Island woman won’t lead Green Party of Canada but will stay active in politics

OTTAWA—Green Party of Canada co-founder and former leader Elizabeth May is back at the helm of the party. Ms. May was chosen on the sixth ballot in the election from November 12 to 19. While Manitoulin’s Sarah Gabrielle Baron was eliminated on the second ballot, she is proud of her campaign and her team.

Ms. May called Ms. Baron and other candidates to the stage after her win, to stand alongside herself and deputy leader Jonathan Pedneault. “We’re a team,” Ms. May said. “I think we should stay here together for a moment or two. I’ve seen too much stuff in the media about how we’re divided and we can’t get our act together.” She challenged anyone to come up with another leadership race where the candidates built each other up and supported each other.

Ms. Baron said she was grateful to the other five contestants, that she had learned so much from them. “We do truly feel like a team more than competitors.”

She thanked her own team, assists Steven Warren and campaign manager Brandon Russell. Mr. Warren, 18 years old, was the youngest person ever to run in an Ontario election. “The Green Party of Ontario is full of stellar young talent and Steven is a shining example of that,” said Ms Baron.

At just 21 years old, Mr. Russell ran a nation-wide campaign “that turned a country bumpkin into a camera-ready Canadian Green politician,” she said.

Ms. Baron acknowledged all the staff and colleagues that paved the way for the leadership race and thanked Green Party members. “You’re the lifeblood of this movement,” she said. “We’re a family, is Greens, a family I’m proud to be a part of.”

Green philosophy has shaped her life since she was a teenager in 1991. When Ms. Baron ran as the Green Party of Ontario candidate in the Algonquin-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing riding in 2005, she wanted to show her daughters that this type of leadership, “sticking your neck out there for something you believe in,” was both important and doable.

Going forward, Ms. Baron said, she still has that “politics bug” and will continue to be “more and more active” in the Green Party throughout the rest of her life.