Green party Leader Elizabeth May has named former New Democrat Bruce Hyer as her deputy chief.

Hyer announced in December that he was joining the Greens — doubling the federal party's elected caucus from one member to two.

“I am honoured to accept the position of Deputy Leader. This new role will enhance my ability to raise the issues that are important to my constituents on the national stage,” Hyer said in a written statement.

The new title gives him a say in the party's internal operations, including fundraising efforts.

"Becoming a Green Party MP has allowed me to maintain my independence and stand up for the interests of my constituents. At the same time, it enables me to represent Northern Ontario more effectively. I also now have access to the resources of a well-organized national party and I have the benefit of collaboration with Elizabeth May and her team,” Hyer said.

The MP for the northern Ontario riding of Thunder Bay-Superior North was first elected in 2008 under the NDP banner, and again in 2011.

But Hyer left the New Democrats in April 2012 after breaking ranks with the party over its defence of the long-gun registry, citing his exclusion from the party's shadow cabinet and what he called the "mindless solidarity" of party discipline.

Hyer and May say there will be no lock-step voting in Parliament for the Green party caucus; May says she actually looks forward to the first time she and Hyer vote on opposite sides of an issue.

With files from CBC News