Équiterre founder steps down, won’t rule out running for office
One of Quebec’s best-known environmentalists is leaving the organization he helped found 25 years ago.
Steven Guilbeault announced Friday that he is stepping down as senior director and spokesperson for Montreal-based Équiterre.
Guilbeault and a group of environmentalists founded the citizens’ group in 1993. It now has more than 20,000 members. He left the group to work with Greenpeace for 10 years, but returned to assume the leadership of Équiterre in 2007.
“Over the past 25 years, I have never been very far from Équi- terre, and this decision was one of the hardest that I’ve ever had to make,” Guilbeault said in a statement.
According to Équiterre, Guilbeault will continue working to combat climate change, in the investment and technology sectors, especially clean technology and artificial intelligence. He is leaving in part to write a book on the role of AI in the fight against global climate change, while continuing his work as a strategic consultant for Cycle Capital Management and with Copticom.
At a news conference on Friday, Guilbeault was forced to address rumours he would be going into politics, however, specifically to become a candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada.
He did not rule out the possibility.
“Will I go into politics in the short term? No. Will I one day? Maybe,” he said, admitting that he has been approached by several parties to run in the Outremont by-election to replace former NDP leader Thomas Mulcair.
Running in the 2019 federal election is not on his agenda, but he could decide to make the leap, he said.
“Steven is a powerful force in the Canadian environmental movement,” said Sidney Ribaux, who takes over from Guilbeault as the main spokesperson for Équiterre.