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Green Party of Canada

The Green Party of Canada is a federal political party that advocates environmentalism as the key to a sustainable society. Annamie Paul was elected in 2020 to become the party’s leader, replacing Elizabeth May. Paul became the first Black Canadian and the first Jewish Canadian woman to permanently lead a federal political party. She resigned as leader after the party’s poor performance in the September 2021 federal election.

Two Green Party candidates were elected to the House of Commons in the 2021 election. (See Member of Parliament.)

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Elizabeth May

Elizabeth May, OC, politician, environmental activist, lawyer, author, leader of the Green Party of Canada 2006–19 (born 9 June 1954 in Hartford, Connecticut). May served as a policy advisor (1986–88) to the government of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and in 1989 became the founding executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada. In 2011, she became the first Green Party member elected to the House of Commons. May resigned as party leader in November 2019.

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PCs Win Minority Government in PEI, Green Party Becomes Official Opposition

Two months after becoming party leader, Dennis King led the Progressive Conservatives to a minority government in PEI with 12 seats and 36.5 per cent of the popular vote. Peter Bevan-Baker and the Green Party became the official opposition with 8 seats and 30.6 per cent of the vote, the best-ever showing for the party in a provincial or federal election.

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Annamie Paul

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada 2020–21, lawyer, activist (born 3 November 1972 in Toronto, ON). Annamie Paul has worked as an advisor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague and with various international organizations devoted to preserving human rights and fighting climate change. She served as the leader of the Green Party of Canada from October 2020 to November 2021. She was the first Black Canadian and the first Jewish woman to be elected as leader of a major federal political party in Canada.

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Annamie Paul Resigns as Green Party Leader

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After becoming the first Black Canadian and the first Jewish woman to lead a major  federal political party in Canada when she was elected Green Party leader in October 2020, Annamie Paul lost a by-election for Toronto Centre later that month. She began to lose support within her party in summer 2021 over her muted position on the escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Severe infighting within the party led to an attempt to remove Paul as leader and revoke her party membership. Paul persevered, but in the election on 20 September she lost her third bid for the Toronto Centre seat. The Green Party’s share of the national popular vote fell from 6.5 per cent in the 2019 election to only 2.3 per cent. Paul resigned as Green Party leader and called her time in the role “the worst period” in her life.

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Andrew Weaver

Andrew John Weaver, OBC, FRSC, climate scientist, leader of the BC Green Party 2015–20 (born 16 November 1961 in Victoria, BC). Andrew Weaver is a leading climate change researcher who made historic gains for the Green Party of British Columbia in his second career as a politician. In 2013, he was elected the province’s first Green MLA. In 2017, he led the Greens to three seats. After the 2017 election, he engineered a power-sharing deal with the BC New Democratic Party and toppled the Liberal government of Christy Clark to help John Horgan become premier.

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Jagmeet Singh Says NDP Would Not Support Conservative Minority Government

After a video surfaced of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer detailing his opposition to same-sex-marriage in 2005, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said, “if Canadians deliver a minority government in October, I will not prop up Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives.” Green Party leader Elizabeth May followed suit on 3 September, citing the other parties’ lack of an adequate climate change plan as the reason she would refuse support. “We actually would bring a government down and go back to the polls to get a government that’s prepared to be responsible,” she said.

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Canadian Party System

Political parties are organizations that seek to control government. They participate in public affairs by nominating candidates for elections. ( See also Political Campaigning in Canada.) Since there are typically multiple groups that wish to do this, political parties are best thought of as part of a party system. This system dictates the way political parties conduct themselves in competition with one another. As of 2015, there were 23 registered political parties in Canada. The five major federal parties are the Liberal Party, the Conservative Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party (NDP), the Bloc Québécois and the Green Party of Canada.