Support journalism that lights the way through the climate crisis by June 3

Goal: $100k

The president of the Green Party of Canada has resigned, telling members in a letter that her "optimism has died" amid ongoing party turmoil.

The Canadian Press has obtained a letter from Lorraine Rekmans, who wrote that she can no longer serve because "there is no vision for a better future, but only an effort to look back and settle old scores, while the planet burns."

"I leave this party on my own terms," Rekmans wrote. "I have resigned for principle. I had no confidence in the leadership contestants, and they had no confidence in me, and I lost confidence in federal council."

Rekmans wrote that she has been marginalized, insulted and denigrated by leadership contestants and sees no way to continue as president when one of them will be principal spokesperson for the party.

Four of the six leadership candidates, along with Green MP Mike Morrice, recently issued a joint statement to condemn the misgendering of interim leader Amita Kuttner — who is transgender and nonbinary — in a party Zoom event, though they commended Rekmans for an immediate apology.

The Greens launched a leadership contest this summer to find a replacement for Annamie Paul, who resigned after a disappointing showing for the party in the 2021 election.

Her tenure was marked by internal conflict and she accused some in the party of racism and sexism.

Leadership candidate Sarah Gabrielle Baron, who did not sign the joint statement, said party matters should be handled internally.

Simon Gnocchini-Messier, who also did not sign the joint statement, said Rekmans had his full support as president. He said in a statement that he had confidence in Rekmans to investigate allegations of transphobic behaviour within the party and put an end to them.

Green Party president resigns, saying her 'optimism has died'. #CDNPoli #GreenParty #GreenLeadership #GPC

The other leadership candidates could not immediately be reached for comment. The winner is set to be announced no later than November.

Kuttner told The Canadian Press that it's not yet clear how the resignation will affect the leadership contest.

"I am grateful for all her work and dedication over the years and her time on council," they said. "I wish her all the best. We will be charting the path forward as things shift and settle."

Rekmans said in her letter that the party's current federal council is completely different than during last year's election, but they are now facing the same allegations of "being insensitive to diversity," as well as allegations the council is not prudent with finances or communications.

"This has been a turbulent tenure for me as president of the Green Party of Canada," she wrote.

"After one year of working at this for more than 40 hours per week as a volunteer, I am exhausted and my optimism has died. I suggest you might want to pay the next president that you elect."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 10, 2022.

Keep reading

This is a very classic, and large, case of a widespread problem that The Intercept covered a few months ago:

It may be impossible to operate the Green Party without a complete reset that, as Bernie Sanders was blunt about, involves "not hiring activists". An organization probably cannot function if the people within it try to solve every problem in the world, starting with every perceived injustice in their own ranks.

The most effective Green leader would probably be somebody whose campaign speech starts with "I'll throw every other priority under the bus to save us all, all the racialized persons, all the non-binary persons, from planetary disaster. If justice for some has to wait on that priority, then it will have to wait."

Here is a real opportunity for the NDP to show they really care about the environment and are not another corporate controlled party. Both liberals and conservatives are dirty energy promoters and the greens are too dysfunctional to take seriously, so now is the time to declare yourself NDP, and walk the talk.

Except in British Columbia, where the provincial NDP aren't NDPers at all.