Green Leader Elizabeth May to marry on Monday

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May will marry John Kidder on Earth Day in Victoria on Monday.

The wedding will take place at noon at Christ Church Cathedral on Burdett Avenue.

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Friends and family have been invited to bicycle, bus, train or ferry their way to the event and donate to one of three charities — Help Lesotho, First Nations Child and Caring Society, and Kiva — in lieu of gifts.

The wedding will include floral wreaths and bouquets made with local flowers.

May’s wedding dress was created by Salt Spring Island’s Sue Earle.

The honeymoon will be a train trip from Vancouver to Ottawa.

In 1983, Kidder was 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’s when the couple first met.

It took several more years and the matchmaking efforts of Green Saanich North MLA Adam Olsen’s mother, Sylvia, to reignite romantic interest.

The two share a deep commitment to “planetary issues,” have many mutual friends and are prodigious readers, May said.

May, 64, has never been married, but she and Ian Burton have a daughter, Victoria Cate May Burton, 28. From her relationship with Burton, May also has three stepchildren and seven grandchildren.

An environmentalist, author and lawyer, May moved to Sidney in 2010, and was elected the following year as MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands. She was re-elected in 2015.

Kidder, 71, a retired technology entrepreneur, operates a hops farm on his family’s Ashcroft property. He is the brother of the late actor Margot Kidder, best known for her 1978 role as Lois Lane in Superman: The Movie, and Annie Kidder with People For Education, which promotes public schooling.

Kidder was married for 34 years and has been a widower for about 10 years. He has three children and four grandchildren.

He proposed from Montreal by phone on Nov. 5 and followed that up in person in the Library of Parliament in Ottawa.

May said in an earlier interview that before she met Kidder, she had no plans to get married. “I thought I’m too old, I’m too busy, it’s not going to happen, forget it.”

That changed when she met Kidder.

“There’s just a lot there — we are perfect for each other. It’s really unbelievable,” May said.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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