Saskatchewan Green Party leader resigns

With an election around the corner, Larissa Shasko is stepping down as leader of Saskatchewan's Green Party.

With a provincial election around the corner, Larissa Shasko is stepping down as leader of Saskatchewan's Green Party.

"Shasko, 29, who became party leader in April, 2009, said she still supports the party's principles, but in the upcoming election, she wants to support Yens Pedersen, the NDP's candidate in the Regina South constituency.

"I very much feel like my time and my effectiveness — as somebody who is politically involved — needs to be put to use to elect somebody in this election," she said.

The provincial election is Nov. 7. 

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Shasko said she was frustrated with some of the "inner workings" of the Green Party in Saskatchewan.

"It's a grassroots party, very much growing, where many people make decisions and yet I end up at the end of the day with the ultimate responsibility," she said.

Without going into details, Shasko said she also had some concerns about the controversy over a recent potential candidate for the Green Party.

Last month, the party was in the media spotlight when it became known that Brendan Cross, who has a history of mental health problems and run-ins with the law, was seeking a nomination to run as a candidate.

In 2010, he was sentenced to time served in custody and put on two years of probation for causing a disturbance at Regina's city hall.

According to court proceedings, on March 2 a partially naked Cross ran through the building, yelling at a receptionist and making his way to the upper-floor offices of the mayor, who was not in.

Victor Lau is the new leader of the party, according to an announcement national Green Party leader Elizabeth May made on Twitter Tuesday.

May, who was visiting Saskatoon on Tuesday,  said she came to boost support for the Greens.

"With the upcoming provincial election, of course, it's really important to get the message out that the Green Party in Saskatchewan has a great platform and has candidates that are willing to work for the people of Saskatchewan," May said.