Green Party executives have opted to drop a legal challenge against their leader that brought tensions between senior officials and Annamie Paul to a boil last summer.
Two senior party members who weren’t authorized to talk publicly on the matter say members of the federal council and the Green Party of Canada Fund met over the past week to call off their court motion.
Paul launched an arbitration last summer 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.
The disputes have added to the party’s financial woes, which Green executives cited afterthey laid off greater than half their staff this week and continued to carry out on the compensation Paul is in search of for her legal fees.
Paul still occupies the leader’s chair _ a spot that provides her some leverage in ongoing legal wrangling _ after announcing last month she would step down following an election that returned two Greens to the House of Commons but saw the party’s share of the favored vote tumble to 2 per cent following months of internal strife. The party ran only 252 candidates within the country’s 338 seats.
The Green Party and Paul’s office didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.
In an email blast to membership obtained by The Canadian Press, Green Party president Lorraine Rekmans said its funds need to search out a “sustainable footing.” That need prompted the layoff of 11 core staffers this week, she wrote Tuesday.
“The choice to put off so a lot of our long-serving staff has been very difficult,” Rekmans said within the statement.
Greens face a “financial crisis,” said John Willson and Corrina Serda, co-presidents of the party’s fund _ treasurer for the federal council, which is the Greens’ essential governing body. The party has been running large monthly deficits since February, they said in the e-mail blast.
The party is now refocusing staff on fundraising in addition to “member re-engagement” and finance and IT support, the fund heads said, while communications and mobilization take a back seat following the election on Sept. 20.
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 _ before Paul took the helm in October 2020 _ in response to Elections Canada filings.