Green party executives have taken a primary step toward suspending Annamie Paul‘s membership within the party she leads, the newest development in a feud that has threatened her future in the highest job.
Dana Taylor, interim executive director of the Greens’ most important governing body, has kicked off a membership review that may suspend Paul’s status and bar her from representing the party while it’s underway, say three senior party sources. The Canadian Press granted them anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss internal matters publicly.
The method, as outlined within the members’ code of conduct, could ultimately end in Paul’s party membership being revoked altogether, freezing her ability to steer a political party she would now not belong to, ahead of a possible federal election this 12 months.
The review emerged from a special meeting of the federal council Tuesday night, where Taylor announced the probe would go forward. Paul, who sits on the 13-member body, was not invited to the virtual meeting, the sources say.
They are saying the stated reason for the review is that Paul launched legal proceedings against the party, an accusation disputed by officials near the leader. The code of conduct says legal motion against the Green Party of Canada by one in every of its members mechanically triggers a review headed by the manager director.
All three sources say the legal proceeding referred to within the membership review concerns a cease-and-desist letter sent from Paul’s legal counsel to a federal council member or members. The main points of the letter and whether it constitutes a legal motion against the party – and is thus grounds for a review – remain unclear.
Taylor and party spokeswoman Rosie Emery each declined to comment, while Paul was not immediately available on Wednesday.
The membership review follows a months-long battle between party factions, partly over clashing views about how the party and its leader should reply to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Paul, who has led the party for nine months, faces a non-confidence vote by federal council on July 20 in a process distinct from the membership review. The non-confidence proposal requires three-quarters support as a way to proceed to a party-wide vote the next month at a general meeting, where grassroots could render judgment on Paul’s leadership.
Individually, the party brass has recently moved to withhold funding from Paul’s campaign to win a downtown Toronto seat and temporarily laid off about half of the Green party’s employees last week, including all staff within the leader’s office.
All this has happened while the party recovers from Recent Brunswick MP Jenica Atwin crossing the ground to the Liberals last month, leaving the Greens with two seats within the House of Commons.
Last month, Paul fired back against party executives in response to an earlier move to push her out, calling them out for “racist” and “sexist” accusations that were included in a letter obtained by The Canadian Press. She is the primary Black woman to steer a federal political party in Canada.
Green party membership will be revoked by a bare majority of council members present at a gathering following a review, the code of conduct says. The principles state that Paul, as a member of the federal council, wouldn’t be allowed to participate in any deliberations.
Membership rights are suspended until the matter is settled. A member is allowed 30 days to arrange their defence in front of party brass after being informed of a review.
The council is in an election period in the intervening time, with much of the present body poised to show over as of Aug. 20. That leaves barely enough time for executives to vote on their leader’s status as a Green following her month-long defence period before they vacate their council seats.