British Columbia

Green Party backs its candidate after leader Elizabeth May attends Jody Wilson-Raybould rally

The Green Party says it stands behind candidate Louise Boutin in Vancouver Granville after leader Elizabeth May was seen at a rally this month supporting Jody Wilson-Raybould.

Candidate Louise Boutin says she harbours no ill-will against leader for supporting rival Wilson-Raybould

Independent candidates Jody Wilson-Raybould, right, and Jane Philpott, centre, and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May hug following an election campaign event for Wilson-Raybould in Vancouver on Wednesday. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

The Green Party says it stands behind candidate Louise Boutin in Vancouver Granville after party leader Elizabeth May was seen at a rally this month supporting independent candidate Jody Wilson-Raybould. 

Wilson-Raybould, who was expelled from the Liberal caucus last spring after fallout from the SNC-Lavalin affair, declined to join the Green Party last spring and chose instead to run as an independent.

May went to the Sept. 18 Vancouver rally for Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, who is also seeking re-election as an independent. Dubbed as a "night for independent voices," May spoke behind a podium that said "re-elect Jody Wilson-Raybould."

Louise Boutin, the Green Party candidate, is running against Wilson-Raybould. She says she knew May was going to the rally to support someone she considers a longtime friend and she harbours no ill-will against the leader. 

"Elizabeth did back Jody because of what happened in Parliament," Boutin said. "She was really distraught and upset about what the prime minister did at the time and she wanted to support her in her run."

'Greens do politics differently'

Boutin said the Green Party's mandate is to have a candidate in every riding and that she feels supported by her party. 

Elizabeth May introduces Jody Wilson-Raybould at her campaign event in Vancouver Wednesday. The Green Party says it still supports its candidate in Vancouver Granville despite May's support for Wilson-Raybould, who is running there as an independent. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

Wilson-Raybould said she was pleased that May attended the rally in support of herself and Philpott.

"I appreciate her support in a lot of the things that I have gone through over the last nine months to a year. But more broadly than that, I appreciate her similar views around creating a less partisan environment in the House of Commons," she said. 

In an emailed statement, Green Party press secretary Rosie Emery said the rally was a chance for the Green Party to show how it believes in Wilson-Raybould and Philpott's "non-partisan message."

"The rally was an important opportunity for us to show Greens do politics differently," press secretary Rosie Emery said in an email.

"Both the party and Elizabeth May fully support Louise Boutin's candidacy in Vancouver Granville."

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