Green Party Leader Annamie Paul Resigns

Paul’s resignation comes amid her pending leadership review

The election of Annamie Paul as the new leader of the Federal Green Party back in October 2020 officially signalled the end of the Elizabeth May era. Although Paul had won the party leadership, she did not have the overwhelming support of the party members when considering it took eight rounds of voting to secure the party leadership.

Paul is a gifted Toronto lawyer who has always been a strong advocate for climate policies and clean jobs. As a leader, she did not extend the party membership and failed to increase its seats in the House of Commons. The Green Party saw their seats reduced from three down to two in the recent 2021 election. Most notably, elected MP for Fredericton Jenica Atwin crossed the floor to join the Liberal Caucus months before the election.

Atwin cited too many distractions and lack of representation in Parliament as the main contributors to joining the Liberal Party. Under Paul, the country got to see the Green Party’s dirty laundry and grievances aired out in public. Many party members felt she lacked the political skills to lead and called for her resignation but, it never happened. 

At Paul’s coronation, she did not hold a seat in the House of Commons and had hoped to change that when she ran in the October 2020 byelection for Toronto Centre against former journalist Marci Ien. The seat became available after the resignation of Liberal MP and former Finance Minister Bill Morneau. 

In the byelection, Paul placed second and failed to win her seat and lost to the Liberal candidate. Many members of the Green Party had again called for Paul’s resignation, but she declined. 

Leading up to the 2021 federal election, Paul was unsure if she wanted to remain the leader, which set off a series of bad publicity for her and the Greens. Paul’s uncertainty left voters confused and unwilling to vote for a party whose leader is not wanting to lead. Paul was facing court injections from her party and lacked the funds and federal campaign manager to run a respectable campaign.

“When I was elected and put in this role, I was breaking a glass ceiling, what I did not realize at the time, I was breaking a glass ceiling that was falling on my head and leaving shards of glass that I was going to have to crawl over throughout my time as leader.” Said Annamie Paul

In 2019, the party won three seats in the House of Commons, the most since its inception. However, still short of the 12 needed to form party status. Paul’s 2021 election campaign was seen as a big failure, not only did she fail to win her seat, but she also came fourth.

Paul saw the federal Green party votes across the country reduced significantly. More people voted for the far-right Peoples Party of Canada than they did for the Greens. Paul failed to run a full slate of candidates and spent most of her time campaigning in her riding. Her presence throughout the country while on the campaign trail was virtually invisible. 

For years, many have always thought the Green Party candidates are among the smartest in Canada but have consistently failed to garner the support of Canadians. The Greens have traditionally brought forth great ideas as a whole not, just on climate change but also on good governance. They just failed to articulate their message to all Canadians. 

More great reading