With Mike Morrice being one of two Green Party members to be elected to office in the federal election, the newly minted Kitchener MP’s name has naturally been mentioned with regards to the leadership opening.
Annamie Paul announced her intention to resign as party leader on Monday after a disastrous showing at last week’s election, which left Morrice and former leader Elizabeth May alone in the Green section of the House of Commons.
Morrice issued a statement on Twitter on Tuesday that praised Paul for her perseverance during her brief stint as leader of the party.
“Annamie persevered through challenges I recognize I would not have faced if I had been in her shoes and I fully respect her decision to step down at this time,” Morrice wrote.
“As the first Black, Jewish leader elected to serve a federal party, her presence on the national stage has inspired others to get involved.”
Paul will step down formally within “the coming weeks,” the Green Party confirmed to The Canadian Press on Monday, and its ruling federal council will then appoint a caretaker leader.
Once that caretaker leader is installed, there will be six months before a new leader is selected.
Morrice’s spokesperson told Global News in an email that he is not closing the books on throwing his name in the ring one day, but currently, the rookie MP is focusing his efforts on his new gig.
“Mike is open to any number of possibilities down the road, but for the time being his focus is on serving the residents of Kitchener Centre, so he would not be interested in seeking party leadership at this time,” spokesperson Rosalind Horne wrote, noting he was currently focused on representing the area residents who elected him.
“It is important to him to be able to both serve the area’s residents through a responsive constituency office, as well as to tackle their priorities by collaboratively working to improve housing affordability, implement truly universal healthcare, and fight climate change at the scale and pace required by the emergency facing us.”
After falling just short in the previous provincial and federal elections, Morrice became the first member of the Green Party to win a seat in Ontario.
He finished more than 5,000 votes ahead of his nearest challenger, Conservative candidate Mary Heinen Thorn.
Morrice replaces former Liberal MP Raj Saini, who dropped out of the race to deal with serious allegations levelled at him. Despite this, Saini collected 16 per cent (8,297) of the votes as he finished fourth.
—with files from The Canadian Press
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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