Politics

Green Party leadership candidate Annamie Paul to run in Toronto Centre by-election

Party won't help byelection campaign until after leadership vote closes Oct. 3

Posted: September 24, 2020
Last Updated: September 25, 2020

Leadership hopeful Annamie Paul is running for the Green Party in the Oct. 26 byelection for the Ontario riding of Toronto Centre. (Vedran Lesic/ Radio-Canada)

Green Party leadership candidate Annamie Paul will also run as the party's candidate in the upcoming byelection for Bill Morneau's vacated seat in the Ontario riding of Toronto Centre.

A spokesman for Paul told CBC News that the party's federal council had to approve her candidacy because she is still a candidate in the party's leadership race. That permission came early Thursday, freeing her to run in the Oct. 26 vote. 

"I am proud to represent the Green Party of Canada in Toronto Centre for the 2nd time in less than a year," Paul said in a statement, referencing her loss to Morneau in the last federal election. 

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"Toronto Centre is where I was born. My mother taught in its schools. My grandmother was a frontline worker in its hospitals. I am running for the same reason that I did in the last election: because the people of Toronto Centre deserve real representation — something they haven't had in a very long time."

The party will not providing any financial or logistical support for her byelection race until after the leadership vote closes at 8:30 p.m. ET on Oct. 3. 

The spokesman said, should she win the leadership, the party would expect the NDP not to run a candidate against her, just as the Greens did not run anyone against Jagmeet Singh when he was elected federally for the first time in a Feb. 25, 2019 byelection. 

The Greens did, however, run Brennan Wauters against Singh in the B.C. riding of Burnaby South in the last federal election, coming in fourth.

"If we do win the leadership race, it will certainly be a huge boost," Paul told CBC News. "The largest percentage of our members are in Ontario, so it's also an advantage and I think members are itching to get out there again, especially if it is to elect our new leader.

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Paul, who speaks French, Spanish and Catalan, is pushing electoral reform. Canada's first-past-the-post system, she told CBC News earlier this month, "is not working for us."

"It is clear that there are regions of the country that are not represented, simply because we don't have a system that allows the voices of those who didn't vote for the winning party in their area," she said.

Corrections

  • This story has been updated from a previous version that incorrectly stated Jagmeet Singh ran federally for the first time last year. In fact, he ran unsuccessfully for the federal NDP in 2011 before winning a provincial seat. He won a federal byelection in 2019.
    Sep 25, 2020 5:52 PM ET