After several resignations from the leadership committee, the Federal Green Party is looking to reduce other aspects of its leadership race.
According to multiple Green Party sources, party officials are discussing how to conduct a leadership contest now that four committee members have resigned.
The sources, who are not authorized to speak publicly, tell CBC News that the party may hold several formal leadership events and is considering shortening the two rounds of voting to one.
The party was expected to announce the finalists following the first round of voting on October 14 and introduce its new leader on November 19.
The Green Party federal council, the party’s governing body, has yet to make a decision. The body is scheduled to meet next Wednesday. Interim leader Amita Kuttner told a press conference on Wednesday that the race is still on and the team will publish more information soon.
This month, Lorraine Rekmans resigned from her position on the leadership committee and as party president. He cited the party’s refusal to halt the leadership race until it could investigate allegations of systemic racism within the party – allegations that came to light when Kuttner was mistreated during the leadership launch.
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After Rekmans’ resignation, three other committee members – Natalie Odd, Michael MacLean and John Willson – resigned their positions via email.
“I am surprised and disappointed to learn that (the leadership committee’s) recommendations to the coalition council, to protect LGBT+ members from potential harm during the Leadership Contest, have been rejected,” said Wilson’s resignation email, viewed by CBC News.
“We regret the unfortunate sequence of events that occurred. It was not what we envisioned,” said a joint resignation letter filed by Odd and MacLean and obtained by CBC News. “The tasks of the competition are transferred to the workers (of the Green Party) who will work with volunteers.”
Although Odd, MacLean and Wilson have left the committee, they retain key roles on the council and the Green Party Fund.
Sources told CBC their departure undermined preparations for the leadership vote, which was supposed to be conducted mostly online. When the leadership race was launched in August, the group promised to be technologically advanced.
Virtual campaign events and a party website require a lot of technical and time-consuming work. But the Green Party of Canada is up against it lack of funds and relies on unpaid volunteers. Some of that technology is now gone because of the recent purge, sources said.
Member of Parliament Elizabeth May, who was the leader of this group, ran for the position of leader with him this time. He said the team must continue with the competition despite the setbacks.
“I was in the leadership race in 2006,” said May. “And we had less resources, fewer people, and we ran a very loyal campaign and a leadership contest, with a debate in English in Calgary and a debate in French in Montreal. Several bilingual debates in Ottawa.”
Former interim leader of the Green Party, Jo-Ann Roberts, said the party should be able to continue the race without too much trouble because a lot of the hard work – setting the rules, vetting candidates – has already been done.
“The leadership planning committee has done a difficult job,” said Roberts. “So I think whoever comes in has a very strong foundation.”