In 1983 Carr co-founded the first Green Party in North America, the BC Green Party (British Columbia) and has played a leading role in the development of the Greens across Canada ever since. Her election follows that of Elizabeth May, also in British Columbia, who became the first Green elected to Canadian parliament in May of 2011 from the riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands.
After seven previous tries over nearly three decades, Carr was elected by 91 votes in a nail-biter that saw her drop in and out, and then back in, to the 10th and final seat. Fittingly, her home district reported last to put her over the top.
When she declared her candidacy, Carr’s grassroots, volunteer-based campaign was considered a bold and perhaps controversial step as the Vancouver Greens broke ranks over a power-sharing agreement with two other local municipal parties – Vision Vancouver and the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE). In the past the three parties agreed not to run overlapping campaigns and to split seats, with the Greens running a single candidate for the park board and school board, but not the city council. Since 1993 this led to Greens wining two park board and one school board seats. This time Carr chose to run without the COPE endorsement and her grassroots, volunteer-based campaign was butressed by Carr’s nearly 30 years of green activism and electoral politics.’