New Green Party Leader Annamie Paul holds a press conference alongside Green Party government house leader Elizabeth May in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Greens slam other parties for refusing to show ‘leader’s courtesy’ to Annamie Paul

Annamie Paul’s her first order of business is the Toronto Centre byelection scheduled for Oct. 26.

Former Green leader Elizabeth May slammed the New Democrats Monday for refusing to withdraw their candidate in a coming byelection, arguing doing so would allow the first Black woman elected to lead a federal party in Canada to win a seat.

Annamie Paul became the new leader of the Green party Saturday after winning on the eighth ballot.

Uniting the party and pushing Green policies on the pandemic and climate change are high on her agenda, but her first order of business is the Toronto Centre byelection scheduled for Oct. 26.

Paul was acclaimed as the Green candidate there before the leadership race ended but May says now that Paul is the leader, the other parties should stand down.

May had particularly harsh words for NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who won a 2019 byelection in the Burnaby South riding.

May said Singh was not a “shoo-in” to win that byelection. She said the Greens were very strong there at the time but still offered not to run a candidate against him, and that Singh told her that was “a very classy” thing to do.

“I’d like Jagmeet Singh to think about it,” she said Monday.

“I’d like New Democrats to reach out to him and say, ‘How classy is it to try to block the entry to the House of Commons of the first Black woman leader of a federal political party?’ Consider what Rosemary Brown would think.”

Brown was the first Black woman elected to a provincial legislature when she became an MLA in British Columbia in 1972. She also was the first Black woman to run for the leadership of a federal party, finishing second to Ed Broadbent in the NDP’s race in 1975.

Anne McGrath, national director of the NDP, said in a statement that Brian Chang, who is the party’s candidate in Toronto Centre, was chosen by members democratically and that he will not withdraw.

“Every Canadian deserves to vote for the party they believe in, and with Brian Chang, they can count on someone who will fight for them,” she said.

The NDP also pointed out that in 2019, the party did not ask for the Greens to avoid running a candidate against Singh.

Toronto Centre is a Liberal stronghold, with that party winning the seat in every election since 1993. It is vacant after former finance minister Bill Morneau stepped down in August.

The Liberals have nominated Marci Ien, who took a leave of absence as co-host of CTV’s talk show The Social. Liberal party spokesman Braeden Caley confirmed Ien will remain on the ballot.

“We congratulate Ms. Paul on her election as Green party leader and wish her well as her party’s candidate in the riding,” Caley said in an email.

“Marci Ien’s campaign in Toronto Centre is looking forward to a positive contrast of ideas with all of the other parties.”

The Conservatives have nominated candidates in both Toronto Centre and in York Centre in northwestern Toronto, where a byelection is happening the same day.

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier is running for his party in York Centre.

READ MORE: Green Party of Canada chooses Toronto lawyer Annamie Paul as new leader

Green party spokeswoman Rosie Emery said the Greens have a candidate nominated for York Centre who is awaiting official confirmation by Elections Canada.

Paul says she is not surprised none of the other parties will stand down in Toronto Centre but that she is used to overcoming obstacles.

“I am a first, and as a first you’re accustomed to fighting,” she said. “You’re accustomed to having to overcome every single barrier to get where you’re trying to go to. If we have to do that yet again in Toronto Centre then we are prepared to do so.”

Paul ran and finished fourth in Toronto Centre in the 2019 general election, with seven per cent of the vote. Morneau won with 57 per cent, followed by the NDP in second with 22 per cent.

Paul did nearly triple the Greens’ vote in that election versus the one before.

Paul, 47, says there is one obvious thing she brings to Parliament Hill as the Green leader, using her hands to mime a picture frame around her face. She said diversity in the party and on Parliament Hill are critical.

She said policies that harm people of colour are not likely to be made when Black Canadians are at the table.

“What I bring is hope, hope to all the people that have not seen themselves represented in politics to this point,” she said.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Green Party

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed more than 1,000 cases over the weekend Monday afternoon. File photo
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up Monday

‘We’ve now crossed the tipping point,’ says Hinshaw

Right, Ambassador of Hungary to Canada, Her Excellency Dr. Maria Vass-Salazar, lays a wreath at St. Michael’s RC Cemetery in Manfred, Ponoka County on Oct. 25. (Emily Jaycox/Bashaw Star)
Wreath laying ceremony held in Manfred

Ceremony marks 64th anniversary of Hungarian revolution, honours settlers

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Cases in Ponoka (East Ponoka County) as of Oct. 27. (alberta.ca)
Diagnosed cases of COVID-19 at three Ponoka businesses

Town ‘strongly encouraging’ residents to wear non-medical masks in public

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Alberta’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday July 6, 2020. The Alberta government is hoping to get more Albertans employed by moving to limit the number and type of temporary foreign workers it allows into the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta to limit temporary foreign worker program to save jobs for Albertans

Temporary foreign workers already in the province won’t be affected

Submitted
Montana First Nations councillor gives back to youth

Has pledged 10 per cent of his salary for youth programming

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join AUPE walk outs across the province Monday Oct. 26, 2020. Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer.
City of Wetaskiwin health-care workers strike in protest of province-wide cuts

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join other front line hospital workers across the province in walk-outs.

Most Read