The Green Party leader, Annamie Paul is facing a new challenge with the upcoming campaign. Party executives have moved to withhold further funding for the politician to win a Toronto seat in the election later this year.
A federal council meeting held on June 29th saw a motion tabled to retain the previously decided amount of $25,000. The funding was planned for Paul’s Toronto Centre campaign. The motion for cancelling the intended funding indicates that “until the federal council is advised of the Green Party of Canada’s financial situation,” the budget would be rescinded. The motion will come to a vote at a meeting of the federal council on July 27th. Denied funding equates to fewer means for advertising, posters, and general campaigning costs.
Annamie Paul does not currently hold a seat in the House of Commons after coming up short in last fall’s byelection. In the 2019 election, Paul came in fourth. Paul has now led the party for less than a year and faces a non-confidence vote by the federal council on July 20th. The vote requires three-quarters support to proceed to a party-wide vote.
The executive decision to rescind funding follows a wave of layoffs within the Green Party employees, with nearly 50% of the team being let go. Green party staff makes up 70% of the total budget. The layoffs included all of Paul’s office staff.
Within the Green Party, wedges are developing amid disagreements over policies, cash imbalances, and world issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The defecting of New Brunswick’s Jenica Atwin to the Liberals seemed to be the [paper]straw that broke the back of the already crumbling inner circle.
The president of Green Part of Canada Fund’s financial operations, Douglas Tingey, denied comment on confidential specific details but stated: "To the best of my understanding, the party remains committed to support TC (Toronto Centre) in the upcoming election.” Tingey added, “Our current financial situation is not sustainable.” Tingey noted that a mistake in spending was retaining excessive staff levels after the 2019 election. Spending over the last two years for party funding has also exceeded gross income by over $100,000 per month.
Now, with the future of the Green Party’s leadership at stake, Paul’s hope is grassroots support in order to avoid joining her office staff.