Amita Kuttner, the new interim leader of the Greens, says they will be ready to take harsh disciplinary measures to deal with party members who “have killed each other.”
The astrophysicist, who identifies as non-binary and transgender, said Wednesday that they want to “listen and love” to “heal” the party, which has been torn apart by infighting and accusations of racism and anti-Semitism.
But, if that doesn’t stop a minority of Greens, Kuttner said they would be “absolutely” prepared to take severe disciplinary action under the party’s code of conduct.
They acknowledged that internal disputes and criticism on social media had hurt the party and said they wanted to “guide everyone on this healing journey.”
“The healing is not only for those who have been in the throat of the other, but for all those injured by the fact that this has happened,” they said.
In his first press conference as interim leader, Kuttner said they want to “begin the process of regrowth” after the party saw public support plummet in the elections.
The Greens are also facing a financial crisis and have had to fire several members of the party’s staff. Kuttner said a fundraising campaign would be a priority.
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Kuttner was named after former leader Annamie Paul resigned, saying that leading the Greens had been the worst period of her life.
The 30-year-old is the first transgender leader of a major federal political party in Canada.
Kuttner heard tributes from Green MPs Mike Morrice and Elizabeth May, the former leader, who said the BC astrophysicist was brave to take on the task.
@AmitaKuttner, the new interim green leader, says they will be ready to take harsh disciplinary action to deal with party members who “have killed each other.” #GreenParty #CDNPoli
The interim leader will hold office until the party elects its next leader. Kuttner ruled out opting for permanent work as they are undergoing a medical transition.
Kuttner said the Greens would not support the government’s throne speech because it was not ambitious enough on climate change.
They said the appeal of the Greens goes beyond environmental issues, although fighting climate change remains the priority. They plan to reach out to those who are rejected by liberals, conservatives and the NDP and people who seek a less centralized alternative to mainstream politics. The interim leader said they were not fans of the hierarchy.
Addressing Canada’s “colonial and genocidal” past on indigenous issues will also be a central issue for the party, they said.
This Canadian Press report was first published on December 1, 2021.