An imminent threat to Annmie Paul’s leadership of the Green Party of Canada has been eliminated, after a vote of no-confidence originally scheduled for this week was canceled, CBC News has learned.
The governing body of the Green Party, called the Federal Council, was due to vote on the issue on Tuesday. But several party sources told CBC News on Sunday it would not go ahead.
The sources spoke on condition that they were not named as they were not authorized to speak publicly.
The decision to forgo Tuesday’s leadership vote was taken after an internal arbitration process, according to several sources.
A potential review of Paul’s membership in the Green Party, discussed by the board last week, will also not be initiated, the sources say.
A spokesperson for the Greens said Paul would hold a press conference and make an announcement on Monday.
The vote scheduled for Tuesday was initially prompted by a call from the Federal Council for Paul to reject comments from his former adviser who criticized the Green MPs’ positions on Israel and to show support for his MPs. The council urged Paul to comply with his directive or face a vote of no confidence.
As the conflict in the Middle East escalated in May, Green Party lawmakers opposed a statement released by Paul that called for de-escalation and a return to dialogue.
Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin, who later left the Green Party for the Liberals in June, called the statement “grossly inadequate.” Her departure, in which she said the dispute over Israel played a role, left the Greens with just two MPs.
Paul’s political adviser at the time, Noah Zatzman, said in a Facebook post on May 14 that he had been a victim of anti-Semitism and discrimination within the party and criticized politicians who he said demonstrated anti-Semitism, including Green MPs. He wrote that the Greens would work to “bring in progressive climate champions who are anti-afa and pro LGBT and pro indigenous and Zionist sovereignty !!!! “
After his message, calls have multiplied for Paul to denounce and dismiss Zatzman. Members of the party’s federal council initially discussed his dismissal, but instead called on the leader to repudiate Zatzman’s statements and publicly support the Green MPs.
Paul, who currently does not hold a seat in the House of Commons, said she did not consider any Green MPs to be anti-Semitic and expressed support for them. She also previously said she did not believe Atwin’s decision to cross the floor was due to disagreements over Israel, calling it “fabricated.”
After his exit from the Greens, Atwin changed his stance on Israel, apologizing for his previous comments and taking a stance more in line with the liberals.
Paul also said the push by some in the party leadership to oust him was motivated by racism and sexism. In June, she wrote in a Facebook post: “Often times when people like me are elected or appointed to leadership positions, the rules of the game seem to change: suddenly more control, more responsibility and more speed and more severe penalties. “
Since the issue first gained national attention, Paul and the Federal Council have clashed on a number of other fronts. Executives recently fired staff from Paul’s office, citing financial constraints, and she was at one point muted on a call on the matter. Executives were also considering withholding $ 250,000 pledged for the leader’s campaign in Toronto Center.
Last week, sources told CBC News that the Federal Council also discussed a review of Paul’s very membership in the Greens, which will now not take place.
Sources also told CBC News last week that Paul sent a cease and desist letter to a member of Federal Council. The letter accused a board member of defamation, but no further action was taken. The nature of the alleged comments that prompted the letter is unclear.
If Tuesday’s vote had taken place, 75 percent of federal council members would have had to vote no confidence for him to succeed, in which case he would have been referred to the general green members next month.
The sources told CBC News that Paul is likely to win the vote on Tuesday if he takes place.