Green Party member Anthony Edmonds, who just ran in the federal Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook riding, is thankful for Elizabeth May for her dedication to the party as the elader. May has announced she is stepping down immediately. (Healey file photo)

WELLINGTON: News that Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is stepping down immediately as leader of the party didn’t come as a surprise to the local Green member in Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook.

Anthony Edmonds told The Laker from his Wellington home May had spoken extensively about succession in the past, and she has indicated publicly on more than one occasion that she felt she was nearing the end of her time as leader.

“Recently, she even said that she did not intend to lead the party into the next election,” said Edmonds. “Consequently, the only surprise was the timing. By choosing to step down immediately, she is providing as much time as possible to find good candidates, hold a thorough leadership campaign, and allow the next leader to grow into the role and build a name.”

Edmonds continued, saying as always, May is putting her duties as leader ahead of her own personal ambitions, which is why she will be leaving very large shoes to fill.

“Regardless, I know there is plenty of talent and leadership within the party, so I have no doubt that we will find another fantastic leader,” he said.

He wanted to offer a debt of gratitude and thanks, from all Canadians, to May for her “selfless dedication.”

“Her time as leader has been a tremendous service to the Green movement and to Canada,” said Edmonds.

Edmonds was asked if he had any aspirations to become the leader of the parity. He said he does not at this time.

“My heart is more in provincial politics, so my attention is currently directed towards preparing for the next provincial election,” said Edmonds.

Asked what it means that Halifax-area Green Party MP Jo-Ann Roberts will be the interim leader, Edmonds thought it was natural for one of the deputy leaders to step in.

“By volunteering for that role, Jo-Ann Roberts may be ruling out a bid for the leadership contest,” said Edmonds. “Still, I’m hopeful that we will see quality leadership contestants from this coast.

“Meanwhile, we may enjoy slightly easier access to our interim leader here in the Halifax area.”