Ottawa – Green Party leader Annie Paul has resigned and announced Monday that she is beginning the process of stepping down from the role.
Paul’s decision to step down comes on the heels of the party, which is launching a review of his leadership given the results of last Monday’s federal election.
In the 2021 federal vote, Paul failed to win a seat, or raise the Greens’ seat count in the House of Commons.
In addition, the Greens saw a significant drop in their share of the popular vote, after only managing to put the Green candidate on the ballot in 252 out of 338 ridings.
This was the lowest number of candidates run by the party in a federal election since 2000. The party finished sixth in the overall percentage of the vote, which fell to 2.3 percent from the 6.5 percent it secured in 2019. Just 398,775 Canadians voted Green in 2021. , as opposed to the 1,189,631 votes secured in 2019.
The party’s bylaws stated that because Paul did not become prime minister, he would face a leadership review within six months. According to the Green Party, voting in that process was scheduled to begin on October 26 and end on November 25. Now, the Greens are likely to start a new leadership race soon, their second since the 2019 federal election.
After spending the majority of the federal campaigning riding his home in Toronto Center, Paul placed fourth. This was his third time running, and losing that ride.
In an interview with Granthshala National News ahead of the federal vote, Paul defended his choice to run in what has historically been a Liberal stronghold, saying there was not another so-called safe Green seat for him.
The Green Party would send two lawmakers to Ottawa for the 44th Parliament: longtime Sanich-Gulf Islands, BC MP and former leader Elizabeth May and rookie Mike Morris, representing Kitchener Center, Ont.
Current Green MP Paul Manley lost in a tight race at Nanaimo-Ladysmith, BC, although Victoria was one of the few areas Paul visited in the final days of the campaign.
A similar review took place around June, as part of politics within the party, including an attempt to strip Paul of his Green membership.
The rift between Paul and some outgoing Green Party governing body officials included concerns over the financial situation of the Greens, and over the position differences over the Israel-Palestinian conflict over the handling of defection to liberals from former Green MP Jenika Atwin. Paul fought vigorously against the claims he made about his leadership style, suggesting that they were based on racism and sexism.
All this saw Paul under intense scrutiny in the months before the election and left him on shaky ground to vote, which prompted some candidates to ask that he not campaign in his ride.
When she became leader in 2020, Paul made history as the first Jewish woman and the first black woman to be elected leader of a major political party in Canada. His pitch to voters in the 2021 vote was to “be courageous”.
With files from Granthshala News ‘Ryan Flanagan’