Green Party Leader Annamie Paul announced today she is stepping down as leader of her party after a poor showing in the recent federal election. Her election as party leader occurred about a year ago.
Paul said she is leaving because she can't bear to go through a fractious leadership review, a process that was formally launched Saturday by members eager to replace her after the party's poor showing in the 44th general election.
"I just asked myself whether this is something I wanted to continue, whether I was willing to put up with the attacks I knew would be coming, whether to continue to fight and struggle just to fulfil my democratically elected role as leader of this party," Paul told reporters at a Toronto press conference. "I just don't have the heart for it."
Paul, a bilingual former diplomat, was the first Jewish woman and Black person to lead a major federal political party. She was a moderate green, narrowly beating an opponent who described himself as a "radical" and an "eco-socialist."
The party faced divisions from MPs like Jenica Atwin, who eventually joined the Liberals and won re-election under that party banner last week, who called Paul's response to what she called an ongoing "apartheid" in Israel as "totally inadequate."
Another Green MP, Paul Manly (who lost his seat last week), said the removal of some Palestinian families from East Jerusalem amounted to "ethnic cleansing."
The caucus pushback led one of Paul's advisers, Noah Zatzman, to accuse politicians, including some unspecified Green MPs, of discrimination and antisemitism.
"We will work to defeat you and bring in progressive climate champions who are antifa and pro LGBT and pro indigenous sovereignty and Zionists!!!!!" he said in a May social media post.
Paul blamed the party's poor showing on unnamed senior party members who, she said Monday, "took great pleasure in attacking me."
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that when you head into an election without funding for your campaign, when you head into an election without the staff to staff your campaign, when you head into an election without a national campaign manager, when you head into an election being again under the threat of a court process from your party, it's going to be very hard to convince people to vote for your party," Paul said.