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. 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 her 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. Greens remaining MP, Elizeth May, retained her seat and was joined by Mike Morrice, who won the Kitchener Centre riding for the greens.
A mandatory leadership review of Annamie Paul was initiated on the 24th of September, though Annamie announced she was stepping down on September 27th, 2021.
The Green Party of Canada will have an interim leader annouced and a new leadership contest undertaken in the near future, and will face the task of rebuilding and exceeding previous successes.