The official candidate list for the federal elections is short one party in St. Albert this year.
For the first time since 2004, there is no Green Party of Canada federal election candidate in the St. Albert-Edmonton district.
In an email to The Gazette John Redins said he came up short of signatures for the nomination.
“I’m really disappointed of the result,” he stated.
The deadline for candidates to file nominations was 2 p.m. on Aug. 30.
According to reports by the Canadian Press, the Green Party of Canada came up short of the full 338 electoral list by about 100 nominees. The Green Party tally is reported to be around 240 candidates in districts across Canada.
The Green Party did not respond to requests for an interview or for final candidate numbers.
There are about 19 Green Party candidates running out of the 34 districts in Alberta.
In a Sept. 1 press conference, party leader Annamie Paul said the numbers were still being calculated so she could not give an accurate total and for a small party such as the Green Party.
Elections under these circumstances are difficult.
“We had enough candidates step forward for the full slate. And then we ran into challenges in terms of collecting signatures,” Paul stated.
They had the most challenges collecting signatures in remote ridings or ridings dependent on volunteer seniors, “[volunteers] who are very nervous in provinces like Alberta and out West where COVID numbers are spiking,” she said.
Paul also acknowledged the internal troubles the Green Party has faced as a contributing factor to their candidate numbers.
“It's no secret that we've had our own distractions internally, which certainly made it more difficult for us to get to that full slate,” she said.
The party has faced some difficulties since Saanich-Gulf Island MP Elizabeth May stepped down from her role as leader in November 2019.
Paul was elected as the first Black and Jewish woman in Canada to hold the position as party leader in October 2020.
Her leadership has been questioned and the party has been plagued by legal, financial, and optics problems since Paul took the helm. In July, The Canadian Press reported that a non-confidence vote and membership review were slated for Paul.
On July 19, the Green Party released a statement on their website stating the review had been cancelled.
It was also reported by The Canadian Press on July 28, the party had spent a significant amount of money on legal battles and would have only $300,000 in the bank if an election was called at that time.
The party experienced tensions when one of their three elected officials crossed the floor to become a Liberal member. On June 10, Frederickton MP Jenica Atwin left the Green Party.
In a press statement, Atwin said the party had become an unwelcome place for her.
“When advocating for party policy, I was not supported, my calls for dialogue were ignored, and it left me questioning how I could move forward, doing my best work in the name of my constituents while facing so much uncertainty,” she stated.
Atwin was elected as a Green Party MP in the 2019 election. The 2019 election saw the most Green candidates take seats, including former party leader May, and Ladysmith MP Paul Manly.
The Green Party is expected to keep May’s seat in the Sept. 20 election, according to data from 338 Canada. Projections show Manly is in a toss-up with the NDP and Conservatives, who are currently leading.
Toronto Centre, where Paul is running, is projected to re-elect Marcie Len, a Liberal candidate.
Apart from all the party distractions and setbacks, Paul said they have worked hard to have a diverse slate of candidates, something that is important to her. Despite not having the full slate of candidates, she is hopeful.
“We took a little more time getting off the ground with our nominations in order to make sure that we were more diverse and inclusive. I'm confident that that will have yielded results and I'm confident that we will have a diverse slate of candidates when we get to announce a full slate.”