About – Elizabeth May & Jonathan Pedneault

Elizabeth May is one of Canada’s best known parliamentarians and is a life-long environmental advocate.

Elizabeth May

A record of service

Elizabeth May

Elizabeth May’s life is defined by one word: service. Service to community, country and planet. One of Canada’s best-known parliamentarians, she is a life-long environmentalist. From 2006 to 2019, she led the Green Party of Canada through four federal elections, including the breakthrough 2011 election in which she became Canada’s first elected Green.

From her early years as an environmental activist, struggling financially while waiting tables at the family restaurant in Cape Breton, to her work, as a single mom, bringing the voices of underprivileged communities to the halls of power, she has been a trail blazer for generations of Canadian women and activists.

Elizabeth was the first Canadian environmentalist to identify how
environmental racism caused marginalized people to be exposed to
unacceptable threats to their health. Elizabeth used her legal training and resources to assist Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world.

When legal and political avenues failed to yield results, Elizabeth put her body, safety and well-being on the line. In May 2001, she went on a seventeen-day hunger strike in front of Parliament Hill protesting toxic conditions for the only predominately Black community on Cape Breton Island, near the infamous Sydney Tar Ponds. That work led directly to C-226, her Private Members Bill (PMB) on Environmental Racism. Defying the odds in the uphill struggle of PMBs, C-226 follows two of her PMBs – now law – on Lyme Disease and banning keeping cetaceans in captivity. She stands on principle, resigning when her Environment Minister boss broke the law in 1988; resigning despite having had many successes in her role as Senior Policy Advisor – including the 1987 Montreal Protocol that saved the ozone layer. She was the only MP to intervene at the NEB against the pipeline, facing arrest in March 2018 protesting TMX.

Canada and the world are failing to live up to their responsibilities towards future generations. Elizabeth is dedicating herself once again to ensure her grandkids inherit a livable future.

Always deeply committed to the Green movement, she now asks members for their renewed trust to help give Canadians the credible, actionable alternative they deserve.


When I heard the news that Elizabeth May was willing to enter the 2022 Green Party leadership race, I was over-joyed. But my initial reaction was somewhat tempered by concern. As a constituent of Salt Spring Island, Elizabeth has been my MP for the last eleven years. She is an outstanding MP, extremely effective and hard-working. I was concerned that she was sacrificing herself to take this on. So the news that she is in a shared campaign with Jonathan Pedneault made me even happier. Jonathan is an extraordinary young man, offering a fresh approach and energy to rebuilding the Greens. I urge all Green Party members to support the co-leadership platform of Elizabeth and Jonathan and will be telling all my friends to be sure to join the Greens before September 14 to be able to vote in the first round of voting.
Robert Bateman
painter, author and naturalist

I support Elizabeth May’s return as co-leader of the Green Party of Canada. Long ago Elizabeth raised her head above the political noise in this country and for years has built a reputation as the most factual, reliable and fearless voice for this planet and all it’s creatures including us humans. Respected around the world, Elizabeth is the backbone of the Green Party of Canada, and it’s natural leader.
Bill Henderson
Singer, songwriter, and music producer. lead singer “Chilliwack”

With age comes wisdom, and Elizabeth May has deftly and wisely led the Green Party of Canada for many years. But we have lost the luxury of time when dealing with the climate emergency. So it’s time to try something new. Jonathan Pedneault embodies our hope for a Greener Canada, and together with Elizabeth, as co-leads, we stand a chance of beating the clock. There is magic in the old and magic in the new; the trick now is to successfully combine the two.

Claire Martin
Former CBC national meteorologist

I was thrilled to hear that Elizabeth has put her name into the leadership race, in her usual collaborative way as a co-leader of the Green Party. She is doing this not out of ambition but out of her lifelong commitment to change the course of climate policy in our country and the world. Along with her passion to save our planet, she’s as smart and big-hearted as an Orca, as conscious of the needs of her kin (i.e., all of us) as a wolf, as hard-working as a worker bee, as tenacious and clever as a raven. I feel so lucky as a Canadian and an Earthling to claim her as my politician and to welcome her in the leadership race for the Green Party.

Lorna Crozier
Officer Order of Canada, Canadian poet

I have turned to and collaborated with Elizabeth on human rights issues literally across the globe, for more than twenty years, in her roles as both a political and civil society leader. The word that immediately comes to mind is universal. Be it individual cases of people wrongly imprisoned or pressing crises in particular countries, her only consideration has always been to ensure that human rights are upheld, for all people. And she has not shied away from situations that will draw critics, including her strong push back against national security excesses in the ‘war on terror’, entrenched violations associated with Israel’s occupation of Palestine, and abuses stemming from the overseas operations of Canadian extractives companies.
Alex Neve, OC (pronouns, he/him)
Honoured to live, work and advocate for human rights from the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people
Senior Fellow, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa
Adjunct Professor, Faculties of Law, University of Ottawa and Dalhousie University