Annamie Paul says she was dazzled by management review

Leader of the Green Party, Annamie Paul, told a party meeting recently that she was dazzled by the decision to put her leadership to a members’ vote without informing her first.

Paul said she first learned about the leadership review when the party sent a message to members and surprised her.

Paul made the remarks at a federal council meeting Wednesday, according to a source who attended.

CBC News has verified the content of Paul’s comments. The Federal Council is the governing body of the party, and its meetings are often well attended by members of the Green Party.

Paul suggested that there is no need for a management review because she has already announced her departure. She said she hopes the negotiations between her lawyer and the party on the terms of her resignation will be concluded soon, but she did not offer a timeline.

The comments are among the first Paul has made since announcing on September 27 that she would step down as leader of Canada’s Green Party. Paul has not done any interviews since she held her only post-election news conference where she did not ask questions.

Paul also told the meeting that the news of the management review “confused” her and other party members. Under the party’s constitution, leadership reviews are required after any federal election that does not end with the leader becoming prime minister.

But the review appears to be a laborious effort in Paul’s case, as she has already announced that she will stop once the exit negotiations are completed.

People in the party expected that these negotiations would end now. Paul did not say what the problems were when she spoke at Wednesday’s meeting.

Paul wants her legal fees reimbursed

CBC News has reported that lawyers involved in the negotiations cannot agree on how far the party should compensate Paul for the attorneys’ fees she incurred to fight the party’s last attempt to end her leadership, just before the federal choice.

In July, some in the Greens’ Federal Council tried to trigger an early leadership review after one of the party’s MPs, Jenica Atwin, went over the floor to the Liberals. Paul took the party’s supreme leader to arbitration to block this attempt.

The arbitrator ruled in Paul’s favor, telling members of the federal party council that they could not continue. The party leader claimed that the arbitrator was wrong and filed a notice of application for leave to appeal to the Ontario Superior Court.

Negotiations between Paul’s lawyer and the party remain confidential, and it is not clear whether the amount of money she will receive will ever be revealed to members of the Green Party. The party is struggling with fundraising and was forced to lay off staff last month.

Former leader calls Paul’s management ‘catastrophic’

Former party leader Jim Harris is urging members to vote for Paul’s dismissal.

“Members must vote to remove her as leader of the management review,” Harris said in an email addressed to former election candidates, a copy of which was obtained by CBC. “Then we can start rebuilding the party. Our future on this planet requires it.

“Annamie Paul’s tenure as leader has been disastrous. She should have resigned immediately after the election.”

In an interview with CBC, Harris said the Greens need a leader who is committed. He pointed to the fact that the party was not represented by its leader at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow this week.

“Annamie Paul told the world more than four weeks ago that she can no longer do this job and I would like to honor her wish,” he said.

Green Party MP Elizabeth May says she thinks it’s time for Annamie Paul to leave the leadership. (Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press)

Harris’ successor, Elizabeth May, is in Glasgow for COP26. She said she would not comment on her party’s internal policy – other than to suggest that Paul not continue.

“I personally think we should have accepted Annamie Paul’s resignation, but she’s apparently said she’s not really resigned,” May said. “I can not comment. I am not involved in the decision-making of the party.”

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