John Kidder and Elizabeth May in the Parliamentary Library in Ottawa, the day after their engagement in early November. Photo: Julia Kidder.

Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May engaged to B.C. Interior man

John Kidder of Ashcroft was one of the co-founders of the Green Party of B.C.

Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada, will be opening a new chapter of her life in 2019.

The MP for the riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands—who describes herself as a hard-working single mom for the last 24 years—will be getting married on April 22, to Ashcroft, B.C. resident John Kidder.

Kidder — a retired technology entrepreneur who now operates a hops farm on his family’s Ashcroft property — was, in 1983, one of the founders of the Green Party of B.C., the first Green party in North America. He ran as a federal Liberal candidate in the Okanagan-Coquihalla riding in 2011 and as a provincial Green Party candidate in the Fraser-Nicola riding in the 2013 B.C. election.

That was when the pair met, when May went to Merritt to support Kidder’s candidacy.

“We went to a number of events around Merritt, and have been friends ever since,” says May. “But I don’t have much personal time.”

Kidder says he found May “charming in every way” when they first met. “I thought ‘What a lovely woman.’ When she drove away I knew we’d see each other again.”

Despite May’s hectic schedule and the geographic difficulties—May splits her time between Ottawa and her home in Sidney on Vancouver Island, while Kidder lives in Vancouver and the B.C. Interior—the pair managed to see each other a few times. “John found strategic ways to show up at places where I was,” explains May.

The friendship soon grew into a fondness. Then, in September 2018, they both attended the Green Party convention in Vancouver. “The sparks flew,” says Kidder, who proposed just over a month later.

May has a daughter, three stepchildren, and seven grandchildren, while Kidder — the brother of actress Margot Kidder — has three children and four grandchildren. Both say their families are very happy with the news, and that their children will be at the wedding to give them away.

“I’m really lucky, with great kids and a great family, and now I’m getting married to a really great man,” says May.

“I get in and out of Vancouver, and now I’ll have to try get in and out of Ashcroft. With my schedule, it’s a miracle we’re together at all.”

“It’s beyond perfect,” says Kidder. “At this late stage in my life it’s a blessing. I feel re-born.

“And Elizabeth is marvellous. We both know how difficult political relationships are, but we’re both able to deal with this. I’m looking forward to a glorious time together.”

“We’re ideally well-suited,” says May. “I’m in my 65th year; to find true love is a miracle.”



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