Greens are committed to discussing and putting forward policies which are
and economically viable.
The Green Party of Canada and the Green Party of Ontario hold to these values by making decisions aligned with the same six pillars that Green parties around the globe all cherish.
Respect for Diversity
These six pillars shape the policies, plans, and platforms for the Green Party of Canada and the Green Party of Ontario. These documents are worth reading if you want to better understand our green parties.
The Green Party of Canada’s foundational policy document is Vision Green.
Vision Green is a compilation of all the party's current policies which have been approved by a two thirds majority of votes cast by members. It covers positions on pretty much every issue our federal government has decision making authority.
The Election Platform gives great insight into knowing our top federal priorities.
Mission: Possible The Green Plan for Climate Action addresses the most important priority of all - the one that ensures our survival as a species. It specifies the actions we need to shift into a green sustainable economy, without leaving anyone behind.
Reimagining our Future is the federal party's response to the 2020 pandemic which exposed the weaknesses in our current systems. It is a comprehensive plan to make Canada better.
The Green Party of Ontario makes policy in the same type of process as the federal party. Members with professional experience, or informed individuals with concerns on particular issues, put forward proposals which are voted on by the general membership, with two-thirds approval needed to advance it as party policy.
Vision is an overview of how the provincial green party would improve our communities.
People Powered Change is the Ontario greens' platform of top priorities.
The Green Movement
The modern global green movement started in the 1960s at the beginnings of a mass rejection of consumer culture. Five decades later, the 60s values of peace, love and understanding have become the founding Green Party values of non-violence, social justice and ecological thinking.
While the end of the 60s saw the decline of many grassroots movements, their life-affirming values didn't go away. In the 1970s, the green movement inspired small-scale health food stores, women's and environmental groups, renewable energy programs and organic farms. The green movement developed structure and an economic base. Building within communities, green groups worked to shed their reputations as short-lived, unessential enterprises.
The 1980s had many realize isolated activity and opinions were less effective than organized green movement coalitions. This decade saw the founding of the Canadian Environment Network, Canadian Organic Growers, Canadian Peace Alliance, Voice of Women, Solar Energy Society of Canada and many others. The natural next step was to organize the green movement into political action.
Green Parties Around the World
Globally, the first national green party was the Values Party started in the early 1970s in New Zealand. The first green party in the northern hemisphere was called the Small Party, after E.F. Schumacher's book, Small is Beautiful. It was formed in the late 1970s by Elizabeth May in the Canadian Maritimes. In Britain, the first green party was called the Ecology Party. The West German green party, Die Grünen, was formed in 1980 and when it entered the legislature, green politics built momentum there and elsewhere.
Green members of parliament have been elected in many countries including Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Italy, France, Germany, and Finland. More and more countries have citizens forming green parties. In 2020, India joined the list. There are now over 100 green parties worldwide.
The Green Party of Canada
The Green Party of Canada was founded in 1983 at a conference held at Carleton University in Ottawa. The Green Party of Canada is independent but remains philosophically aligned with green parties around the world in the premise that all life on the planet is interconnected and that humans have a responsibility to protect and preserve it. The Green Party of Canada, like its provincial counterparts, supports green economics, progressive social planning and responsible and accountable governance.
Under its first leader, Dr. Trevor Hancock, the party ran 60 candidates in the 1984 federal election. Co-founder, Elizabeth May, was one of its first candidates, She ran against Deputy Prime Minister Allan J. MacEachern on Cape Breton Island.
On June 28, 2004, the Green Party of Canada made history when it became only the fourth federal political party ever to run candidates in all of Canada's ridings, under the leadership of Jim Harris. It was the only party running a full slate to be excluded from the televised leaders’ debate. Greens secured 4.3 percent of the popular vote, thereby surpassing the 2 percent threshold required for party financing under new Elections Canada rules.
Elizabeth May became the party leader in 2006 and later that year finished second in a by-election in London North Centre. In the 2008 federal election, May ran in the Nova Scotia riding of Central Nova. Despite losing to Peter MacKay, she won an impressive 32% of the vote.
In the 2011 federal election, Elizabeth May ran in the riding of Saanich—Gulf Islands in British Columbia. Despite her exclusion from the leaders’ debate, she won her riding, defeating Conservative cabinet minister Gary Lunn and becoming the first elected Green Party MP in Canadian history.
In 2019, Elizabeth May was joined by green MPs Paul Manley and Jenica Atwin. By this time, the greens already had breakthroughs provincially - electing MPPs in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Ontario.
Elizabeth May continued as Parliamentary House Leader, but stepped down as the Green Party of Canada's leader in late 2019. Interim leader Jo-Anne Roberts passed the job of being our spokesperson to Annamie Paul when she was chosen by the membership to be the new Green Party of Canada leader in October 2020. This transition occurred during the time Annamie Paul was running in a federal Toronto Centre by-election, in which she obtained a strong second place finish with 32.7% of the vote.
In May of 2021, Annamie Paul's advisor, Noah Zatzman, became critical of elected green MPs whom had advocated for official Green Party of Canada policy, supporting human rights of Palestinian peoples in their territories. Zatzman wrote "we will work to defeat you" in the next election and "replace you" with Zionists. Many members were upset by Annamie remaining silent as to where she personally stood in relation to this comment, and viewed evasive silence and inaction to be responsible for Fredericton's green MP Jenica Atwin crossing the floor to the Liberals.
In an early snap election held the 20th of September 2021, the federal greens failed to run candidates in 85 of 338 ridings, and their vote share was reduced to just 2.3%, from the 6.6% obtained in the 2019 election. Annamie came in fourth place in her riding of Toronto Centre with 8.5% support. Green MP Paul Manley was narrowly defeated. The Green's remaining MP, Elizabeth May, retained her seat and was joined by Mike Morrice, who won the Kitchener Centre riding for the greens.
The Green Party of Canada's Federal Council met on November 14th and formally accepted Annamie Paul's resignation. If you wonder what happened with the Green Party of Canada during a turmultous year of Annamie Paul's leadership, here is Elizabeth May's statement which was printed as a STAR EXCLUSIVE on October 3rd, 2021.
On November 24th, 2021, The Green Party of Canada announced the appointment of interim leader Dr Amita Kuttner.
Amita Kuttner (they/he) holds a PhD in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of California, Santa Cruz; their research focused on black holes, wormholes, quantum effects, and the early universe. While at university, Amita led advocacy groups supporting the inclusion of marginalized people in the sciences, and scientists in the political process. Amita co-founded and served as director for Moonlight Institute, a non-profit that develops climate, tech, and decolonial policy, as well as frameworks for a just and equitable future. Amita is the youngest, the first trans person and the first person of east Asian descent to lead a major Canadian political party.
On November 19th, 2022, the membership of the Green Party of Canada voted to again have Elizabeth May be the party leader.
Elizabeth May, MP
Green Party of Canada Leader
The Green Party of Ontario
While the idea of organized Green politics gained international popularity, the Green Party of Ontario was officially registered in 1983. It shortly afterwards ran its first election with nine candidates. It grew over the next twenty years and in 2003 the party fielded 102 candidates, having only one of the 103 ridings without a green option. The GPO gained the support of 126,700 votes, or 2.82% of ballots, placing ahead of the Ontario NDP in two ridings, and obtained fourth place results in 92 others.
Leading up to the 2007 election, Green support went into double-digits for the first time in party history. After the ballots were cast, the GPO had 8.1% of the vote (a gain of 5.3% from the 2003 election), placed second in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound with 33.1% (compared to the PC incumbent winner's 46.7%), and took third place in a number of other ridings, ahead of candidates from previously elected parties
Toronto entrepreneur Mike Schreiner became the Ontario Green Party leader in 2009.
In the 2018 election, the party ran on a platform called People Powered Change. It focused upon investing in green jobs and clean energy, rolling out a universal basic income, shifting away from nuclear power, lowering payroll taxes for small businesses and implementing road tolls to fund transit infrastructure. The party ran a full slate of candidates including over 50% women for the first time.
Mike Schreiner was excluded from the televised leaders debates; but, on June 7th 2018, he won his seat anyways, in the riding of Guelph, to become the first Green MPP in Ontario history.
The first past the post (FPTP) voting system used in Canada, the USA, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe makes it difficult for candidates running for new or smaller parties to be elected. Mike Schreiner and Elizabeth May are the ony two people elected anywhere under a FPTP voting system while their party was excluded from the televised leadership debates!
The Green Party in Kitchener South - Hespeler
This new riding formed with its first federal election in 2015. Green candidate, David Weber, garnered 3.7% of the vote. He would run as the provincial candidate in the 2018 election with a 7.5% vote share. A year later in 2019, running in the second federal election for this riding, he received 10.9% of voter's ballots cast - an increase of 7% since his first federal race. There were quadruple the sign requests, more than triple the volunteers and an increase in donations which allowed for more campaign resources. The Liberal MP was re-elected; but, he, the Conservative and NDP candidates all lost support from the previous election. Their combined loss of 7% voter support matched the level of support gained by the Green's candidate.
The growth in 2019 is attributable to many factors, including community recognition of the repeat candidate in David Weber, starting door-to-door canvassing several months before the writ drop, having more strongly committed volunteers and for the first time, having an official campaign manager, Kristen Porritt. After the campaign, the riding association has continued working steadfastly to build organizational capacity for future federal and provincial elections.
Less than two years after the 2019 federal election, Justin Trudeau called an early federal snap election for September 20th 2021, with an aim to increase his control from a minority government to that of a majority government. In Kitchener South - Hespeler, Gabe Rose became the green federal candidate a week and a half after the election was called, stepping up after a previously aniticipated candidate withdrew from the position. Gabe netted above the national average in level of Green Party voter support.
On December 9th 2021, a contested nominaton resulted in David Weber again being the riding's MPP candidate for the June 2nd, 2022 provincial election.