Former NDP MP Jose Nunez-Melo to run for Greens in Quebec

Green party Leader Elizabeth May says a former New Democrat MP from Quebec is joining her party.

Nunez-Melo will run in the new suburban Montreal riding of Vimy

Jose Nunez-Melo, elected as NDP MP for Laval during the party's orange wave in Quebec in 2011, will run for the Greens in the new Montreal-area riding of Vimy. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

Green party Leader Elizabeth May says a former New Democrat MP from Quebec is joining her party.

May announced in Montreal today that Jose Nunez-Melo will run under the Green banner in the new suburban Montreal riding of Vimy.

Nunez-Melo was elected to the House of Commons in 2011 as part of the orange wave that swept Quebec.

"I am very pleased to welcome my friend Jose Nunez-Melo to the Green caucus!" May said in a release posted to her party's website Sunday. Nunez-Melo joins May and deputy leader Bruce Hyer of Ontario as the party's candidates seeking to return to Parliament.

"We weren't in the same party but we had the same spirit," the Green party leader said.

Montreal's La Presse reported earlier this month that Nunez-Melo became embroiled in a dispute with the party over the nomination in the new riding.

'A real democratic party'

The newspaper quoted Nunez-Melo as saying he was blocked from running by party brass. He alluded to the dispute in the statement on the Greens website.

"It is rewarding to know leaders such as Ms. May and Mr. Hyer care about their colleagues," it quoted him as saying. "I appreciate their understanding about my purpose of obtaining another mandate from Laval constituents to represent them in the 42nd Parliament of 2015, now for the riding of Vimy, with a real democratic party."

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said Sunday, however, that everyone knew there would be open New Democrat nominations and that Nunez-Melo did not want to follow the rules.

"And the party said, 'Fine, you're not a candidate,'" Mulcair told reporters. 

"If you don't accept the rules, you can't be a candidate."

Nunez-Melo, who came to Canada in 1990 from the Dominican Republic, is one of only a handful of Hispanic Canadians who have sat in the House of Commons.

May says the Greens now have three members who were MPs in the last Parliament, one more than the Bloc Quebecois at dissolution, and is pushing for inclusion in all debates.

With files from CBC News