Green Party of Ontario Announces New Members to Join Provincial Executive

For Immediate Release –Toronto, Ontario – June 10, 2008The Green Party of Ontario held its Annual General Meeting in Burlington, which began on Friday, June 6th and ended on Sunday, June 8th.

In addition to voting for a number of executive positions, Green Party members heard Burlington-born musician Sarah Harmer discuss her growing involvement with environmental issues. The Juno award winner also explained her efforts with local community association Protecting Escarpment Rural Lands (P.E.R.L.) to protect the Niagara Escarpment from over-development by aggregate companies.

Following workshops and Constitutional amendments, GPO members elected Shane Jolley as its new Male Deputy Leader and Judy Smith-Torrie as Female Deputy Leader.“Green Party members have endorsed two dynamic Deputy Leaders to help craft the future of our Party in Ontario,” says Leader Frank de Jong. “Shane Jolley and Judy Smith Torrie have top-notch leadership credentials and are focused on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the people of Ontario. Together, they will help pave the way for elected MPPs in 2011.”

“I feel honored to serve the party in this important leadership role, “ says Mr. Jolley. “The membership has demonstrated their confidence in me to address the serious issues we now face. I look forward to spreading our message of relevance and optimism as we earn our seat in the next Legislature.”

In the 2007 provincial election, Mr. Jolley garnered 33.2% of the popular vote in Bruce-Grey Owen Sound, the largest percentage of the popular vote for any Green Party candidate in Canadian history.

“The Green Party of Ontario is filled with focused and enthusiastic members, ready to take on tired politics, “ says Ms. Smith Torrie. “The public is thirsty for the message that we are offering. I am honoured that Green Party members have endorsed me to help deliver that message.”

An environmental leader for the past 25 years, Ms. Smith Torrie was the 2007 provincial Green Party candidate for Northumberland/Quinte West. She tripled the region’s previous Green Party result and was one of several dozen GPO candidates who won the Student Vote in their ridings.

Male and female positions (also known as “gender-paritied positions”) exist in the Green Party of Ontario to broaden participation and leadership experience among all members.

Elected for a two-year term, other new members of the Provincial Executive are:
Central Region Female - Patti Ellis, from Simcoe Grey.
Central Region Male - Bill Hewitt, from Simcoe Grey.
Horseshoe Region Female - Robin Bannerman, from Oakville.
Horseshoe Region Male - Brandon Kidd, from Guelph.
North Region Female - Lea Matyuska, from Thunder Bay-Atikokan.
North Region Male - Gordon Harris, from Sudbury.

The event was hosted by the Burlington Constituency Association.

For More Information, visit www.gpo.ca