Green Party president resigns, saying her 'optimism has died'

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OTTAWA — The president of the Green Party of Canada has resigned, telling members in a letter that her "optimism has died" amid ongoing party turmoil.

The Canadian Press has obtained a letter from Lorraine Rekmans, who writes that she can no longer serve because "there is no vision for a better future, but only an effort to look back and settle old scores, while the planet burns."

Rekmans writes that she has been marginalized, insulted and denigrated by leadership contestants and sees no way to continue as president when one of them will be principal spokesperson for the party.

Four of the six leadership candidates, along with Green MP Mike Morrice, recently issued a joint statement to condemn the misgendering of interim leader Amita Kuttner — who is transgender and nonbinary — in a party Zoom event, though they commended Rekmans for an immediate apology.

The Greens launched a leadership contest this summer to find a replacement for Annamie Paul, who resigned after a disappointing showing for the party in the 2021 election.

Her tenure was marked by internal conflict and she accused some in the party of racism and sexism.

Leadership candidate Sarah Gabrielle Baron, who did not sign the joint statement, says party matters should be handled internally.

The other five candidates could not immediately be reached for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 10, 2022.

The Canadian Press