Green party bleeding cash amid legal battles with Annamie Paul

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OTTAWA — The Green party is poised to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal battles with leader Annamie Paul, worsening an already rough financial situation as a federal election nears.

At a meeting of the Greens’ federal council last night, executives of the party said it spent about $100,000 on legal fees in July, with another $100,000 earmarked for legal expenditures in August, according to two party sources not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The past month saw Paul start an arbitration related to her employment contract and moves by party brass to oust her through a non-confidence vote and a membership suspension — both were halted by the independent arbitrator.

In response, several senior officials launched a legal challenge on behalf of the party against Paul that questioned the arbitrator’s decision, racking up further costs.

The pricey legal proceedings are tilting an already steep cash imbalance, with the head of the Green Party of Canada Fund stating earlier this month that the “current financial situation is not sustainable.”

The money woes prompted staff layoffs as well as cancelled funding for Paul’s Toronto Centre riding campaign, and come amid ongoing power struggles in a divided party.

Two sources say that fund president Douglas Tingey told council members yesterday the Greens would have about $300,000 in the bank if an election were called next month, compared to $1.9 million at the outset of the 2019 election and $3 million when the writ dropped in 2015.

Tingey did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 28, 2021.

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