Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday June 18, 2021
Green Party’s Annamie Paul survives emergency meeting over leadership
The leadership of the Green Party’s Annamie Paul is safe — for now — after party brass decided late Tuesday not to kick-start a process that could have ultimately ousted her as leader of the party.
The party’s federal council — which is the governing body of the party — held an emergency meeting Tuesday night that lasted more than three-and-a-half hours. Officials were expected to hold a vote on whether to trigger a complex process under the party’s constitution that could have declared no-confidence in Paul’s leadership.
That vote did not end up taking place, multiple sources with knowledge of the meeting told CBC News.
Instead, sources say, the federal council adopted a separate motion asking Paul to publicly repudiate one of Paul’s former senior advisers, Noah Zatzman, who accused many politicians — including unspecified Green MPs — of discrimination and antisemitism in a social media post last month.
The motion also calls for Paul to “explicitly support” the Green Party caucus. If not, the motion says, Paul would face a vote of non-confidence on July 20.
Tuesday night’s decision follows a difficult few weeks for the party, which has been ripped apart by internal disputes over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As violence in the region escalated, Paul issued a statement calling for a ceasefire and condemning both Palestinian rocket attacks and excessive Israeli military force, an apparent attempt to put forward a moderate position close to that of the Trudeau government.
Green MP Jenica Atwin — who has since left the Green caucus to join the Liberals — ripped into Paul’s statement on Twitter. “It is a totally inadequate statement,” Atwin wrote. “Forced evictions must end. I stand with Palestine and condemn the unthinkable airstrikes in Gaza. End Apartheid.”
Green MP Paul Manly also took issue with Paul’s statement, saying the planned removal of Palestinian families from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah “is ethnic cleansing.”
Zatzman responded with a Facebook post stating that Greens “will work to defeat you and bring in progressive climate champions who are antifa and pro LGBT and pro indigenous sovereignty and Zionists!!!!!”
Zatzman is no longer an adviser to the leader. His six-month contract, slated to expire on July 4 and obtained by The Canadian Press, stipulates that the party will pay Zatzman a fee for time worked beyond 100 hours per month.
CBC News reached out to the Green Party, Paul and Zatzman for comment after Tuesday’s meeting. (CBC)