Frank de Jong to step down as Green Party of Ontario leader

Frank de JongAfter 16 years at the helm, Green Party of Ontario Leader Frank de Jong said yesterday that he is stepping down. De Jong made the announcement to party members during opening remarks at the party’s annual general meeting being held this weekend in Toronto.

A leadership contest will be held to choose a successor, culminating in a leadership and policy convention November 13-15, 2009 in London Ontario. De Jong is the longest serving Green party leader in Canada (possibly the world) and has survived three separate leadership challenges.

Switching to French, de Jong also told the mostly non-French-speaking audience that he would like to be leader of the federal Green party. He later clarified that he does not intend to challenge current leader Elizabeth May, but would consider seeking the job were it to become available.

Time lines for the leadership race were to be determined by the AGM Sunday, but at the end of business Saturday it was expected that nominations would be open from July 1st to August 14th.

6 thoughts on “Frank de Jong to step down as Green Party of Ontario leader

  1. Since speaking French fluently would be very relevant to a Federal GPC leader, I guess this is as official as it gets until it becomes necessary to declare. Good luck to Frank.

  2. “non-French-speaking audience”…. yes there were some of us Francophones there and I appreciated him switching to that language, regardless of what section of his speech it would be. I also really enjoyed hearing you speak in French at the AGM “dinner”. Your French is really good, keep it up!

  3. I imagine that both current GPC deputy leaders (Carr and Genest) are also positioning for the mandatory leadership race next year. (Carr was there for the entire duration of the GPO AGM, for example, which is strange, since she’s from BC.)

    Carr’s base is BC. The party is strong in BC but she’s not that popular there, I hear. Fully-funded $85K, 2008 campaign, fourth-place finish.

    Genest’s base is Vermont, I mean Quebec. The party is weak there and he has no detectable personal support there. Genest actually finished FIFTH in the 2008 election, which isn’t easy to do.

    De Jong’s base, Ontario, has about half the GPC membership and Frank is quite popular in the province.

    Elizabeth base is nationwide, but has eroded heavily since 2006. Discussions at the GPO AGM this past weekend confirm that she is not well loved in Ontario.

    Recall that she only beat Chernushenko by 1,000 votes (2,000 vs. 1,000). And the folks who helped her win the 2006 leadership race have bailed, by and large.

    Should be fun.

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