David Coon seeks Green Party leadership

Well-known New Brunswick environmentalist David Coon announced on Tuesday that he is seeking the leadership of the province's Green Party.

Leadership convention will be held on Sept. 22 in Fredericton

David Coon, a well-known environmentalist, is seeking the leadership of the province's Green Party. (CBC)

Well-known New Brunswick environmentalist David Coon announced on Tuesday that he is seeking the leadership of the province's Green Party.

Coon is considered to be the province's leading environmentalist after 28 years with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

Coon has been the council's executive director, but he will take a non-public role with the organization until after the Green Party's leadership convention.

The party will pick its next leader on Sept. 22 in Fredericton.

Greta Doucet has been the party's interim leader since Jack MacDougall resigned in September 2011.

Under MacDougall's leadership, the Green Party did not elect any members in the 2010 provincial election campaign.

However, the party did win 4.5 per cent of the popular vote in the election.

The Green Party's popular support edged up to five per cent in May 2012, according to the latest Corporate Research Associates poll. The party registered zero per cent support in CRA's August 2011 poll.

The province's NDP has been enjoying support levels around 20 per cent in recent polls.

NDP Leader Dominic Cardy said he does not view the Green Party as a threat to his party in future elections. (CBC)

NDP Leader Dominic Cardy said he does not believe the Green Party, even if it is led by Coon, would dent his party's popularity.

"The New Democrats’ goal is to try to win government and we are trying win as many votes as we can from the Liberals and the Conservatives who make up about 90 per cent of the traditional votes in New Brunswick," Cardy said.

"So certainly, I look forward to working with Mr. Coon if he is successful in becoming leader of the Greens - or any other Green Party leader - to make sure we end up with the most progressive, environmentally sustainable government the province can get.  I'm sure someone of his experience would be looking at all venues for co-operation as well."

Cardy said Coon has had a "long and really impressive career working in the environmental movement."