Annamie Paul to replace Elizabeth May as head of the Green Party of Canada

Green Party activists have placed their faith in Annamie Paul to take over from Elizabeth May and further propel their education onto the federal political scene. After a largely unnoticed leadership race, she is the fundraising champion – and M’s alleged May – who took the title away.

Annamie Paul, a lawyer specializing in international law, was elected on Saturday evening at 8e round of a preferential ballot that put eight candidates in competition. 34,679 party members had the right to vote and 68% did so. Ms. Paul received 12,090 votes in the final round, where she faced only one other opponent, Montreal’s Dimitri Lascaris. The two candidates had traded first place in the previous seven rounds.

The fact that these two candidates, radically opposed on the ideological spectrum, found themselves in the lead shows that the ranks of the Green Party are divided. Mme Paul campaigned as a rather centrist candidate while Mr. Lascaris presented himself as an “ecosocialist” eager to push the party even further to the left.

Several analysts had seen David Merner, a former federal Liberal who went green after Justin Trudeau’s purchase of the race-leading Trans Mountain pipeline, but he came in fifth. Former Winnipeg mayor Glen Murray was fourth.

Mme Paul will make history as this black, Jewish Toronto woman, who describes herself as a “descendant of a slave,” is the first racialized woman to lead a federal political party in Canada. She is bilingual.

“Colonialism has robbed me of my original identity,” she declared at the opening of her victory speech. “I am a ready ally to support and follow Indigenous leaders in their calls to action and their quest for self-determination. “

Annamie Paul said she would have two priorities: tackling climate change and fixing the social safety net, which she considers “incomplete and fragile.” She reached out to ecosocialists, saying everyone was welcome to the Green Party. But she recalled that the party’s platform in the 2019 election was already very progressive, offering a guaranteed minimum income, a drug insurance program, post-secondary education for all and the decriminalization of all drugs. .

Mme Paul had beaten all of his rivals in fundraising, raising $ 186,326 during the race. She was assisted in this by Elizabeth May. On the grounds that it was necessary to encourage candidates from cultural diversity, the outgoing chef indeed participated in several fundraising activities for the Toronto lawyer. This earned him admonitions from some opposing camps since Mme May was supposed to stay neutral in the race.

Elizabeth May leaves

Annamie Paul is taking over from Elizabeth May, who announced her departure in November 2019, just days after the last federal election. The latter had been at the head of the Green Party since 2006. She presided over the destinies of the party during four general federal elections. Already after that of 2015, Mme May had considered quitting her post, but since she was still the only Green Party elected and no potential replacement had seduced her, she decided to stay for one last showdown. She said this fall that she could now leave with peace of mind since the party had three MPs elected (including herself) and obtained 6.5% of the vote, almost double the 3.4% obtained in 2015 (but less than the 6.8% obtained in 2008, the best historical training score).

A video tribute was paid to him on Saturday evening, in which former Prime Ministers Brian Mulroney and Paul Martin, as well as former Liberal Minister Jody-Wilson Raybould, spoke. It is very rare that politicians of another formation thank an ex-rival in this way. Liberal Paul Martin said he was “very proud to say that Elizabeth May is [s]we are friends ”while Progressive Conservative Brian Mulroney recounted how May, then his advisor, had contributed to several of the environmental initiatives put in place by his government.

Annamie Paul does not hold a seat in the House of Commons, just like all of her rivals in the leadership race. However, she will try to run for a byelection in the Toronto Center in three weeks, an election to replace former Finance Minister Bill Morneau. However, his electoral chances are slim: the Green Party came fourth in this constituency in 2019 with barely 7% of the vote cast.


The race for the leadership of the Green Party will have taken place very discreetly, pandemic obliges. The party also had to cancel the Charlottetown convention where the results were initially to be unveiled, a convention that was shaping up to be the “biggest face-to-face gathering in history” of the Green Party of Canada, according to the interim leader. Jo-Ann Roberts.

The race was not without its hitches, however: Montreal candidate Meryam Haddad was expelled, then reinstated, for supporting the new British Columbia Ecosocialist Party rather than the provincial Green Party; Montreal candidate Dylan Perceval-Maxwell was kicked out for proposing in a debate that police should give $ 20 to every racialized person they arrest, to get them to arrest fewer; and the party failed to transfer 35 donations totaling almost $ 10,000 received for candidate Glen Murray.

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