TORONTO – Annamie Paul is stepping down as leader of the Green Party of Canada, saying she doesn’t “have the heart” to keep fighting to hold onto the position.
Paul – who’s had to deal with much infighting within Green ranks – announced her resignation in Toronto on Monday morning, a week after the federal election that saw her party’s share of the popular vote drop significantly.
She said she started thinking about whether she wanted to stay at the helm of the party in recent days after learning that a leadership review had been launched.
“I just asked myself whether this is something that I wanted to continue, whether I was willing to continue to put up with the attacks I knew would be coming, whether to continue to have to fight and struggle just to fulfill my democratically elected role as leader of this party,” she said.
“And I just don’t have the heart for it.”
Paul overcame a bid to oust her as leader just weeks before the election, and faced an automatic leadership review following the ballot.
She said Monday that she had contacted the party’s federal council to start the process of her resignation and the search for a new leader.
Paul said the election was “very difficult,” pointing to a lack of funding, campaign staff, and a national campaign manager. She also noted internal strife undermined the party’s chances at the ballots.
“When you head into an election being, again, under the threat of a court process from your party, it’s going to be very hard to convince people to vote for your party,” she said.
Paul came in fourth in Toronto Centre, her third failed attempt to win the riding.
The party elected two candidates, including its first in Ontario – the same number of seats it held before the election.
The Greens also drew 2.3 per cent of the popular vote, less than half the 6.55 per cent they received in the previous election.