Ex-MP Paul Manly the favourite as Greens gear up to choose interim leader

Layoffs are once more hitting the Green Party as party brass look to shave costs amid persistent financial and political woes.

The Greens are temporarily shedding half of their staff, or about 10 employees, effective Tuesday, in keeping with three senior party officials who were granted anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk publicly about internal matters.

The sources say Green executive director Dana Taylor is meeting one on one with affected staff throughout the day to tell them.

The culling will affect staff within the office of Leader Annamie Paul in addition to in communications and mobilization, marking a partial repeat of temporary layoffs announced last June.

Paul, who announced last month she would resign and has little say within the layoffs, stays in the highest spot as she negotiates with Green executives about compensation for costs incurred during legal battles with the party, sources say.

On top of economic troubles, Greens face a self-reckoning after last month’s federal election where the party maintained two seats within the House of Commons but saw its share of the favored vote tumble to about two per cent from nearly seven per cent, capping off a 12 months marked by power struggles, bitter feuds and a defection to the Liberals by Latest Brunswick MP Jenica Atwin.

The fractious dynamics were on display over the weekend, when the party’s 16-member federal council in addition to its five-member executive council — Paul sits on each — took part in several meetings to which the leader was not invited, sources say.

The virtual sit-downs, which included discussion of the approaching layoffs, were opened to all Green members for one portion that saw accusations fly over the party’s treatment of Paul, leading to an apology from recent president Lorraine Rekmans over the shortage of invitation.

Legal wrangling has further tilted the Greens’ money imbalance.

Over the summer Paul launched an arbitration related to her employment contract and moves by party brass to oust her through a non-confidence vote and a membership suspension. Each were halted by the independent arbitrator.

In response, several senior officials filed a legal challenge on behalf of the party against Paul that questioned the arbitrator’s decision as tensions between the 2 sides got here to a boil.

Tuesday’s cuts brought on deja vu for Greens, who saw money woes prompt staff layoffs and nixed funding for Paul’s Toronto Centre riding campaign over the summer.

Former Green Party of Canada Fund president Doug Tingey said in a July report that the “current financial situation just isn’t sustainable.”

He told federal council members in July the Greens would have about $300,000 within the bank if an election were called the subsequent month — the campaign wound up kicking off Aug. 15 — in comparison with $1.9 million on the outset of the 2019 election and $3 million when the writ dropped in 2015, two sources said on the time.

The relatively small sum didn’t account for a roughly $1.3-million election loan, or $150,000 in wage subsidies that got here into party coffers in late July, sources say.

The money crunch also comes despite a fundraising bump during no less than a part of Paul’s 12-month tenure, though party officials have also said fundraising nosedived in the course of the campaign.

Greens raised about $1.36 million in the primary two quarters of 2021 in comparison with about $1.2 million in the identical period a 12 months earlier, in keeping with Elections Canada filings.


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