Conservationist Coon N.B.'s new Green Party leader

Conservationist David Coon was elected as the new leader of the New Brunswick Green Party Saturday evening.

The voting took place at the Fredericton Convention Centre. Coon won with 131 votes to Roy MacMullin's 77.

Coon is considered to be the province's leading environmentalist after 28 years with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

Coon was the council's executive director, but said he would take a non-public role with the organization until after the Green Party's leadership convention.

MacMullin, who is bilingual, is a retired NB Power employee and a board member of the New Brunswick Conservation Council.

Greta Doucet was the party's interim leader after Jack MacDougall resigned in September 2011.

There is still one more hurdle for Coon, he must be elected into the legislature. The Green Party doesn't currently hold any seats.

New Brunswick’s Green Party ran candidates for the first time in the 2010 election but it did not elect any members. The party, however, did win 4.5 per cent of the popular vote in the election.

The Green party's popular support edged up to five per cent in May 2012, according to the latest Corporate Research Associates poll. The party registered zero per cent support in CRA's August 2011 poll.

Both Coon and MacMullin began Saturday's leadership convention on the steps of the provincial legislature to protest fracking as part of a day of action called the "Global Frackdown."

The fracking process involves injecting water, sand and chemicals underground — fracturing rock — and releasing oil or gas.

About 50 other supporters joined the candidates, as well as federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May.

May is scheduled to give a keynote address at the convention Saturday evening.

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