Sharon Labchuk is a force of nature. She is the founder and leader of the Green Party of PEI. She served as the campaign manager for Elizabeth May‘s successful campaign to become leader of the Green Party of Canada. And she served as the Co-Chair of the GPC Shadow Cabinet for the last two years that I was leader of the party.
Sharon was one of the first people to say she would come to London North Centre by-election where she served as one of the campaign managers (there were a number of us).
In 2004, she got the highest percentage vote of any candidate east of Montreal. In 2005, after founding the Green Party of PEI, Government decided to deny Sharon her request to sit in the the Legislature while the Throne Speech was read.
The “official reason” given was that the extra chairs on the floor of the Legislature were being reserved for veterans – because 2005 was the “year of the veteran.” This was done, of course, to put her in the awkward position that if she argued for a seat the Government would then be able to spin it that the Green Party was denying a veteran a seat. So Sharon said nothing.
On the actual day of the Throne Speech, just a few minutes before the ceremony began, from the Gallery Sharon noticed that there were a number of empty chairs on the floor of the legislature. So she rushed down, and with media all around her she demanded one of the empty seats. With the journalists eagerly hoping for a confrontation — the Government relented and Sharon Labchuk, the new Leader of the Green Party of PEI, took her seat on the floor of the legislature for the Throne Speech, making history.
The veterans of the wars died defending democracy, something Sharon stood up for that day.