Green Party MP Jenica Atwin, the first federal Green MP elected outside British Columbia, is crossing the floor to join the Liberal Party,
She was elected MP for Fredericton back in the 2019 federal election, defeating the Liberal incumbent MP Matt DeCourcey.
The announcement was made amid rumors of party infighting, specifically over the Israel-Palestine conflict.
“It’s a good day. I think this is a positive thing for my community. The past month I’ve been at a crossroads. It’s been, in a word, distracting. So I’m going where I can do the best work for my community,” said Atwin. “This is about not backing down. It’s not about being other than who I am…. I have the same priorities and values that I’ve always had.”
The Liberals reportedly did not offer any thing to Atwin to join, who said she made the decision of her “free will.”
Previously, Green Party leader Annamie Paul reported that she was "thrilled that Jenica is running for re-election in Fredericton. At this critical juncture in our history, the Green Party and Canada will benefit enormously from her continued presence in the House of Commons.”
Earlier this week, some Green Party members reported that senior Green advisor Noah Zatzman had been fired “due to his anti-Palestinian statements.”
Zatzman had expressed solidarity with Israel in a May social media post accusing Green MPs of discrimination and antisemitism.
“Party leader Annamie Paul should make it clear that Noah Zatzman’s reprehensible views don’t reflect her outlook on Palestinian rights by publicly expressing her support for the Green party’s official policy, which repeatedly calls for pressuring Israel to comply with international law,” Green Party of Canada member Yves Engler said in the press release.
When asked whether the party infighting over the Israel-Palestinian conflict affected her decision, she reported that it did. Atwin added that she did not speak to Paul about her decision and wishes the leader “the best” going forward.
“I hope that we can be friends in the future,” Atwin said.
The Prime Minister then welcomed Atwin to the party in a statement.
“With her tireless and effective advocacy on priorities like climate action, mental health, reconciliation, and making life more affordable for families, Jenica Atwin is respected by her constituents and all of her colleagues as a champion for real change,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working even more closely with Jenica to continue delivering support for the people of Fredericton and building a stronger, better, and more resilient Canada.”