Green Party seeks to overturn arbitrator's ruling to call off Paul's non-confidence vote

The Green Party of Canada is going to court to try to overturn a decision by an independent arbitrator to shut down a non-confidence vote on Annamie Paul’s future as leader.

In documents submitted Wednesday to the Ontario Superior Court obtained by CTV News, it states that Paul submitted a Notice of Request to Arbitrate on July 7, which included “an order to quash a non-confidence vote on her leadership,” scheduled to take place on July 20.

The arbitrator, Earl Cherniak, ordered on July 15 that a non-confidence motion would not proceed before the party’s general meeting in August and that the party must post this update to its website.

At an afternoon news conference on Sunday, Paul confirmed the vote was cancelled, and that no similar motions would be proposed by the current federal council, but didn’t indicate it was due to legal wrangling.

Paul’s office didn’t provide a response following a request for comment by CTVNews.ca.

Now, the party is arguing the arbitrator erred in judgment for a host of reasons.

First they state that while Paul’s employment agreement offers arbitration relief for disputes and controversies, that agreement is made with the Green Party of Canada Fund – the party’s legal and financial body – not the Green Party itself, so applying an arbitration order on the party is wrong.

“The arbitrator made an error in jurisdiction and therefore in law. The [order] purports to restrain the Green Party which is not a signatory to the Employment Agreement,” the documents read.

It also notes that the arbitrator sought to “limit the activities, decisions and communications of members and the membership of the Green Party.”

The nixed non-confidence vote by federal council would have required support from three-quarters of the 13-member governing body in order to proceed to a party-wide vote the following month at a general meeting, where an ultimate judgment on Paul's leadership could have been rendered by the grassroots.

With a file from The Canadian Press