Greens attack boss Annamie Paul in court
The Green Party and its associated fund are taking their battle against party leader Annamie Paul to court – ending a temporary truce between Paul and party leaders as a federal election is expected in weeks.
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 are asking the Ontario Superior Court to overturn arbitration orders that overturn both the vote of no confidence and the review of the leadership 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 federal party council. They also argue that the arbitration process limited the “activities, decisions and communications of members” in relation to the dispute.
The conflict between Paul and his party came to a head in May when, during an escalation of violence in the Middle East, Paul 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 “grossly inadequate.” His departure left the Greens with only two MPs.
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 bring in progressive climate champions who are anti-afa and pro LGBT and pro indigenous sovereignty and Zionists !!!!!”
Party wants arbitration decisions overturned
The federal party council told Paul that she must comply with her directive to publicly repudiate Zatzman’s comments in order to avoid a vote of confidence.
Despite refusing to reprimand Zatzman, the party released a statement on Monday confirming the cancellation of the vote.
Paul told reporters in Toronto on Monday that she would face a leadership review scheduled after the next federal election, but for now – with an election call slated for a few weeks – she needs the party’s support.
“I want to lead us to the next election,” said Paul. “I want to offer my service to our members and to Canada and I hope those who think otherwise will wait for a more appropriate time to take a step.”
This decision appears to have come sooner than Paul might have expected. Court documents claim that “it was Ms. Paul’s action” that prompted the party to review its membership.