Politics

Interim Green Party leader Amita Kuttner begins grassroots tour

Interim Green Party leader Amita Kuttner begins a multi-province tour next week to reconnect with the party's grassroots after an acrimonious year that ended with the departure of the party's former leader, Annamie Paul.

Kuttner says race to select the party's next leader will begin soon

Green Party interim leader Amita Kuttner speaks with the media in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Interim Green Party leader Amita Kuttner begins a multi-province tour next week to reconnect with the party's grassroots after an acrimonious year that ended with the departure of the party's former leader, Annamie Paul.

Kuttner's tour will begin in southern Ontario next week. The interim leader will make stops in Windsor, London, Niagara and the Greater Toronto Area before returning to Ottawa for the party's virtual general meeting on March 25.

"I think there's just so much that we need to talk about," they told CBC News. "This is really about connecting with people to talk about the future and what we want for our communities and country."

Kuttner is expected to visit other parts of the country and is hoping to travel to the North over the summer to reconnect with members.

The last several months have been tumultuous ones for the Greens — marked by MP Jenica Atwin's defection to the Liberals and attempts to oust Paul from the leadership.

Paul led the Greens into the 2021 election, which saw the party lose ground in the national vote. Paul blamed the party's dismal results on unnamed party members she accused of taking "great pleasure in attacking me." She also accused some federal council members of writing a list of allegations against her that were racist and sexist.

Paul officially resigned the leadership in November and gave up her party membership.

"This was not easy. It has been extremely painful. It has been the worst period in my life, in many respects," she said during her final news conference as Green leader in September.

WATCH: Annamie Paul resigns as Green leader

Annamie Paul resigns as Green leader, citing lack of party support

11 months ago
Duration 6:42
Annamie Paul has announced she is stepping down as Green leader after the party's disastrous showing in the recent federal election. 'I just don't have the heart' for a fractious leadership review, she said.

Donations to the Green Party fell off a cliff in June. To save money, the party is considering giving up its Ottawa headquarters.

Since then, Kuttner, the party's two MPs, members of the party's federal council, staff and other volunteers have been working on a renewal process. They confirmed the party is drafting a lessons-learned report on the election.

Kuttner said a leadership race organizing committee has been struck and is coming up with rules. Kuttner said members can expect more details before the end of May on what the interim leader hopes will be a short race.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Thurton

Senior reporter, Parliamentary Correspondent

David Thurton is a senior reporter in CBC's Parliamentary Bureau. He covers daily politics in the nation’s capital and specializes in environment and energy policy. Born in Canada but raised in Trinidad and Tobago, he’s moved around more times than he can count. He’s worked for CBC in several provinces and territories, including Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

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