OTTAWA — Former Green leader Elizabeth May is speaking out after months of near-silence on the internal strife engulfing the party she headed for 13 years.
In a statement to media Tuesday afternoon, May says "rumours" about her involvement in party power struggles have pushed her to clarify she has no role in any of the Greens' governing bodies.
Members of the federal council, which governs most of the party's affairs, have clashed with leader Annamie Paul for months over issues that range from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to staff layoffs and funding for Paul's riding campaign in Toronto Centre.
May says she did have first-hand knowledge of Green MP Jenica Atwin's defection to the Liberals last month, a loss of one-third of the Green caucus that May called "painful" but no cause for "misplaced anger, blame and name-calling."
May says she fully supports the Green party, adding simply that "our leader is Annamie Paul and only our members have authority to call that into question."
Falling short of a full-throated endorsement, the statement comes a day after Paul held a news conference to show her party has pushed past a period of tumultuous acrimony ahead of a likely election this year.
The lingering tensions have left Greens in limbo and Paul reeling from a temporarily sidelined threat to her leadership.
Paul confirmed Monday that a non-confidence motion against her planned for Tuesday was cancelled, and that no similar motions will be proposed by the current federal council or before the next party convention.
"We need to pull together for what appears to be an imminent election campaign," May said Tuesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 20, 2021.
The Canadian Press