Elizabeth May is a life long environmentalist, writer, legal activist, and the leader of the Green Party of Canada. She was also the executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada from 1989 to 2006. Under her leadership the Green party was included in the Leaders Debate for the first time in Canadian history.
Her earliest work as a environmentalist was when she became active in the fight against aerial herbicide spraying against the spruce budworm. May led a group of 15 landowners in a court fight against Swedish forestry giant Stora, which sought to spray unsafe chemicals.
In 2001, she went on a 17-day hunger strike to protest the government's failure to clean up the Sydney tar ponds in Cape Breton. As a result the federal government pledged to relocate people living nearby to a safer location. She is friends with Bill Clinton who attended the UN Climate Change Conference in 2005 with her.
On August 26, 2006, she won the Green party leadership on the first ballot. She won by a 65.3% landside beating her main rivals, David Chernushenko (33.3%) and Jim Fannon (0.88%). She said one of the main platforms for the next election would be to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
She has also received praise from David Suzuki for her work on Quttinirpaaq National Park, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, Haida Heritage Site, Grasslands National Park and the ozone protocol files.
May was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005. The Order of Canada is an honor given to Canadians that have demonstrated an outstanding level of talent and service to their country.