Green Party Leader Annamie Paul will face a vote of non-confidence for failing to disavow remarks about Israel and anti-Semitism by a former aide.
The party’s governing body, the federal council, will vote on July 20 on a motion of non-confidence, according to a letter read at a members’ town hall by interim party president Liana Cusmano.
According to the CBC, the letter says the party’s federal council is moving to sanction Paul for “failing to openly condemn the actions of Noah Zatzman.”
Zatzman earlier criticized unnamed MPs, including from the Greens, for their “appalling” anti-Semitism and vowed they would be defeated in the next election by those who support Zionism.
On June 15, members of the federal council issued an ultimatum to Paul not only to disavow Zatzman’s comments but to reaffirm her support for the party’s two MPs at a news conference, or face a confidence vote on July 20.
Some confusion then arose when Paul told the Globe and Mail that she no longer had to follow through on the order to disavow Zatzman’s remarks. The next day, the federal council said Paul was still bound by the demand.
The federal council met on June 29. In an email to The CJN, party spokesperson Rosie Emery said the council’s meetings and business are “strictly confidential. If the council releases a statement, then we would share it with the media.”
As for Paul, “there is no comment at this time.”
The non-confidence vote will be “the most consequential thing that has ever been undertaken at the Green Party of Canada,” states the letter read at the June 30 town hall. “We do not take this matter or the decision to hold this vote lightly.”
For the vote of non-confidence to succeed, 75 percent of council members will have to vote in favour on July 20. If that happens, Green Party members have the final say at an Aug. 21 general meeting.
Zatzman issued a statement calling the most recent action “further evidence of an organization whose leadership fosters a culture of systemic anti-Semitism and discrimination.”
The development marks the latest round of internal strife that climaxed when Green MP Jenica Atwin crossed the floor to the Liberals earlier this month over disagreements with Paul on the Israel-Hamas conflict and other issues.
In a joint statement following Atwin’s defection, the Green Party’s two remaining MPs, Paul Manly and Elizabeth May, said they were “heartbroken” by her departure and they blamed Zatzman.