Darcie Lanthier of the Green Party was among the crowd at a public consultation session on the Harmonized Sales Tax held by the Progressive Conservative Party of P.E.I. at the Jack Blanchard Family Centre in Charlottetown Wednesday night. Guardian photo by Mitch MacDonald
The Green Party of P.E.I. has appointed an interim leader as it prepares for a leadership convention in the fall.
Darcie Lanthier announced today she will lead the party until a new leader is elected later this year.
Lanthier, a businesswoman from Mermaid, was the Green candidate for District 7 Morell-Mermaid in the 2011 provincial election and is the party's treasurer.
She has also recently been a highly vocal critic of the proposed HST, attending several of the numerous protests staged at Province House this spring.
Lanthier said she does not want to run for full leadership in the fall, but as a member of the executive she felt it was important to step forward to ensure the party thrives.
“I just really want to deeply participate in moving the Green party forward,” Lanthier said in an interview Tuesday.
Former leader Sharon Labchuk announced last week she was stepping down after founding and leading the Green party of P.E.I. for the last seven years.
Lanthier said the party is grateful for Labchuk’s dedication to the party and for bringing the party to third in the polls, behind the Progressive Conservatives, in both the 2007 and 2011 elections.
Now, the focus will be to ensure the momentum of this growing support continues forward, Lanthier said.
“What I’m interested in doing is bringing more people into the party,” she said.
“As the party moves forward from here, what we’re going to focus on is making our broad-ranging policy known so more people understand that we’re not just about pesticides in the water, though that’s a serious concern… but that’s not the only thing we do.”
Lanthier said the party is in good shape with no debt, a strong provincial council and a commitment to have Green MLAs elected in 2015.
"We sense a strong desire for principled leadership and a party with a fresh, progressive and practical vision to take P.E.I. through these tough and uncertain times of economic upheaval, crushing government debt, climate change and the end of the fossil fuel era", said Lanthier.
"Young people, especially, are worried about their future opportunities and the state of the environment. They don't see the old-line parties as the way forward."