Green warrior Lemieux seeks leadership

by Jack Locke

Sylvie Lemieux seeks Green leadership

In the Canadian military she rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, but in the Green Party of Canada Sylvie Lemieux is just a brave foot soldier trying to ensure the party’s constitution is respected.

“I believe that a leadership contest is necessary because the GPC constitution calls for it and we should respect our constitution at all times,” says Lemieux in an online statement.

An engineer by profession, Lemieux, 49, is right about respecting a constitution–but in politics, being right is only helpful when you have a party behind you. Elizabeth May has her party behind her, at least for now.

Come the Green party’s annual convention in Toronto starting Aug 20, there’s liable to be a few Persing missiles launched during what promises to be an explosive debate.

The fully bilingual Lemieux is also criticizing current leader, Elizabeth May, for resting on her laurels. But without a seat in Parliament, there aren’t many political laurels for May, former executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada.

May may or may not respect Green constitution

“The Green Party has stalled and is in need of renewal and a new approach,” says Lemieux.

The approach May is taking is to amend the party’s constitution, so that a leadership contest does not need to be held. Currently, their constitution is very explicit, not particularly well thought out, but clear as day.

“The Leader shall be elected in 2006 and every four (4) years thereafter,” the Green Party constitution states.

According to Lemieux, 2006 plus four equals 2010. She wants to persuade the party poobahs to hold to the constitution, and not do a last-minute, end-run around a constitutionally-binding rule.

As a leadership contest often requires at least a year of planning, you have to wonder whether the Green party federal council was asleep at the wheel, or had hatched an ill-conceived plan for May’s extended leadership?

The former military leader, Lemieux, who has had significant experience in the federal department of Foreign Affairs and Public Works, isn’t asleep at the wheel and obviously knows how to read constitutional documents.

During her tenure with various government departments she oversaw a staff of 300 persons and kept order of billions of dollars of government assets, according to her press kit.

“You can’t govern effectively without trust. And there can be no trust without integrity and transparency,” said Stephen Harper in 2006.

It’s hard to trust a party that cannot abide by its own constitution.



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