Elizabeth May announced Monday she is stepping down as leader of the Green Party that she brought into the House of Commons.
She made the announcement in Ottawa.
May had already announced that she would not lead the Greens into the next election, but her resignation before the house sits again was unexpected.
She said she’s fulfilling a promise to her daughter.
“My daughter looked at this also as for my health,” May said. “You can work like harder than anybody’s ever seen, but It’s not good for you.”
On Monday May talked about her record on discussing Indigenous issues in the House of Commons.
“I’d actually raised Indigneous issues more than other party leaders… and I co-sponsored Romeo Saganash’s [UNDRIP] bill. And I met with Jody Wilson-Raybould when she was justice minister to urge the Liberals to support that bill,” she said.
“So I think I accomplished…a good deal more than one would imagine given our position as the only Green MP in the House without the right to speak.”
May said one of the Green Party’s priorities working with the incoming Liberal minority government is to push for a new law on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The says the part will also push for a swift response on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ calls for justice.
“And of course we have to respond immediately and cancel the appeal of the Human Rights Tribunal decision that there is specifically money owed for what that human rights tribunal found to be reckless and willful — quote, unquote — reckless and willful violation of the human rights of Indigenous children in this country,” she added.
May emphasized she’s not going anywhere.
She will still lead the Green caucus and will keep pressing the government on climate change.
“There’s a massive public movement in this country that occurred during our election campaign,” she said. “We had one million Canadians marching on September 27. One of them was the prime minister, protesting his own policies I suppose.
“But one must not allow marching in a parade to pass as climate action.”
May was elected leader in 2006 and became the MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands in 2011.
She said she plans to run again in the next election.
May is replaced by Jo-Ann Roberts, who was defeated in Halifax.
The convention to replace May will take place in October 2020.