The Green Party’s Annamie Paul remains the leader after party officials decided not to proceed with a confidence motion on her leadership.
Sources say that the party’s federal council instead asked Paul to disavow and distance herself from Noah Zatzman, her former senior adviser, who last month used social media to accuse some Green party members of anti-semitism.
The motion required Paul to “explicitly support” the Green Party caucus or face a no-confidence on July 20.
This followed weeks of tension within the party over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Paul had called for a ceasefire and condemned both Palestinians and Israel for the nine-day rockets and bombs exchanges.
Green MP Jenica Atwin described Paul’s response as inadequate, called on the party to condemn Israeli airstrikes, and to end apartheid. Atwin later crossed the floor to join the Liberals. Green MP Paul Manly described the forced removal of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem as ethnic cleansing.
On Facebook, Zatzman said that the party should recruit more progressives who are “…pro indigenous sovereignty and Zionists!” He has since been dropped as an adviser to the leader.
Meanwhile, two executive members, including John Kidder, a vice-president on the party’s governing body and husband to MP and former leader Elizabeth May, said they will step down.
“Unfortunately, the attack against Ms. Atwin by the Green Party leader’s chief spokesperson on May 14th created the conditions that led to this crisis,” the two said.
Paul said she was surprised by Atwin’s departure, wished her well, but said that a by-election should be called in Fredericton because voters there chose to elect a Green MP in the 2019 campaign.
Just before this paper went to print Ms Paul, in a speech Wednesday afternoon, was firm in stating that she won’t be forced out and claimed that the attempts were being driven by racism and sexism.
She said in the Ottawa press conference that the push to eject her was led by a “small group” of party brass “who are on their way out.”