The Green Party and its leader Annami Paul (Annamie Paul) go to court
The Green Party and its related funds are taking the fight against party leader Annamy Paul to court-ending the tentative truce between Paul and the party’s executives, as expected to hold federal elections in a few weeks.
Court documents show that Paul took action to prevent the party from voting for confidence in her leadership and to review her party membership.
The court document stated that the dispute was ultimately handed over to an arbitrator, who decided to cancel the vote of no confidence originally scheduled for July 20 and cancel the membership review.
In their court documents, the Canadian Green Party Fund and the Canadian Green Party requested the Ontario High Court to revoke the arbitration order that shelved the vote of no confidence and the leadership review before the party elected a new federal committee on August 19. The document also requires payment of fees.
The party and the foundation argued that the arbitrator exceeded his power in shelving the vote of confidence and leading the review because Paul’s contract was signed with the foundation, not with the party’s Federal Council. They also argued that the arbitration procedure restricts the “members’ activities, decisions, and communications” related to the dispute.
The conflict between Paul and her party reached a crisis point in May, when violence in the Middle East escalated, and Paul issued a statement calling for easing and resumption of dialogue.
Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin left the Green Party to join the Liberal Party in June, calling the statement “completely insufficient.” Her departure leaves the Green Party with only two MPs.
Noah Zatzman, Paul’s political adviser at the time, stated in a Facebook post on May 14 that he had experienced anti-Semitism and discrimination in the party and criticized what he said was anti-Semitism. Politicians, including members of the Green Party.
He wrote: “We will work hard to introduce progressive climate advocates who oppose the law and support LGBT, indigenous sovereignty and Zionists!!!”
The parties wish to set aside the arbitration award
The party’s Federal Council told Paul that she must abide by its instructions and publicly refute Zatzman’s comments to avoid a vote of confidence.
Despite refusing to warn Zatzman, the party issued a statement on Monday confirming the cancellation of the vote.
On Monday, Paul told reporters in Toronto that she would face a scheduled leadership review after the next federal election, but for the time being — elections are expected to be held within a few weeks — she needs the support of the party.
“I want to lead us to the next election,” Paul said. “I want to provide my services to our members and Canada, and I hope that those who feel different will wait until a more suitable time to take action.”
This move seems to be earlier than Paul expected. The court documents stated that “it was Ms. Paul’s actions” that prompted the party to re-examine her membership.