Ultimately, money was not the much-feared drag. Despite the $ 30,000 required to get into the Green Party leadership race, seven candidates managed to qualify to try to succeed Elizabeth May.
Applicants had until Wednesday evening to house their first payment of $ 1,000 and the required 100 member signatures, including 20 youth,. They have a few more days to pay an additional $ 9,000 and until September 1 to accumulate the balance of $ 20,000. These entrance fees had been criticized by some candidates as being too high. In 2006, the fees charged were $ 1,000.
The alleged race leader is David Merner, a longtime Liberal activist who left the PLC when Justin Trudeau purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline. Mr Merner is campaigning for a refocusing of the Green Party in order to recruit voters from all political horizons, not just those on the left.
Another well-known figure in the political world is Glen Murray, a former mayor of Winnipeg and a former Ontario Liberal minister. In particular, Murray proposes to make the Canadian economy fully circular within 20 years. The openly gay politician found himself in hot water after writing on social media that skin color or sexual orientation should no longer be a factor in the choice of a leader. His remarks have been interpreted by some as a negation of the discrimination that minorities still experience.
In this race, there is also the international lawyer Annamie Paul, a black woman campaigning for more diversity and daring in the Green Party, and Amita Kuttner, a non-binary person of Asian origin and astrophysicist focusing her campaign notably on the fight against systemic discrimination.
The last two candidates have received support from outgoing chief Elizabeth May. Ms. May had promised to remain neutral in the race and pretends to be neutral, but she believes that racialized people have poorer networks and therefore need a boost to raise funds when they get into politics . Ms. May has participated in several fundraisers with Annamie Paul already and will accompany Amita Kuttner at an event at the end of the month. These participations bothered some candidates who felt aggrieved, notably David Merner.
Ms. May also spoke warmly of Meryam Haddad, a Syrian lawyer specializing in immigration law who offers to camp the party more to the left to rally the progressives. As her candidacy was not confirmed until Wednesday, it is still unclear whether Ms. May will also campaign alongside him.
Finally, there are two Quebec candidates in the race, Dylan Perceval-Maxwell and Dimitri Lascaris. Mr. Perceval-Maxwell is an environmental activist from the outset, having opened organic food cooperations in the early 1990s. He was also known by driving in a car running on used vegetable oil at a when biofuels were still science fiction. Mr. Lascaris, a lawyer specializing in securities class actions, poses like an “eco-socialist” wanting to camp the party resolutely on the left.
The current leader of the Quebec Green Party, Alex Tyrrell, yet among the first to express his interest in the position of Ms. May, chose to withdraw from the race. In a long letter released this week, he explains his abandonment by feeling that “the Elizabeth May era will continue for the foreseeable future.” Tyrrell says aid from outgoing leader Annamie Paul and Amita Kuttner, as well as her husband’s recent election to the party’s executive, will ensure Ms. May’s political grip.
“Mrs. May and her entourage made it very clear to me that they will do everything they can to oppose my candidacy and my political program which aims to place the party on the left, and that they will vigorously undermine my leadership in the if I win the party leadership race, ”writes Tyrrell. Mr. Tyrrell was recently challenged in the ranks of the Green Party of Quebec because of his attitude deemed too authoritarian.
Ms. May dismissed the allegations on Wednesday. “It is not true. […] I didn’t name my husband. He was elected in a democratic process within the party. May said Alex Tyrrell “doesn’t understand the structure of the Green Party and its constitution.”
The approximately 20,000 Green Party members will begin voting for their new leader on September 26. Despite the pandemic, it is still expected that the results will be announced at the conference to be held in Charlottetown from October 2 to 4.