Green Party Leader Annamie Paul will not face a non-confidence vote this week that could have led to her being ousted from her role as a federal election looms.
The party’s 13-member governing party had been scheduled to make their vote on Tuesday; however, former leadership contender Dimitri Lascaris said it is his understanding that the vote will no longer happen, although he was not prepared to comment on why.
Had three quarters of the federal council voted against Ms. Paul, she would have been subject to a vote by party members at a general meeting in August.
Ms. Paul is scheduled to hold a news conference in Toronto on Monday.
Meanwhile, former Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said in an interview with The Globe and Mail on Sunday that she is avoiding comment on the turmoil facing the party she led for 13 years because Ms. Paul has asked her not to talk to media about the issue.
“I stepped down because it was time for new leadership. I was over the moon when Annamie Paul was elected as leader,” Ms. May said. “I am respecting my leader’s wishes by not making any comment.”
Ms. May made it clear on Sunday that there was little she could say about the situation facing the party, and has largely kept silent during ongoing internal conflicts. She has lately been in British Columbia recovering from knee surgery.
Ms. May declined comment on her views on Ms. Paul’s request that she not talk to the media, detailed aspects of the party’s troubles, and whether she continues to be as supportive of Ms. Paul.
In a written “Good Sunday Morning” message to her constituents, Ms. May elaborated on the situation facing the Greens.
“Just when Greens are needed more than ever to call for the kind of ‘all hands on deck’ the climate emergency requires, we are sidelined by internal debate and in-fighting,” Ms. May wrote.
“The leader has asked both of us MPs not to speak publicly about internal party matters,” she said, referring to both herself and Paul Manly, the Green MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith.
The Green Party’s internal tensions boiled over in June following the defection of Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin from the Greens to the Liberals.
In a recent virtual town hall, party president Liana Canton Cusmano told Green Party supporters that Ms. Paul failed to meet her “obligations” as leader, which caused Ms. Atwin’s defection. At the time, Ms. Paul dismissed the move against her as the work of a “rump group” of a few councillors, including the president, whose terms are expiring soon.
There have also been reports that Green Party executives have moved towards suspending Ms. Paul’s membership in her own party.
Ms. May said that the grassroots have considerable influence on party operations.
”As a party, we have a very strong commitment to grassroots governance and the highest authority in the party is not the leader, it’s the membership,” she said.
“So if things go poorly you’re going to be blamed even though you don’t have any power or authority from the beginning.”
Mr. Lascaris said the membership of the Green Party are not being well served by the lack of information from the Green Party Fund and the leader’s office.
According to the party’s website, the Fund is the “execution and implementation body” for financial and legal matters on the federal council’s behalf.
“We’re not going to solve this problem with such a terrible lack of information being provided to members,” Mr. Lascaris said in an interview.
“This confusion is not conducive to a motivated, unified membership, which is precisely what we need to have at this time as we’re entering a federal election.”
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