Heated candidate debate in the Green Party of Canada leadership race
Six leadership candidates have been endorsed by the Green Party. Top, left to right: Sarah Gabrielle Baron, Simon Gnocchini-Messier and Chad Walcott; bottom, left to right: Anna Keenan, Jonathan Pedneault and Elizabeth May.
The candidates in the Green Party of Canada leadership race presented their vision for the the future of the party during a debate on Wednesday evening.
Outside perceptions of internal party strife and difficulties in fundraising during fundraising campaigns weighed heavily on the event, which took place over Zoom and drew an audience of less than 500 people. /p>
The six candidates promised to repair party structures and improve its image. Everyone spoke of an urgent need for a serious environmental policy. However, they disagreed on how to achieve this.
Elizabeth May, the longtime MP is running again, but this time with Jonathan Pedneault, a human rights researcher. She maintained that she left the party in excellent shape when she resigned from the leadership in 2019.
Ms May said she could get to work as soon as they are elected. The more leaders we lose in Parliament, the more relevance we lose, she stressed. If we are elected to lead this party, we will very quickly be leaders in Parliament. Just look at us, Ms. May said.
Candidate Sarah Gabrielle Baron, for her part, stressed the importance of developing community policies. She criticized the idea that a co-management model would radically change the way the party works. Two egos at the top don't magically make a grassroots organization, she said.
During a heated discussion about how the party can fill its coffers again, with national headquarters seemingly under threat and donors abandoning ship after a disappointing 2021 election result, Ms Baron pointed to the ;elephant in the room. The Greens need to work on fundraising, she said. Our morale is really low.
Simon Gnocchini-Messier, another independent candidate who presented the Greens as part of a social democratic coalition in parliament, pushed back against what he called “the mainstream media narrative that we are in constant internal conflict”. He said MPs have collectively turned the page on the mistakes of recent years.
“We are moving forward, and my fellow leadership candidates all want to move forward. forward to build strong party unity and prepare for the upcoming federal election,” Gnocchini-Messier said.
Annamie Paul, who was elected to succeed Elizabeth May in 2020, resigned late last year after the worst election result in decades, citing the racism and misogyny she suffered behind the scenes . Most of the candidates pledged to implement better anti-racism and anti-harassment policies within the party, with Anna Keenan saying there were mistakes on both sides.
Ms May claimed there was a “mismatch” between Annamie Paul's talents and “what a leader of the Green Party should be”. In particular, she wants to see an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing.
More recent clashes have led to the resignation of the party's chairman and several other members of his committee. direction. After they left, the party decided to truncate its leadership election process. Instead of an initial plan to hold two rounds of voting, only one will take place, beginning Saturday and until a new leader is announced on November 19.