Annamie Paul won the Green Party leader Saturday night, and she is now the first Black leader of a significant federal Canadian political party. She won the party’s leadership in the eighth round, snagging a bare minimum of votes to defeat Dimitri Lascaris. She takes over from Elizabeth May, who led the Green Party for 13 years. Paul said she hopes her presence as a Black leader will make it “easier for the next person.”
During her speech after the victory, Paul recognized NDP’s Audrey McLaughlin, the Conservatives’ Kim Campbell, and the Liberals’ Jean Augustine as some female leaders who paved her way. Concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, Paul said, the epidemic had highlighted the need for change, and she believes the Green Party could supply that. Paul is yet to earn a place in the House of Commons — she will be fighting for the Toronto Centre seat in a by-election coming up in three weeks — but is already looking forward to the party’s future.
Paul considers the Green Party as “the home of progressive ideas, people-focused, and evidence-informed policy. She urged the Canadians not to mind the innovations and updates they’ll introduce in*- their platform for the next election. She said their main goal would be to propose the policies that would have made them more resilient, had they been in place before the pandemic, and set them up for more resiliency in the future.
Paul said she was aware of the hard times Toronto was going through amid the pandemic, not forgetting it is the opioid crisis’s center. She promised to put the people of Toronto first. Additionally, she said she was going to work as hard as she could to give a healthy Green option to residents and to give them the opportunity of some real representation.