular vote in West Kootenay—Okanagan.

On November 19, 2022, Elizabeth May was elected leader of the party. May ran with Pedneault in the leadership race, and Pedneault currently serves as the deputy leader of the party.

Political position

The Green Party officially rejects the traditional left–right political spectrum, describing it as "something of an anachronism". Instead, the Green Party believes that "voters in modern democracies [are] divided on lines … more to do with 'insiders' and 'outsiders.'" According to co-founder and former leader Trevor Hancock, "the perennial left vs. right squabbling about who gets to control and benefit from the ever-expanding pie is to completely miss the point; the pie cannot continue to expand, indeed it must contract … the struggle for social justice is deeply rooted in the fact that the limits to growth requires a radical global and societal redistribution of the Earth’s limited resources." In 2019, the Green Party under Elizabeth May ran on a campaign slogan of "Not Left. Not Right. Forward Together."

The party is noted as having a wide range of internal factions; the 2020 leadership election saw both self-described moderate and eco-socialist candidates. Writing in Maclean's, Anne Kingston described the party as an "ideological hybrid", combining left-leaning views on social issues and welfare with a right-leaning embrace of market solutions and tax shifting; in another article, Matt Gurney concurred with that description, but also said that "in practice" the Greens are "simply another centre-left party". Other political commentators, such as Andrew Coyne, Chantal Hébert and Heather Mallick, identify the party as being on the left.


The Green Party of Canada is founded on six key principles that were adopted at the 2002 convention of the Global Greens. These principles are:


Party leaders

# Leader Term start Term end
1 Trevor Hancock 1983 1984
2 Seymour Trieger 1984 1988
3 Kathryn Cholette 1988 1990
4 Chris Lea 1990 1996
5 Wendy Priesnitz 1996 1997
Harry Garfinkle (interim) 1997 1997
6 Joan Russow 1997 2001
Chris Bradshaw (interim) 2001 2003
7 Jim Harris 2003 2006
8 Elizabeth May 2006 2019
Jo-Ann Roberts (interim) 2019 2020
9 Annamie Paul 2020 2021
Amita Kuttner (interim) 2021 2022
10 Elizabeth May 2022 present

Party parliamentary leaders

The position of parliamentary leader was created on 4 November 2019, when then-leader Elizabeth May announced that she was resigning as leader of the party, but would remain leader of the parliamentary caucus. The position ceased to exist after May re-assumed the party leadership in 2022.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Partido Verde de Canadá para niños

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