Elizabeth May says she never thought she would be recognized for her hard work two years in a row.
That’s what happened last week when the Saanich Gulf Islands MP and Green Party of Canada leader was named the hardest-working MP at the 2013 Parliamentarian of the Year awards. The event, hosted each year by McLeans and L’actualité magazines, was the result of balloting by members of parliament from across the country. Last year, May won the Parliamentarian of the Year award, which this year was taken by the NDP’s Peter Stoffer from the riding of Sackville-Eastern Shore in Nova Scotia.
May, who was in Warsaw, Poland for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change last week, said she’s honoured to be recognized in this way by MPs from across Canada.
“These are the people I work with every day,” she said in a phone interview with the PNR. “I’m very honoured.”
This past year, May was also named hardest working MP and best constituency MP by the Hill Times.
May said as the lone Green MP in Ottawa she has to work hard to have a voice — and even to help out her fellow MPs.
“A lot of them are coming to me now to check on the progress of bills, issues and debates,” she said. “I’m your basic information office for some of the MPs.”
May said she wants people back in her Saanich-Gulf Islands constituency to know that she believes in the essence of the parliamentary system.
“All MPs are equal and our job is to work for our constituents,” she explained, adding she’s also trying to help rebuild people’s trust in their political leaders.
“I wear the constituency name when I go to work each day,” May said. “I hope I am doing them proud.”
May in Poland with Afghan delegation
Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May joined the Afghanistan delegation to the UN conference on climate change in Poland last week.
She says she had applied to be a part of the Canadian delegation but did not receive an invitation.
She had observer status with accreditation from the global Greens, May outlined in a blog post.
However, she arranged to join the small Afghan delegation (along with Australian Dr. Ian McGregor) which gives her more access.
“I am volunteering to assist a country that has had such a difficult experience through war and conflict,” May wrote in her blog, adding she will assist in climate change policy advice and help provide information from sessions that a small group might not otherwise attend.