The Green Party of Canada
The Green Party of Canada was founded in 1983 at a conference held at Carleton University in Ottawa. The Green Party of Canada is independent but remains philosophically aligned with green parties around the world in the premise that all life on the planet is interconnected and that humans have a responsibility to protect and preserve it. The Green Party of Canada, like its provincial counterparts, supports green economics, progressive social planning and responsible and accountable governance.
Under its first leader, Dr. Trevor Hancock, the party ran 60 candidates in the 1984 federal election. Co-founder, Elizabeth May, was one of its first candidates, She ran against Deputy Prime Minister Allan J. MacEachern on Cape Breton Island.
On June 28, 2004, the Green Party of Canada made history when it became only the fourth federal political party ever to run candidates in all of Canada's ridings, under the leadership of Jim Harris. It was the only party running a full slate to be excluded from the televised leaders’ debate. Greens secured 4.3 percent of the popular vote, thereby surpassing the 2 percent threshold required for party financing under new Elections Canada rules.
Elizabeth May became the party leader in 2006 and later that year finished second in a by-election in London North Centre. In the 2008 federal election, May ran in the Nova Scotia riding of Central Nova. Despite losing to Peter MacKay, she won an impressive 32% of the vote.
In the 2011 federal election, Elizabeth May ran in the riding of Saanich—Gulf Islands in British Columbia. Despite her exclusion from the leaders’ debate, she won her riding, defeating Conservative cabinet minister Gary Lunn and becoming the first elected Green Party MP in Canadian history.
In 2019, Elizabeth May was joined by green MPs Paul Manley and Jenica Atwin. By this time, the greens already had breakthroughs provincially - electing MPPs in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Ontario.
Elizabeth May continued as Parliamentary House Leader, but stepped down as the Green Party of Canada's leader in late 2019. Interim leader Jo-Anne Roberts passed the job of being our spokesperson to Annamie Paul when she was chosen by the membership to be the new Green Party of Canada leader in October 2020. This transition occurred during the time Annamie Paul was running in a federal Toronto Centre by-election, in which she obtained a strong second place finish with 32.7% of the vote.
In May of 2021, Annamie Paul's advisor, Noah Zatzman, became critical of elected green MPs whom had advocated for official Green Party of Canada policy, supporting human rights of Palestinian peoples in their territories. Zatzman wrote "we will work to defeat you" in the next election and "replace you" with Zionists. Many members were upset by Annamie remaining silent as to where she personally stood in relation to this comment, and viewed evasive silence and inaction to be responsible for Fredericton's green MP Jenica Atwin crossing the floor to the Liberals.
In an early snap election held the 20th of September 2021, the federal greens failed to run candidates in 85 of 338 ridings, and their vote share was reduced to just 2.3%, from the 6.6% obtained in the 2019 election. Annamie came in fourth place in her riding of Toronto Centre with 8.5% support. Green MP Paul Manley was narrowly defeated. The Green's remaining MP, Elizeth May, retained her seat and was joined by Mike Morrice, who won the Kitchener Centre riding for the greens.
The Green Party of Canada's Federal Council met on November 14th and formally accepted Annamie Paul's resignation. If you wonder what happened with the Green Party of Canada during a turmultous year of Annamie Paul's leadership, here is Elizabeth May's statement which was printed as a STAR EXCLUSIVE on October 3rd, 2021.
On November 24th, 2021, The Green Party of Canada announced the appointment of interim leader Dr Amita Kuttner. A leadership contest will begin within six months.
Amita Kuttner (they/he) holds a PhD in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of California, Santa Cruz; their research focused on black holes, wormholes, quantum effects, and the early universe. While at university, Amita led advocacy groups supporting the inclusion of marginalized people in the sciences, and scientists in the political process. Amita co-founded and served as director for Moonlight Institute, a non-profit that develops climate, tech, and decolonial policy, as well as frameworks for a just and equitable future. Amita is the youngest, the first trans person and the first person of east Asian descent to lead a major Canadian political party.
Amita was the Green Party of Canada candidate in Burnaby North-Seymour in the 2019 election, while serving as the party’s science and innovation critic and bringing forward policy on artificial intelligence and emerging technologies. They then ran for leadership of the Party in 2020, and volunteered locally during the 2021 election.