Elizabeth May, Canada's first Green MP, says she has decided to stay on as leader of the federal party after musing for weeks that she might leave the post she has held for a decade.
Ms. May first raised the prospect of stepping down after party members voted earlier this month in favour of a resolution supporting sanctions against Israel. Ms. May openly opposed the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) resolution at the party's biennial convention, but the motion passed.
On Monday, Ms. May announced her intentions after returning from a vacation in Cape Breton, N.S., where she says she seriously considered her options.
"I will stay on as the leader of the Green Party of Canada," Ms. May said in French. "I'm pleased with that decision and I'm very happy to have the support of the Federal Executive Council of the Green Party."
She also shut down rumours that she was considering joining another federal party. Writing in The Globe and Mail last week, columnist and former New Democratic Party national director Gerald Caplan presented the case for Ms. May to be the next leader of the NDP, while iPolitics columnist Susan Delacourt suggested that Ms. May would be better suited for the Liberals.
After speaking with the Federal Council on Sunday, Ms. May said she decided to stay on as leader. The council agreed to organize a special meeting to review any resolutions from the August convention that lacked consensus, including the BDS motion. All resolutions will be subject to a consensus-based decision-making process at that special meeting.
Ms. May refused to say whether she would remain as leader if the party still accepted the BDS motion after the review.
"It's a hypothetical [question] that I find too unbelievable to actually conjure up how I could answer."
Ms. May has said she does not think Green Party members actually embrace the BDS policy. She blamed the motion's passing on the party's move away from consensus-based decision-making to the Bonser method, a colour-coded voting system that determines which resolutions are a priority ahead of the convention.
The party will also "review and adopt improved processes" for policy-making at the special meeting. The committee won't meet until at least December, according to the Green Party; an exact date will be set in the coming weeks.
The Greens are the only federal party to endorse the BDS movement, a policy some Jewish groups have denounced. Earlier this year, Parliament voted by a wide margin to condemn the growing international BDS movement. Ms. May abstained from that vote, but has made it clear she does not personally support the movement.
Although Ms. May has said she considered resigning solely because of the BDS motion controversy, she recently told The Globe and Mail that she doesn't love leading the Green Party, or politics for that matter.
"I love being a member of Parliament. I don't love politics. I don't love being Leader of the Green Party. It is not really something I'd recommend to a good friend. It's not fun," she said in an Aug. 5 interview. "Politics is awful."
After a decade leading the party, Ms. May received nearly 94-per-cent support from party members in a leadership review this year. She said she still intends to run in the 2019 federal election, as her priority has been and always will be representing the B.C. riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands.
In the meantime, she said she looks forward to focusing on her work as a member of the electoral reform committee. During last year's election campaign, the Liberal government promised to do away with the first-past-the-post voting system by the 2019 federal election. Ms. May would like to see Canada adopt a proportional representation electoral system.