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

Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon, B.C. photo: Sparkling Hill Resort’s Facebook
COVID-19: Sparkling Hill Resort closes after staffer tests positive

Vernon resort closes for 11 days as precautionary measure

A pair of hunters walked away with minor injuries after their vehicle rolled down an embankment Oct. 28. (VSAR photo)
Hunters free themselves from rollover on Westside

Vernon Search and Rescue was called out for a rope rescue, but the pair were already walking down the road

Lumby is proceeding with Halloween fireworks for 2020, but encouraging everyone to stay in their cars or watch from home. (Dale Eurich Photography - 2019)
Halloween fireworks curbed in all but two North Okanagan communities

COVID-19 forces Lake Country, Coldstream, BX, Armstrong to cancel events

Mara Lake is one of the significant water resources across the Okanagan-Shuswap region that will fall under increasing sustainability pressure as the anticipated population growth for the region continues in this century. (File photo)
Okanagan Valley water supply sustainability reaching a critical point: Global expert

Global expert says Okanagan Basin Water Board offers sustainable path forward

H.O.P.E. Outreach volunteers not only spread support, but thanks to donations they offer makeup, jewelry and clothing to sex trade workers in Vernon and Kelowna. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Warm clothing sought for Okanagan’s most vulnerable

Coat drive at People Place Sunday, Nov. 1 in Vernon and Nov. 7 in Kelowna

Sooke’s Paul Larouche enjoys gold panning along the Sooke River, looking for small treasures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Elijah Beauregard, 16, was stabbed in downtown Kelowna on June 27, 2019. He died of his wounds three days later in hospital. His family is raising money to put a memorial bench at his favourite skatepark in Penticton.
Family of teen fatally stabbed in Kelowna close to getting Christmas wish

A memorial bench in Penticton for Elijah Beauregard is close to meeting its funding goal

The Kimberley Dynamiters' next two exhibition games have been postponed due to an individual testing positive for COVID-19. Paul Rodgers file.
Member of Kimberley Dynamiters tests positive for COVID-19

Exhibition games in Fernie, Creston postponed

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on February 28. (Photo by: Cpl Joey Beaudin, 19 Wing Imaging, Comox)
Father and son found dead after weeklong search near Pemberton

The father and son had set out for a day of mushroom picking last Thursday

A full moon rises over Mt. Cheam on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Rare full moon, Daylight Saving makes for a uniquely spooky Halloween – despite COVID-19

We can’t host costume parties but this weekend is still one for the history books

Most Read