Green Party in tatters, with glimmers of hope, after disappointing election finish

·1 min read

OTTAWA — A former top Green official says the party faces a self-reckoning after a federal election that dashed hopes of growth following a year marred by internal strife.

The party now confronts alternate visions of how to move forward, with ex-interim executive director Anik Lajoie saying it needs to rebrand and shore up power in the leader's office, while others stress reconnection with the grassroots in a more bottom-up revival effort.

Leader Annamie Paul finished fourth in her riding of Toronto Centre, and the party saw two candidates elected — one fewer than in 2019.

It also endured a drop in its share of the popular vote to two per cent from seven per cent last time around.

Paul supporters say lack of funds and staff layoffs hampered any attempt at a co-ordinated national campaign, with Paul barely leaving her riding as she tried to compensate for $250,000 in funding that was earmarked for her local campaign but nixed by party executives.

A bitter power struggle between the leader and senior party officials dragged on for months ahead of the election, culminating in several attempts to oust Paul that served up snapshots of a party in disarray.

However, a glimmer of hope emerged Monday when Green candidate Mike Morrice cruised to victory in Kitchener Centre, a new beachhead for the 38-year-old party.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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