Future of Canada’s Greens in the spotlight after election setbacks

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The future of Canada’s Green Party is under discussion after a disappointing end to the 2021 federal election.

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The party won at least two seats, and remained hopeful for a third late Monday.

But the night was full of gloom, as party leader Annie Paul failed to win her seat at Toronto Center for a second time, defeating Liberal Marcy Inn in fourth place.

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“Sure, I’m disappointed. Losing is hard, nobody likes to lose. But I’m so proud of the effort, the creativity, the innovation that our team put into this race,” Paul told supporters in his concession speech.

“We promised to offer real representation, we promised to offer a real alternative to the people of Toronto Center who need so much, so much work, and you did that and I thank you for that. I give.”

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The party failed to recapture the seat it won in Fredericton in 2019, although it added its first seat in Ontario, where Mark Morris won at Kitchener-Center.

Even that victory came with an asterisk, however, coming in a ride where Liberal contender Raj Saini was forced to withdraw following allegations of sexual misconduct.

And the incumbent Paul Manley seemed to be in trouble at Nanaimo-Ladysmith, a three-way fight with the NDP and the Conservatives.

Former leader Elizabeth May, who won the party’s first seat in 2011, took it over the Saanich-Gulf Islands, and had strong words about the campaign.

“There will certainly be issues that the party is discussing internally; We always do post-mortem after every election,” May said.

“This one, I have never seen the party so ready for elections. With every ride not having candidates, we need to find out and investigate how it happened.

Of particular concern to the Greens was their popular vote collapse.

After locking in a record-high 12.5 per cent in 2019, the party was on track to garner only 2.3 per cent of the vote late Monday.

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In 2019, the Greens won a historic three seats, including her first seat outside British Columbia with the election of Jenika Atwin in Fredericton, and held at Nanaimo-Ladysmith, a seat she won in a by-election only six months earlier. did.

While climate change has consistently voted as a top issue for Canadians, it took a back seat in the 2021 campaign dominated by COVID-19, and some have referred to it as a referendum on Justin Trudeau. saw.

Further complicating matters for the party, former BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver publicly supported the Liberals’ climate change plan.

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In addition, the Greens were beset by their own highly public internal conflict.

It suffered a tumultuous summer that began with Atwin’s defection in June, crossing the floor for liberals amid infighting over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Paul then faced membership suspensions by party officials and an attempt to force a vote of no confidence under his leadership.

Although both were blocked by an independent mediator, the rebellion proved detrimental to the party.

Paul spent most of the election campaign in Toronto, admitting that it was “not a given” that all candidates wanted him in their ride. He made his first and only visit to British Columbia just two days before the general election.

You can find full results for the poll here, and find your ride here.

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