Green Party appoints veteran journalist Jo-Ann Roberts as deputy leader
'I'm not a Pollyanna, I realize this is a long game not a short game'
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has appointed veteran journalist and broadcaster Jo-Ann Roberts as the party's deputy leader.
May made the announcement Monday at a news conference in Halifax.
Roberts ran as the Green Party candidate in Victoria during the 2015 federal election, finishing second in the West Coast riding.
May said Roberts brings a "wealth of experience" to her new job as a communicator, "but also as a tireless advocate for public broadcasting and a dedicated campaigner on climate change, income inequality, housing and democratic reform."
Roberts replaces outgoing deputy leader Bruce Hyer, who is stepping down to focus on provincial Green Party efforts in Ontario.
Roberts, who was a host on CBC Radio for 20 years, said in an interview that she and her family recently moved back to Halifax to be close to her mother.
She said although she sits on the party's shadow cabinet, she thought her more active days were behind her.
Roberts said that changed last November after a second provincial Green Party member was elected to the legislature in Prince Edward Island. May convinced her it was important for the party to try to continue to build on that momentum, she said.
"I think there is real value in having leadership individuals in different parts of the country," Roberts said.
Still, she admits to a challenge in a region that has largely stuck to established voting patterns.
"I'm not a Pollyanna; I realize this is a long game not a short game," Roberts said. "But I think Maritimers, we align so well with the values of the Green party that it is important that it become a viable option and that's my goal."
Montreal-based environmentalist Daniel Green will continue as the party's other deputy leader.