OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada will not cast a vote of no confidence in Annamie Paul’s leadership this week, according to two sources with knowledge of party affairs.
A senior party source, speaking on internal affairs on condition of anonymity, confirmed a CBC report Sunday afternoon that Green’s main governing body, the federal council, canceled the vote scheduled for Tuesday night to try to depose Paul as the leader.
The source said the party will also not continue with a review of Paul’s membership.
A second source with knowledge of the party’s affairs also said the vote of confidence will be canceled, but could not confirm what is happening with the membership review.
Green Party spokeswoman Rosie Emery declined to comment Sunday afternoon, but noted that Paul will hold a press conference on Monday.
All three sources said the press conference was scheduled for Paul to declare that the threats to his leadership were over.
“We are all a bit shocked, but happy,” said a party source. “It is what we wanted, to focus on the elections and leave all this internal drama behind.”
Paul did not respond to a request for comment from the Star Sunday night. Neither did the party’s acting executive director, nor did the members of the federal council of the Greens who were ready to vote of confidence.
The confidence vote set for Tuesday could have triggered the Green Party’s formal process to remove Paul as leader. If 75 percent of the federal council members voted not to have confidence, Paul’s leadership would have been decided by the more than 33,000 members of the Greens at a general meeting scheduled for Aug. 21.
The Green Party has been in turmoil for months. As The Star first reported in April, sources within the party have described a power clash between Paul and members of the federal council that was undermining the country’s first elected black leader of a political party with seats in Parliament.
Sean Yo, one of Paul’s political lieutenants who ran his election bid at the Toronto Center last fall, said the leader began to face obstacles within her own party just days after becoming leader.
This included what Yo saw as a lack of support from the central party for his election campaign, as well as how he worked without a work contract for about three months.
The party also appointed an interim executive director against Paul’s wishes, according to three sources, and overruled her on decisions such as the composition of the party’s campaign task force, prompting Paul herself to express her frustration over resistance from top officials at a February meeting.
The situation escalated after New Brunswick MP Jenica Atwin spoke to the Liberals in June, sparking accusations that Paul was to blame for his leadership style and poor communications within the party.
Last week, the federal council held a closed-door meeting in which multiple sources said they discussed the status of Paul’s membership. That revelation raised questions about whether Paul could lead the party if his membership were suspended during a formal review. Party rules say that a member under review cannot represent the Greens “in any capacity.”