Green Leader Annamie Paul says she may not be helpful to some of her candidates – CBC.ca

In a news conference Friday, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul said that her struggles as leader may mean that her presence would not be helpful to some Green candidates, and she called the acknowledgement “incredibly difficult.”

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Green Party Leader Annamie Paul in Toronto on July 19, 2021. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Annamie Paul said Friday that her struggles as leader of the Green Party mean she may not be helpful to Green candidates in the election campaign.

Paul has received some criticism for campaigning mostly in Toronto Centre, the riding in which she is running. At a news conference in Ottawa, she was asked  why she hasn’t travelled more widely.

“I wanted to make sure, and I still want to make sure, that if I travel somewhere, first, that I’m wanted — and that’s not a given,” she said at a news conference Friday. “And then secondly, that it’s going to help our local candidates. And that’s also unfortunately not a given. And that’s something that I have to recognize.

“It’s incredibly difficult to acknowledge that,” she continued.

WATCH | Paul: ‘I certainly never want to be a distraction to any of our candidates’

Paul: ‘I certainly never want to be a distraction to any of our candidates’

Green Party Leader Annamie Paul says she will evaluate whether her presence in other ridings will actually help her candidates. If not, she would rather not appear there. 3:25

Paul acknowledged that she and the Greens entered the election campaign in a different situation than other parties, coming off months of infighting between her supporters and factions of the party opposed to her leadership.

The campaign has not meant an end to that infighting, as a Green candidate in Quebec publicly criticized Paul’s leadership last week.

Paul has frequently touted the quality of Green candidates in speeches on the campaign trail. 

But she says she wants to make sure that her presence in ridings outside of Toronto Centre will be helpful to them.

“I want to make sure that anything I do is a help and not a harm. And part of that is recognizing that because of what has transpired, that it’s not always going to be helpful for me to be there on the ground. And there are certainly going to be some candidates that have made that evaluation as well.”

But while both the build-up to the campaign and the campaign itself have been difficult at times for Paul, she did receive a mostly positive reception for her performance in Thursday night’s English leader’s debate.