The announcement comes as a result of one of the Green Party’s worst electoral performances in its history. The party’s popular support collapsed, falling to 2.3 per cent of the vote from 6.5 per cent in 2019. Still, during a brief press conference Monday morning, Paul refused to take responsibility for the party’s collapse.
“It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that when you head into an election without funding for your campaign … when you head into an election under the threat of a court process from your party, (it) is going to be very hard to convince people to vote for your party,” Paul said.
Paul did not accept any responsibility for the infighting in the party, despite former Green-turned-Liberal Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin blaming Paul for her decision to cross the floor. Instead, Paul said since she became leader the knives were out.
“What people need to realize is that when I was elected and put in this role, I was breaking a glass ceiling,” Paul said. “What I didn't realize at the time is that I was breaking a glass ceiling that was going to fall on my head, and leave a lot of shards of glass I was going to have to crawl over throughout my time as a leader.”
“When I arrived at that debate stage, I had crawled over that glass, I was spitting up blood, but I was determined to be there,” she added.
Paul said she had no regrets about the campaign, and cast the decision to resign the leadership post as being about no longer having “the heart” to fight the party. She said on the day of the election she received an email from the party executive calling for an emergency meeting to launch a leadership review, and then on Saturday was informed a leadership review had been launched.
“It is quite clear to me that I am not going to have the opportunity to lead, I have not been given that opportunity, and I will not be given that opportunity,” she said.
“I just will not spend any more time focused on political games instead of public policy which is what I entered politics for in the first place.”
Paul closed her press conference by acknowledging internal fights over the future of the party. She said she wanted to see others in the party pick up the baton to move the party in the direction she wants it to go in, and that those who were against her will not win.
“For those Green Party members who have taken great pleasure in attacking me … you may take small comfort in this for a moment, but please know that there are many more people like me than there are you, and you will not succeed in the end,” she said.
“It is quite clear to me that I am not going to have the opportunity to lead, I have not been given that opportunity, and I will not be given that opportunity,” says @AnnamiePaul. #cdnpoli
John Woodside / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada's National Observer