Green party feud with its leader repeats itself as leaders seek to reorganize arbitration in court

Green party feud with its leader repeats itself as leaders seek to reorganize arbitration in court

They claim that an arbitrator exceeded his authority by demanding that leaders cancel their no-confidence vote against Annamie Paul as well as a review of her party membership.

Article content

OTTAWA – Annamie Paul’s leadership of the Greens is left in doubt as the party now tries to overturn a previously unreported arbitration decision that allowed Paul to avoid a no-confidence vote.

Advertising

Article content

Paul was set to face a vote of confidence on Tuesday night, but it was canceled over the weekend with the party announcing a statement that the vote and a review of Paul’s membership would not go ahead during the current term of office, which expires in August. .

The leader appeared before reporters on Monday, refusing to specify why the vote had been canceled or if an agreement had been reached. She only said it was time for the party to focus on the campaign.

“Enough is enough and it is important for us to be able to move forward with the security we need to win seats in the next election,” she said.

Paul revealed that there were ongoing problems, saying cuts to her staff imposed by the board had not been reversed and her Toronto-Center campaign was not funded.

Advertising

Article content

While speculated, Paul’s opponents did not vote for the no – confidence vote and had canceled it as a result, court documents obtained by the National Post show that the vote was actually suspended by an arbitrator outside the party’s control.

As leader, Paul has an employment agreement with the Green Party of Canada Fund, the party’s fundraising arm, which is responsible for expenses and salaries for employees. The court documents reveal that Paul’s employment contract requires arbitration during disputes, and Paul used this clause to stop the vote of confidence and membership control.

Advertising

Article content

Paul asked an arbitrator to suspend the trust vote and the membership review, and he agreed to do so and ordered the party to hold the vote and send a message online that it had done so.

Elections are underway for the party board and delaying the vote until August would have meant new members would address the issue.

Interim party president Liana Canton Cusmano sent a letter to party members Wednesday, announcing that they had filed an application in court, but she was vague about what the application entailed.

“The application concerns certain internal procedures of the Federal Council and the CEO in connection with the party leader,” she wrote.

In the letter, Cusmano listed the court case number and said members could find it on their own if they wanted to review it.

Advertising

Article content

“We understand that the leader is of the opinion that the party is bound by certain conditions of confidentiality, which we dispute.”

The party’s application argues that the arbitrator violated to order that the no – confidence vote be suspended because the party’s fundraising arm is Paul’s employer, not the party itself.

In their post, they argue that the arbitrator cannot force the party to take action because the party does not have a contract with Paul. Their submission argues that a court should scrap the arbitrator’s decision and potentially create a new vote of confidence.

If the board voted, it had no confidence in Paul, she would face a full vote on her leadership among members next month, which is when Canadians might be on their way to the vote.

Advertising

Article content

While sources have revealed that there were protracted tensions in the party, the fight came up in the public eye after Green MP Jenica Atwin crossed the floor to sit with the Liberals in June.

Prior to his dismissal, Atwin condemned a statement by Paul about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as “totally inadequate” because it called on both sides to escalate and reduce violence. Atwin called on Israel to “end apartheid.” Atwin apologized for these remarks after joining the Liberals.

Shortly after Atwin’s tweet, Paul’s then-adviser and spokesman Noah Zatzman wrote a post on Facebook urging anti-Semitism among MPs from all parties, including the Greens, and calling on anti-Semitic MPs to be defeated.

No date has been set for any hearing. The post reached out to Paul late on Wednesday, but she declined to comment at this time.

• Email: rtumilty@postmedia.com | Twitter:

Advertising

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications – you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on adjusting your email settings.

Leave a Comment

x