Green Party Leader Annamie Paul has spent almost your complete election campaign in Toronto — and she or he said that’s partially because her own candidates don’t all the time want her stopping by their ridings.
Her admission got here during a press conference on Friday, when a reporter asked Paul whether she regrets her decision to not campaign alongside her fellow Green Party candidates across Canada.
“I desired to ensure that and I still need to ensure that that if I travel somewhere, first, that I’m wanted — and that’s not a given. After which secondly, that’s going to assist our local candidates. And that’s also, unfortunately, not a given,” Paul said.
“That’s something that I actually have to acknowledge.”
Paul has spent your complete election campaign in Toronto — save for some transient stops in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que. — while other party leaders have travelled across Canada in a bid to secure support.
Paul was pressed for more details, including whether candidates have explicitly asked her to remain away or have concerns in regards to the impact her leadership could have on their individual races.
The short answer to those questions, she said, is “yes.”
“I really need to make certain that if I do something, it’s going to assist and never harm the candidates,” Paul said.
“A part of that’s recognizing that, due to what has transpired, that it’s not all the time going to be helpful for me to be there on the bottom. And there’s actually going to be some candidates which have made that analysis as well.”
The Green Party has been tormented by infighting in recent months, which culminated in a bid by some members of the party brass to oust her because the leader. The very public infighting has plagued the party within the polls — and has been weaponized by her political opponents.
As Paul and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau sparred over women’s rights during Thursday’s debate, Trudeau used the infighting to needle the Green Party leader.
“The Liberal Party has never had a lady lead it. I believe it’s time for the party to look at its priorities,” Paul said.
Trudeau fired back, saying that he “won’t take lessons on caucus management” from Paul.
Paul won the leadership in October 2020 with 54 per cent of the vote on the eighth ballot. Paul’s 12,090 votes allowed her to tug ahead of runner-up Dimitri Lascaris in a race that saw 69 per cent of party members vote.
But lower than two months after taking on the party’s helm, Paul began experiencing internal bumps within the road. At the top of November 2020, the party’s federal council was sent a letter that alleged a “pattern of poor governance” inside the Green Party.
The inner turmoil burst out from behind closed doors when former Green MP Jenica Atwin crossed the ground to affix the Liberal Party on June 10, slamming the infighting among the many Greens over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a “distraction” on her way out.
Paul, nonetheless, said Atwin’s departure from the party was the results of conversations that predated this yr’s flare-up of violence between Israel and Hamas.
The situation unravelled further as party executives — several of whom have since been dethroned in an internal election — tried to push Paul out of the leadership with a non-confidence vote and a membership suspension.
Each bids were stopped by an independent arbitrator. Nevertheless, Paul acknowledged Friday that the stain left on her leadership might be a detriment to a few of her candidates.
“They deserve the best shot that they will should win their seats,” she said.
“The people standing behind me are extraordinary people, they’re folks that are captivated with their communities, a lot of them are deeply involved of their communities, a lot of them have put aside their jobs, their families, to do what’s an incredibly intense thing, which is to run for office and to place themselves on the market.”
“I would like to honour that all over this election.”
— with files from The Canadian Press