In an historic vote, the Green Party of Canada has elected Lorraine Rekmans as President of the GPC. Lorraine is the first Indigenous Woman to be president of a national political party in Canada. She will serve a two-year term as president. Lorraine is a member of the Serpent River First Nation, and is of Anishnabe and French heritage. She served as the Indigenous Affairs Critic for the GPC for 12 years, and has written policy for the GPC through several national conventions. She is a six- time federal candidate for the GPC; running twice in Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, and is currently campaigning for the fourth time in Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands & Rideau Lakes.
“Canada needs the Green Party now, more than ever,” Lorraine stated, following the news of her election. “We have to do everything that we can to get members elected. That’s our focus. We need to be eco-centric, not ego-centric. Planet earth needs our attention. Right away.”
Much of Lorraine’s career has been in the non-profit sector and with Indigenous organizations. She worked on national and international forest policy. She has co-chaired a dialogue on forestry at the UN Forum on Forests and helped organize Indigenous participation at the World Forestry Congress at Quebec City. Lorraine assisted in writing international declarations including the Indigenous Peoples Declaration on Forestry, which was submitted at the World Forestry Congress in 2003. Involved in developing the first Indigenous-owned forestry marketing co- operative in Canada, Lorraine has also served as a board member for the Forest Stewardship Council. She has received the Rosalie Bertell Award for outstanding service in the field of environmental health by the International Institute of Concern for Public Health. Lorraine is also a wife, mother and grandmother. She is a small business owner here in North Grenville in partnership with her husband Gerry.
As President of the GPC, Lorraine is excited to work with all regional council representatives to re-invigorate the party and ensure all components of GPC are working together to build support for GPC across Canada. The Council of the GPC is responsible for establishing the direction of the party. The GPC is directed by members, who elect council to ensure the party remains true to the GPC constitution, party rules, and green values. As President of this council, Lorraine will be acting as Chair of the Federal Council. Some of these duties include ensuring that Federal Council and Executive Council meetings take place in accordance with the Party’s Rules of Procedure, and that decisions of the Party, Federal Council, Executive Council and committees of the Federal Council are carried out.
“I commit to upholding the principles and values of GPC in all my relationships,” she said.