The Green Party of Canada has a new leader: human rights lawyer Green Party frontrunner Annamie Paul wins leadership on 8th ballot
Paul won the biggest leadership contest the Green Party have ever had in Ottawa on Saturday evening on the eighth ballot with 12,090 votes in a race that saw 69 per cent of party members vote.
Nearly 35,000 people were eligible to vote, nearly 10 times as many as turned out for the last leadership election in 2006 when Elizabeth May won.
Paul is also the acclaimed Green candidate for Toronto Centre and is now set to fight for the seat in the by election being held Oct. 26.
“This is a historic moment,” Paul said in her victory speech, pointing to prominent women from all backgrounds in politics who have paved the way ahead of her.
Paul who is of St.Kitts-Nevis descent thanked her family for their support, including her Nevisian 84-year-old mother who could not be present for her victory because of the coronavirus pandemic.
She also spoke of the absence of her father, who died in May in a long-term care home, and said the loss drove home the need for the party to continue fighting for a better quality of life for Canadians.
“That is the question as we face down this pandemic, as we face down the climate emergency, that we must constantly ask ourselves: what is a life worth?” she said.
There were eight candidates in the race and the party ran through announcing the individual results of each of the eight ballots before Paul won on the eighth round.STORY CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
She succeeds May, who stepped down last fall after leading the party for 13 years.
May will remain a force in the party, as she is still one of its three MPs and as of now, intends to remain as parliamentary leader in the House of Commons.
Paul said the party is facing an opportunity like never before as the country grapples with the effects of the pandemic.
“This is a government that is intellectually exhausted,” Paul said.
“You have matched a leader to the challenges of this time. I also believe we need to match a party to the needs of this moment, and there is no question this party is the Green Party of Canada.”