PHOTOS: Outgoing Green Party of Alberta Leader Janet Keeping. Below: Leadership candidate Romy Tittel.

Janet Keeping, leader of Alberta’s tiny Green Party, is stepping down and the Greens will embark on a leadership contest this fall.

With most of our attention focused on the antics of the major parties in the Legislature – especially the efforts of Alberta’s often-fractious right to create One Big Conservative Party – it’s easy to forget that little parties can play a big role in our Westminster-style Parliamentary system.

Canadians had a stark reminder of that recently when British Columbia’s Green Party tripled its caucus in the Legislature in Victoria to three MLAs and, more importantly, found itself holding the balance of power between the province’s New Democrats and (conservative) Liberals. We’re yet to see exactly how that’s going to shake out.

Meanwhile, back here in what we used to know as Wild Rose Country before the ideological right hijacked that lovely name, the Greens may not yet be in a position to decide the fate of the Legislature, but funny things can happen.

Before taking on the seemingly hopeless task as the head of Alberta’s Greens, which began in the fall of 2012, Ms. Keeping had a distinguished a career as a lawyer, director of the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre and the Canadian Institute of Resources Law’s Russian program at the University of Calgary, as well as a specialist in human rights, environmental protection and accommodation of Indigenous interests in the context of oil and gas development. She was also president of the Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership and ran for the Alberta Greens in Calgary-Foothills in the 2015 provincial election.

She’s an honourary law professor at one Russian university and has been awarded a medal of service by another.

Born in Montreal, Ms. Keeping was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Calgary. In addition to her science and law degrees, she has a Master’s degree in philosophy.

So far, the party says, only one candidate has been approved to campaign for Ms. Keeping’s job – businesswoman Romy Tittel, who ran for the Green Party of Canada in the federal Foothills riding in 2015. Ms. Tittel was Alberta’s second female journeyman electrician.

Green Party of Alberta President Carl Svoboda said, however, that at least one more candidate is expected to come forward in the next week or two.

The deadline for entry into the leadership race is Sept. 10, and more details will be published in a statement next week, Mr. Svoboda said.

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  1. Janet Keeping has a truly impressive curriculum vitae. Obviously she is not properly qualified to serve in the Legislature of a province where we usually elect fundamentalist farmers educated in Christian madrassas who think the earth is flat and man-made climate change is a Satanic deception thought up by the Trilateral Commission and the United Nations.

  2. Janet Keeping and maybe a couple more Greens from Calgary and the Canmore/Banff corridor would be MLAs if Alberta’s electoral system was more representative, i.e. more democratic, as in a proportional representation system.

    Some evidence for this… the Green Party candidate got 25% of the vote in the 2012 by-election in Calgary Centre, competing against a Liberal with a very green CV who got 32% and a CPC who won with just under 37%.

  3. Thank you to Janet for her hard work and dedication over the past five years. Alberta politics as proven in 2015 (NDP win & Greg Clark win) proves that anything is possible and a Green breakthrough may be what surprises Alberta next. Just ask B.C.

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