Équiterre founder steps down, won’t rule out run­ning for of­fice

Montreal Gazette - - CITY -

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.

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