OTTAWA – While other party leaders plan to tour the country to woo Canadians’ votes, Annamie Paul of the Greens says she will spend most of the federal election campaign in one place: downtown Toronto.

That’s where Paul is trying to win a seat at the Toronto Center, a liberal stronghold where he has already lost two elections.

Paul said Monday that he needs to focus on his own leadership because the Greens, founded in 1983, are a “relatively young” and “start-up” party that needs to work harder to win in federal politics. He also compared the strategy to the way former green leader Elizabeth May campaigned before taking a seat in Parliament, although May organized a train “whistle” tour across the country when she did not have a seat in the 2008 election. .

“The thing about the Toronto Center is that the policies and positions that the Green Party wants to spend more time talking about in this election can be discussed here,” Paul told reporters Monday, referring to climate change and the need to improve. government programs to support people.

“I am going to speak on national issues that will inform our national campaign,” he said. “I can do it from here, and the reality of being a green is that I will mainly have to do it from here.”

The decision to take refuge where Paul is fighting for a seat comes after months of infighting between the party, threats to its leadership, and a warning last month from top party officials that the federal organization was closing in on a ” Financial turning point “at which it is not already possible to conduct an effective national election campaign.

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At the time, officials said the party had less than $ 300,000 in the bank and questioned whether it could borrow enough money to fund an election campaign. Enmeshed in a legal battle over efforts to depose Paul through a vote of confidence and review of his green membership, the party had also spent $ 100,000 in legal fees at the time and had set aside another $ 100,000 for that purpose, officials said.

The Star also reported this summer that the party planned not to hire a national campaign chairman, citing lack of finances.

And the party never transferred $ 250,000 to its highest governing body earmarked for Paul’s Toronto Center campaign in the months leading up to the federal elections.

The party’s acting chief executive officer, Dana Taylor, did not respond to an interview request or emailed questions about the situation on Monday, including whether the party has a national campaign manager and whether she received a bank loan for the election.

Party spokeswoman Rosie Emery only confirmed that the Greens had so far nominated 144 candidates for the September 20 election.

The party also removed at least two Green employees who were laid off in July from Paul’s office, Star confirmed.

But while questions remain about the party’s finances for a national campaign, Paul’s riding association in Downtown Toronto has raised enough money for its own local election effort, according to a senior Green source who spoke on the condition that they are not named.

The source said that Paul’s campaign already has enough money in the bank to spend as much as possible under Elections Canada rules. In the 2019 election in which Paul came second to liberal candidate Marci Ien, the spending cap was just over $ 100,000.

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The source, however, declined to discuss how much Paul could participate with the central party in a national campaign for the elections.

“We are focused on success at the Toronto Center,” they said.

With files from Raisa Patel


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