The Green Party and its affiliated fund are taking their dispute with party leader Annamie Paul to court, thus breaking a tentative truce between Paul and party officials just before a federal election call is likely in the coming weeks.
According to court filings, Paul took measures to prevent the party from conducting a vote of confidence in her leadership and from evaluating her party membership. According to court records, the issue was resolved by an arbitrator, who opted to cancel the non-confidence vote set for July 20 and the membership review.
The Green Party of Canada Fund and the Green Party of Canada have asked the Ontario Superior Court to vacate the arbitration decisions that postponed both the non-confidence vote and the leadership review until after the party elects a new federal council on August 19. The filing also requests expenses.
The party and the fund, which oversees the party’s finances, believe that the arbitrator overstepped his jurisdiction by postponing the confidence vote and the leadership review since Paul’s contract was with the fund rather than the party’s federal council.They further claim that the arbitration procedure limited members’ “actions, choices, and communications” about the issue.
The disagreement between Paul and her party reached a climax in May when Paul released a statement asking for de-escalation and a return to dialogue during an increase of violence in the Middle East. Jenica Atwin, a Fredericton MP who defected from the Green Party to the Liberals in June, termed the statement “completely insufficient.” Her resignation reduced the Greens to two MPs.
In a May 14 Facebook post, Paul’s political adviser at the time, Noah Zatzman, stated he had faced antisemitism and prejudice within the party and attacked lawmakers he thought were showing antisemitism, including Green MPs.