Green leader Annamie Paul says she will not be ‘distracted’ as dispute with party leaders takes to court
Green Party leader Annamie Paul said she would not be “distracted” by her ongoing conflict with what she describes as a “small group” of high-ranking people within the party.
Yesterday, the Green Party and its associated fund announced that they are taking their battle against Paul to court, ending a short-lived truce between Paul and party leaders as a federal election is expected in a few weeks.
“These are the actions of a small group of outgoing advisers. It was not an action sanctioned by our Federal Council, it is not an action that has been submitted to our Federal Council,” Paul said today. at the opening of his campaign office in Toronto Center.
“I’m just asking people to have patience during the transition, and we’re in a great transition. I’m not going to be distracted any further from this work that needs to be done.”
Court documents show Paul took steps to prevent the party from holding a vote of confidence on his leadership and reviewing his party membership.
Court documents indicate that the dispute ended up in the hands of an arbitrator, who decided to overturn the vote of no confidence scheduled for July 20 and to cancel the membership review.
In their court case, the Green Party of Canada Fund and the Green Party of Canada ask the Ontario Superior Court to stay arbitration orders that quash both the vote of no confidence and the leadership review until the party elects a new federal council on August 19. The case also seeks costs.
The party and the fund argue that the arbitrator overstepped his authority by quashing the confidence vote and leadership review because Paul’s contract was with the fund, not the party’s federal council.
They also argue that the arbitration process limited the “activities, decisions and communications of members” in relation to the dispute.
Paul did not say if she would file a response in court.
The conflict between Paul and her party dates back to May, when, during an escalation of violence in the Middle East, she issued a statement calling for de-escalation and a return to dialogue.
Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin, who left the Green Party for the Liberals in June, called the statement “totally inadequate.” His departure left the Greens with only two deputies.
Paul’s political adviser at the time, Noah Zatzman, said in a Facebook post on May 14 that he had been a victim of anti-Semitism and discrimination within the party and criticized politicians who he said demonstrated anti-Semitism, including Green MPs.
He wrote: “We will work to defeat you and bring in progressive climate champions who are anti-fa and pro LGBT and pro indigenous sovereignty and Zionists !!!!!”
The federal party council told Paul she had to comply with her directive to publicly repudiate Zatzman’s comments in order to avoid a vote of confidence.
Despite Paul’s refusal to reprimand Zatzman, the party released a statement on Monday confirming the cancellation of the vote.