Elizabeth May told a Halifax rally she will fight to be included in the federal election debate until the moment she's standing outside watching her rivals making their points on TV.

The leader of the Green Party said Saturday that without her voice in Tuesday's debate, Canadians are not likely to hear questions about global warming or the widening gap between rich and poor.

The Federal Court of Appeal refused to hear May's legal challenge before the first debate, and the consortium of television networks that organizes the debate has stuck to its decision to exclude her from the event on the grounds that the Greens did not have an MP in the last Parliament.

May told the crowd that she feels it's hard to fight an election campaign when she's forced to spend time criticizing major media outlets for the decision.

May, speaking with a hoarse voice after dozens of speeches on the election trail, noted that Halifax was the home of Joseph Howe, the politician-journalist famed for fighting for a free media.

"If Joseph Howe were alive today, I don't think the world could contain his rage at the abuse of democracy by the media cartel that masquerades as a consortium," she said to cheers.

"It makes life a little difficult to be running a national campaign where the obstacles presented appear to be from CBC, our public broadcaster, Radio-Canada, another public broadcaster, CTV, Global and TVA."

The party failed to secure a seat in the 2008 federal election, but drew nearly one million votes. May ran against Conservative Peter MacKay in Nova Scotia's Central Nova riding in 2008, but is vying for the Saanich–Gulf Islands seat in B.C. in this year's campaign.

Supporters want Green MP

Rob Griffith said he went to May's rally because he's been a Green supporter for the last few elections. He was one of a crowd of about 200 or 300 on the Halifax waterfront.

"I think it would be great if she were in Parliament. She would bring up a lot of good points," he said. "There are a lot of things not being talked about in this election that she's mentioning."

With files from CBC News