Green leader to seek Pacific coast seat

Tue Sep 8, 2009 4:31pm EDT
 
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - The leader of Canada's Greens will switch to the Pacific coast from the Atlantic in her next bid to win the fledgling party's first seat in Parliament, the party said on Tuesday.

Elizabeth May, who ran in her home province of Nova Scotia during last year's election, plans to contest for a seat representing British Columbia's Gulf Islands, where the Greens are viewed as having their best shot in the country.

Canada faces the prospect of its second election in a year this autumn after the Liberals, the main opposition party, said they would no longer support Prime Minister Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government.

May ran last election in a Nova Scotia electoral district long held by Conservatives. She lost to Defense Minister Peter MacKay even though the Liberals agreed not to field a candidate against her.

The Liberals say they would run against May this time.

May plans to run for the seat now held by Conservative Gary Lunn, a former Natural Resources minister. The district, or riding, is considered as a potential breakthrough spot for the Greens because of the region's environmental concerns.

May could also face a challenge for the Green nomination in the race, with a rival candidate complaining to media in British Columbia that the party was favoring May with special funding -- an allegation she denies.

Lunn won reelection to his seat last election with 43 percent of the vote, compared to 39 percent for his Liberal opponent. The Green candidate finished third of the eight candidates running with 10 percent.

(Reporting by Allan Dowd, Editing by Frank McGurty)