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

The site of the former Rona store in Newton could be home to a park and civic amenities, in the 6900-block of King George Boulevard. (Photo: Google Street View)
Surrey buying 16 properties in Newton for parkland, civic amenities

Mayor Doug McCallum says project will be ‘fast-tracked’

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
White Rock dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

Dancers perform at the Museum of Surrey during the opening of “Being Punjabi: Unfolding the Surrey Story” exhibit in October 2019. (File photo: Malin Jordan)
NDP says it will build a South Asian museum in Surrey

Media event held Tuesday at park in Newton

Highway 99 traffic flows under 24 Avenue in South Surrey Monday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
A cyclist crosses above Highway 99 on 24 Avenue Monday afternoon, Oct. 19. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Liberals promise new freeway interchanges for South Surrey

NDP candidate taking pre-election announcement ‘with heavy grain of salt’

A past extreme weather response shelter set up for women inside Surrey’s Nightshift Street Ministries. (Photo: Chris Paul/nightshiftministries.org)
Homeless people in Surrey face ‘shocking and scary’ scenario this winter

Last winter there were nine Extreme Weather Response shelters in all of Surrey and White Rock. So far, during this pandemic, there are only five lined up for the coming winter

Working smoothly together on May 11, 2020, health minister Adrian Dix, B.C. Liberal health critic Norm Letnick, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and sign language interpreter Nigel Howard. (B.C. government video)
COVID-19 co-operation a casualty of B.C.’s pandemic election

NDP’s Horgan weaponizes senior care, B.C. Liberal Wilkinson calls for ‘wartime economy’

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island residents warned to watch livestock, pets after bear kills llama

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

A Rick Hansen Secondary School student died in hospital after suffering a medical incident in class on Monday. (File photo)
Abbotsford student dies after medical incident in class

Rick Hansen Secondary School offering additional counselling for students who require it

Investigators work at the Sagmoen farm in Silver Creek. - Image credit: Observer file photo.
Sex workers allegedly called to farm of Okanagan man convicted of assault, RCMP investigating

Curtis Sagmoen, convicted in relation to assault of sex trade workers, is prohibited from soliciting escorts

Most Read