Canada Green party takes leader Annamie Paul to court, ending brief ceasefire
Greens discuss revoking leader Annamie Paul's membership
Green Party Leader Annamie Paul not only faces a challenge to her leadership, but she could also lose her party membership, CBC News has learned.Several sources told CBC News that the party's federal council discussed reviewing Annamie Paul's membership during a meeting late Tuesday night. The sources said they could not confirm whether a formal review has been initiated, as the Toronto Star first reported.
OTTAWA — The fight within the Green party has spilled over to the courthouse.
Court filings show the GreenParty of Canada aimsto overturn arbitration orders that stymied threats to Annamie Paul's leadership, ending a brief ceasefire between warring factionsahead of a likely federal election this year.
In a notice of application filed Wednesday in Ontario Superior Court,the party along withthe Green Party of Canada Fund say an arbitrator exceeded his authority in requiring party executives to cancel their non-confidence vote against Paul as well as a review of her party membership.
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The documents state that Paul's employment contract was with the Green fund, a separate legal entity that controls the party purse strings, rather than with the party proper, whose federal council was ordered to call off its moves to depose the leader.
"As an unincorporated association, the party has no legal capacity to enter into a financial employment contract," the application reads. "Only the Fund may incur expenses and therefore enter into an employment contract."
The arbitrator "erred in law" because he had no authority to impose orders on an entity that is unconnected with Paul's contract, the filings argue.
Green president Liana Canton Cusmano sent an email obtained by The Canadian Press to membership Wednesday saying the party disputes a claim made by Paul about confidentiality rules.
Green leadership issues are ‘behind’ the party ‘for now,’ Paul says
'Where I'm at, absolutely, 100 per cent, is focusing on getting more Greens elected in the next election,' the Green Party leader said.Her sentiments come after party tensions have cooled in recent days. On Sunday, party executives called off a non-confidence vote set to take place this week. Had that vote taken place, it could have kick-started the process of booting Paul from her position as the party's leader.
Paul has said she and the Greens cannot speak publicly about why the non-confidence vote and membership review were put on hold until at least Aug. 21, when a general convention is scheduled.
Video: Green Party Leader Annamie Paul to face another non-confidence motion (cbc.ca)
"I've provided as much clarity and transparency as I can," she told reporters Wednesday. "What we do have now is certainty, for a while in any case … We know there will be no further motions introduced."
That certainty is now out the window with a legal proceeding underway.
The end of an externally imposed truce from earlier this weekcasts doubt on Paul's attempt at a news conference Monday to show her party has pushed past a tumultuous period asCanada's 44th federal election looms.
Green party spokeswoman Rosie Emery declined to comment. Paul's office and Canton Cusmano did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
Annamie Paul says 'small group' of party execs behind court case against Green leader
OTTAWA — Green Leader Annamie Paul is seeking to frame a legal challenge from her own party as the work of a "small group" of outgoing executives that amounts to a "one-sided attack." Backed by sign-toting supporters at the opening of her campaign office in downtown Toronto today, Paul said the court action was not sanctioned by the whole of federal council — the Greens' main governing body. Yesterday, the party submitted court filings that aim to overturn arbitration orders to cancel a non-confidence vote against Paul by the council.
Paul initiated the arbitration process earlier this month, according to the legal application.
Other problems threaten to hobble the Greens, including a payroll that was cut in half this month due to financial imbalances reported by party brass, despite Paul's objections to the temporary layoffs.
Green executives have also moved to withhold funding from Paul's campaign to win Toronto Centre as she canvasses almost daily in the riding following two unsuccessful attempts that have kept her out of the House of Commons.
The nixed non-confidence vote, initially slated for last Tuesday, could have resulted in a party-wide vote next month to oust her. The application says an arbitrator halted the process and ordered that no similar motions be proposed by the current federal council — the party's main governing body, set to turn over on Aug. 19 — or before the next party convention, scheduled for Aug. 21.
Meanwhile a membership review was on track to suspend Paul's baseline status in her own party before the arbitrator froze the process.
The applicants argue the arbitrator incorrectly concluded the Green members' code is "trumped" by Paul's employment agreement as well as a party bylaw stipulating that the leader can only be removed from office by a general vote following a non-confidence vote by council, according to the arbitrator.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2021.
Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press
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