Jo-Ann Roberts

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Jo-Ann Roberts
Interim Leader of the Green Party
Assumed office
November 4, 2019
DeputyDaniel Green
Preceded byElizabeth May
Succeeded byTBD
Deputy Leader of the Green Party
In office
March 19, 2018 – November 4, 2019
Serving with Daniel Green
LeaderElizabeth May
Preceded byAdriane Carr
Succeeded byDaniel Green
Personal details
Jo-Ann Roberts

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Political partyGreen
Spouse(s)Ken Kelly
Alma materMount Allison University, Carleton University
OccupationJournalist, politician

Jo-Ann Roberts (born 1956) is a Canadian politician and former journalist who currently serves as the interim leader of the Green Party of Canada since November 4, 2019, having been appointed upon Elizabeth May stepping down from the party leadership role and instead serving as the parliamentary leader.[1] She previously served as the party's deputy leader since 2018[2] and was a broadcaster with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.[1][3][4]

She has been a federal Green Party candidate twice in the past, running in Victoria in 2015 and in Halifax in 2019. She was appointed to be deputy leader of the party in 2018, serving alongside Daniel Green.

Personal life[edit]

Roberts has a B.A. from Mount Allison University and a journalism degree from Carleton University.

She is married to Ken Kelly, with whom she has four adult children.[5] She also has two grandchildren. She cites the birth of her first grandchild as one of the forces which compelled her to move into politics in 2014. Roberts has claimed that she wanted to have an adequate answer if her granddaughter asked her what she had done to fight climate change.

Political career[edit]

Roberts left her job at the CBC in 2014 to pursue a career in advocacy for public communication and the environment. She decided to run as a Green Party candidate in Victoria for the 2015 federal election campaign. While she had been approached by other parties, she claimed that the Green Party platform was the one which most aligned with her beliefs. She came second in 2015 with almost 24,000 votes, which is more votes than was received by 131 MPs who were elected.[6]

After the election, Roberts and her family moved back to her childhood hometown of Halifax. In 2018, she was appointed by Elizabeth May to serve as Deputy Leader of the party, serving alongside Daniel Green. She ran as the Green Party candidate in Halifax in the 2019 federal election, finishing in third.

On November 4, 2019, Elizabeth May announced that she would be stepping down as leader of the Green Party, effective immediately. She then named Roberts as the new interim leader until a new leader could be elected at the party convention in October 2020.[7]

Roberts serves as host and producer for the Green Party podcast, People, Politics, and Planet.[8]

Electoral record[edit]

2019 Canadian federal election: Halifax
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Andy Fillmore 23,681 42.48 −9.25
New Democratic Christine Saulnier 16,747 30.04 −6.09
Green Jo-Ann Roberts 8,013 14.37 +11.08
Conservative Bruce Holland 6,456 11.58 +2.97
People's Duncan McGenn 633 1.14
Animal Protection Bill Wilson 222 0.40
Total valid votes/Expense limit 55,752 100.0     $102,876.75
Total rejected ballots 361 0.64 +0.15
Turnout 56,113 75.04 +0.36
Eligible voters 74,778
Source: Elections Canada[9]
2015 Canadian federal election: Victoria
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
New Democratic Murray Rankin 30,397 42.28 -8.50 $222,151.95
Green Jo-Ann Roberts 23,666 32.92 +21.31 $147,733.88
Liberal Cheryl Thomas[10] 8,489 11.81 -2.18 $36,199.72
Conservative John Rizzuti 8,480 11.79 -11.83 $72,891.79
Libertarian Art Lowe 539 0.75 +0.26 $900.00
Animal Alliance Jordan Reichert 200 0.28 $10,110.17
Independent Saul Andersen 124 0.17
Total valid votes/Expense limit 71,895 100.00   $234,268.29
Total rejected ballots 241 0.33
Turnout 72,136 77.92
Eligible voters 92,574
New Democratic hold Swing -14.90
Source: Elections Canada[11][12]


  1. ^ a b Aiello, Rachel (4 November 2019). "Elizabeth May steps down as Green Party leader". CTV News. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Elizabeth May steps down as leader of Green Party". Global News. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Jo-Ann Roberts". Green Party of Canada. Green Party of Canada. Archived from the original on 7 May 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  4. ^ Smith, Emma (10 November 2019). "Green Party's new interim leader focused on prepping for the next election". CBC News. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  5. ^ "What you need to know about Jo-Ann Roberts, the Green Party's interim leader | CTV News". Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  6. ^ "About Elizabeth". Elect Jo-Ann Roberts. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  7. ^ Neatby, Andrea Gunn, Stu. "Canadian Green Leader Elizabeth May steps down, Halifax candidate Jo-Ann Roberts named interim leader | The Guardian". Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  8. ^ "People, Politics and Planet Podcast". Green Party of Canada. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Results Validated by the Returning Officer". Elections Canada. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Liberal candidate Cheryl Thomas resigns over Facebook comments". CBC News. CBC News. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  11. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Victoria, 30 September 2015
  12. ^ Elections Canada – Final Candidates Election Expenses Limits