Green Party threatens to expel aspiring leadership candidate

OTTAWA—The federal Greens might boot an aspiring leadership candidate — who is also the provincial Green leader in Quebec — out of the party, alleging he breached the organization’s code of conduct.

In a letter to Alex Tyrrell this week, the federal party’s president invited the Quebec Green leader to a special meeting set for Friday evening, to give him a chance to defend himself before top officials vote on whether to expel him as a party member.

The letter, which Tyrrell provided to the Star, alleges he broke party rules of conduct in several ways.

Those include making controversial public statements about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, agreeing to a podcast interview with a media group described by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network as the “home of the Quebec conspiracy movement,” criticizing Green Party plans to subject the next leader to a continual job performance review as “almost sabotage,” and criticizing former leader Elizabeth May and the federal party for their stance on the oilsands.

The letter also notes “numerous members” of the party have called for Tyrrell’s expulsion and that the Greens’ internal governing body — the federal council — agrees the Quebec leader’s actions caused “an impact of discredit to the party.”

Ahead of Friday’s meeting, Tyrrell blasted the plan to potentially boot him from the federal party ahead of the leadership race. The party opened candidate applications last month, and will announce its next leader on Nov. 19.

Federal council president Lorraine Rekmans confirmed to the Star that a meeting is scheduled Friday but did not discuss the situation in detail.

“It has been an outstanding issue and we are dealing with it,” Rekmans said.

Tyrrell has openly expressed interest in running, and told the Star on Friday he has assembled a team and is collecting signatures needed to apply.

“In a party that supposedly prides itself on being free of party discipline, I am being potentially disciplined, blocked from running for leadership and expelled from the party for not toeing the party line,” Tyrrell said in a statement to the Star.

He called the party’s federal council — the same body that warred with former leader Annamie Paul during intense party infighting last year — a “toxic and dysfunctional environment” that is “locked in a never-ending power struggle” that is harming the party.

“These backroom tactics do not represent the membership,” Tyrrell’s statement continued. “Excluding candidates will only further divide the party rather than (unite) it.”

Tyrrell also defended his podcast interview with the allegedly problematic media group, stating he does not “filter” requests to speak based on peoples’ views. He also said he denounced the “far right” in the interview and stated his support for trans rights, abortion and anti-racism.

“This is nothing other than an attempt to smear me and associate me with the alt-right. It’s preposterous,” he said.

“If I was able to get a progressive message across to a single viewer of this podcast, I consider that a victory.”

The meeting on Tyrrell’s future in the party is set for 6 p.m., according to the letter.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Conversations are opinions of our readers and are subject to the Code of Conduct. The Star does not endorse these opinions.

Source link