2019-09-03_thumb This article is more than 1 year old

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May Called Out After Endorsing Tweet Downplaying Seriousness of Blackface

Green Party spokespersons offered no response when asked why Elizabeth May quietly deleted her retweet

Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, apparently had second-thoughts after she retweeted an anonymous Twitter account that suggested wearing blackface is not “something that actually matters.”

“Can we please, please focus on the nightmares of climate change as something that actually matters to the future of every single human,” tweeted an account named “resistant librarian.”

The anonymous account was referencing a tweet from CBC News that showed a photo of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in blackface and suggested additional video footage may emerge.

A screenshot verified by PressProgress shows the Green Party leader amplified that tweet to her 320,000 followers.

Although the retweet appears to have been deleted sometime later, it continues to remain “liked” by Elizabeth May’s official Twitter account. In fact, several replies to the original tweet tagged May in their tweets, as well.


Green Party officials had nothing to say when asked to explain what point May was trying to make or why she later decided to quietly delete the retweet.

Several requests for comment from PressProgress to Green Party spokespersons Rosie Emery and Anna Dodd went unanswered.

The retweet is seemingly at odds with an earlier statement from May indicating she was “deeply shocked by the racism shown in the photograph of Justin Trudeau.”

May’s retweet was met with head shaking:

Yet the message May amplified isn’t exactly a one-off — and other prominent Greens have somewhat awkwardly reassured the public they take racism seriously.

After the photo of Trudeau in blackface surfaced in Time Magazine late Wednesday, BC Green leader Andrew Weaver sounded off on Twitter: “Let the person who has never done anything they regret in high school cast the first stone.”

“Silence,” he added. “Enough said.”

Weaver was seemingly unaware Trudeau was a 29-year-old high school teacher at the time, rather than a teenage high school student.

14 hours later, Weaver issued a second tweet striking a different tone:

May’s retweet also closely parallels a line of thinking articulated by Green candidate Danny Celovsky earlier this summer, suggesting racism is a “distraction” from climate change.

Celovsky caused much head scratching when urged Twitter users to “stop” talking about a Saskatchewan man who raised a Nazi flag above his house, demanding they “refocus on the priority — life on the planet.”

Predictably, the Bay of Quinte Green candidate is still riffing on the same themes, asking Canadians concerned about racism: “Can we stop this discussion?”

On Thursday, Canada’s National Observer reported findings of a new survey looking at levels of diversity amongst candidates for Canada’s political parties.

While Statistics Canada data notes 25% of Canadians identify as a “visible minority,” only the NDP meets or exceeds this threshold (32%). The Liberals and Conservatives counted only 20% and 18% of their candidates as visible minorities.

But with just 12% of its candidates as visible minorities, the Green Party is actually less diverse than Canada’s far-right anti-immigrant party — in total, 14% of all candidates for Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party are visible minorities.


Help us protect Canadians by holding the powerful accountable.

Journalism is an important public service. That’s why PressProgress is prioritizing stories aimed at keeping Canadians safe and holding the powerful accountable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please consider supporting our award-winning non-profit news organization so we can keep making a positive impact for Canadians.


Support Our Journalism
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2021-06-025 News

Doug Ford’s Government Cut Education By More Than Half a Billion Dollars, New Report Finds

Related Stories


Lost Wages, Security and Voice: New Report Documents Workers’ Experiences of Subcontracting in BC’s Long-Term Care Sector

View the post

Senior Green Party Officials Condemned Own Leader as ‘Autocratic’ and ‘Dishonest’ in Confidential Internal Letter

View the post

Ontario PC MPP Held Shares in Amazon As Government Faced Criticism Over Outbreaks at Amazon Warehouses

View the post


Power and democracy

Andrea Reimer

Why Canadian Politics Does Such a Bad Job at Reflecting Working Class Values

View the post
Politics & strategy

Tom Parkin

Why Jason Kenney is Playing Politics with the Horrific Legacy of Canada’s Residential Schools

View the post
Work & rights

Liz Walker and Shanice Regis-Wilkins

Here is What Everyone in Canada Needs To Know About How Collective Bargaining Really Works

View the post