Montreal immigration lawyer Meryam Haddad issued a mic-drop rebuttal after she was briefly expelled from the Green party leadership race this week for allegedly endorsing a “rival” provincial party within the British Columbia election.
The 32-year-old wrote to the Green party’s leadership contest committee to indicate that just about exactly one 12 months ago, former leader Elizabeth May had done the exact same thing.
“I would love an evidence as to why it is a reason to expel me when just last 12 months, Elizabeth May endorsed and encouraged people to vote for Jody Wilson-Raybould over our own Green candidate,” Haddad wrote in her appeal letter.
“Why are the foundations so different in relation to me?”
Haddad was reinstated as a leadership candidate about 18 hours after sending the letter of appeal, with the Green party saying in an announcement Thursday that the committee had taken into consideration “mitigating circumstances.”
Last 12 months, May spoke at a rally for Wilson-Raybould, a former Liberal cabinet minister who was running as an Independent within the 2019 federal election after a really public feud with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the SNC-Lavalin affair.
May, who was Green party leader on the time, denied she was implicitly endorsing Wilson-Raybould, saying she was supporting a friend and standing up for ethics in politics.
Still, the Greens needed to do some damage control, and issue statements insisting Should still fully supported their very own party’s candidate within the riding of Vancouver Granville, Louise Boutin.
The Green candidate ultimately finished a distant fifth, greater than 13,000 votes behind Wilson-Raybould, who was re-elected.
Haddad’s offence was retweeting an ad for the B.C. Ecosocialists party, which was critical of each the B.C. Greens and NDP for allowing pipelines and fracking subsidies.
“We discover that you could have discredited and intentionally damaged the interests of the Green Party of Canada,” Haddad was told within the letter from the leadership committee tasked with ensuring candidates conduct themselves properly.
Haddad said her retweet was not an endorsement, and pointed to other tweets critical of the Ecosocialists as well.
This week’s events have shone an unwelcome highlight on the party’s internal battles just days before voting begins in the primary leadership contest for the Greens in 14 years.
Online voting starts Saturday, and the winner is to be announced Oct. 3 at a small event in Ottawa.
The eight leadership candidates were within the midst of an internet forum Tuesday afternoon when Haddad suddenly needed to rush off because she had just received a letter from the party informing her she had been expelled.
Haddad posted that letter, one other from interim leader Jo-Ann Roberts, and Haddad’s appeal, to Twitter Thursday.
Haddad accused the Greens publicly of attempting to keep her out because they were afraid of the change her campaign was bringing that threatened the party establishment. She was offended that May had retweeted one other post by a Green supporter who said Haddad didn’t should be the leader of anything.
May said Wednesday she had retweeted that by mistake, and wasn’t taking a position on the leadership race but that she did think Greens should support their provincial cousins.
Haddad was told in her expulsion letter that the 2 parties are separate but share the identical values and that her actions could also be “resented” by some Green members who might select to not vote for the party in consequence.
Roberts’ followup letter added this was not her first violation, since the party had also received complaints about Haddad from a few of her former campaign team members.
Haddad said she had addressed those complaints and believed they’d been withdrawn.
She was breathlessly excited Thursday after hearing she was back on the ballot, and thanked supporters in a video posted to social media. Her backers flooded the Green party with emails and phone calls Wednesday demanding her reinstatement.
Several other candidates expressed their wish she even be allowed back in, including Amita Kuttner and Dimitri Lascaris, as did Fredericton Green MP Jenica Atwin.
Former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister Glen Murray, who said he thinks Green leaders should support the Green party all over the place, said he too was glad she was allowed back in since it needs to be as much as the members to come to a decision.