Operation Black Vote Canada is disappointed and dismayed to learn that the Green Party of Canada has launched “a process that could remove Annamie Paul from leadership.”
As the first Black Canadian to ever lead a major political party, the election of Ms. Paul represented a step forward in the mission to diversify our politics, and have more Canadians represented in the institutions that represent them. Today’s developments represent a step backward in that endeavour.
Trailblazing journeys are never easy, and breaking barriers always comes at a cost. However, the experience that Ms. Paul has had to date is inexcusable, and is unlike the experiences of her federal counterparts or predecessor in the Green Party of Canada.
Operation Black Vote Canada will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds, and offers Leader Paul our unequivocal support as she continues to use her platform to be the change we want to see.
In a letter issued to leaders of all federal and provincial political parties, Operation Black Vote Canada (OBVC) is calling for the implementation of strategies to increase the meaningful participation of Black candidates in upcoming elections across the country.
“As leaders, the responsibility for setting the tone, priorities, and direction of the campaign their party will run ultimately rests with them,” said Velma Morgan, OBVC Chair. “This influence comes with both the opportunity and the obligation to ensure that the team of candidates they present to voters reflects the diversity of the communities they seek to serve.”
With a federal election potentially around the corner, and with scheduled elections in Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia in the next 12-18 months, OBVC’s letter calls for a commitment to the following principles aimed at sending more Black Canadians to legislatures across the country:
- Work with local electoral district associations to situate Black candidates in ridings with past records of success, or “winnable” ridings.
- Ensure that Black nomination candidates have equal access to lists, information, and data to further their campaigns.
- Ensure that nominated Black candidates receive the full support and backing of the party structure throughout the election cycle, including: fundraising support, leader engagement, and access to all relevant lists and data to increase chances for success.