Members' Code of Conduct

Members' Code of Conduct

The Green Party seeks to provide a safe space and welcoming atmosphere of healthy debate and mutual respect within the Party. A safe space is a space that recognizes privilege and marginalization, where the institutional, economic, political, social, and cultural dynamics of hierarchy are apparent in all aspects of life. The Green Party is committed to maintaining a safer space, creating an environment of meaningful engagement so that everyone can participate in political discussion.

All members have the right to their own ideas, beliefs and opinions. Members have the right to express these and to expect consideration from other members without the threat of personal attack or insult. Members also have the right to disagree with party policy or actions, and may follow established procedures to introduce changes. Members do not have the right to degrade, undermine or work against the party or its representatives.

In a large and diverse organization, circumstances may arise where an individual threatens or makes a verbal, mental or physical attack against another. The Party does not permit attacks or threats to persons associated with any activity which involves the GPC.  An attack is defined as any physical, verbal or mental violence or threat. This may include statements of humiliation, hatred, slander, libel, bullying, abusive or threatening language, discrimination, or prejudicial statements such as those based on ethnicity, nationality, language, class, age, gender identity, gender presentation, ability, asylum status, political or religious affiliation, or the incitement of violence, racism or prejudice. This safe space policy supports and enhances our policies of peace, order and good governance.

Adherence to the GPC Member Code of conduct is a condition of membership in the party. While associated with GPC activities, or while publicly recognized as connected with the GPC, every member must conduct themselves according to the GPC Members Code of Conduct or risk losing their GPC membership.

Every GPC member must:

  • Not work against the benefit of the GPC.
  • Not intentionally undertake any action which would bring the GPC into disrepute.
  • Not have a public reputation for inciting or committing violence, racism or abuse.
  • Not commit acts of mischief that could result in civil or criminal action against the GPC.
  • Not misrepresent GPC policy.
  • Not join, work for, support, or endorse another federal party.
  • Not direct GPC resources toward another federal party.

While engaged in the affairs of the GPC or otherwise acting in any manner associated with the GPC, every member must:

  • Respect the dignity of all persons.
  • Resolve disagreements through reconciliation and restoration.
  • Not intentionally cause harm to anyone.
  • Not engage in or incite harassment or physical, mental or social abuse.
  • Not use insulting, harassing, prejudicial or otherwise abusive language or behaviour.

GPC Member Conduct Procedures

Disagreements

Members are expected to settle disagreements themselves, by bringing the damaging behaviour to the attention of the perpetrator, and asking for an apology and a behavior change. The GPC will not get involved in private disputes between two individuals unless GPC activities, GPC reputation or the wellbeing of GPC authorised representatives are compromised. If a GPC event, activity or online forum is disrupted by violent, prejudicial or abusive behaviour, the individual may be removed and barred by GPC staff, volunteers or organizers. If the Party is significantly compromised and the damaging behaviour is consistent, the matter may be brought to the attention of Federal Council, which may decide to consider the matter, may decide to close the matter, may rescind a GPC membership and may decline a new membership.

Declining a Membership

Persons with an existing public reputation for inciting or committing violence, racism or abuse, or a public reputation that is otherwise damaging to the GPC, are considered not eligible for membership in the Party. If it is found that a person with such a public reputation has joined the party, they will be considered to have failed to meet the conditions for GPC membership. In such cases, the Executive Director is authorized to decline the membership and reimburse any membership fee as soon as the matter is discovered. If there is any doubt about the matter, the ED will refer the question to the Executive Council.

Reviewing a Membership

Any authorized GPC representative, such as electoral district executives, candidates, financial agents, staff, Federal councillors, Young Green councillors, or Members of Parliament, may request the review of a member by submitting a written request for membership review. The request must detail the damage done to the GPC or its authorized representatives, the duration of the problem and the attempts to resolve the matter. The complaint must be written succinctly and without inflammatory language.

The complaint may be submitted to the local EDA executive, a staff person, a Young Green councillor, or a Federal councillor, who will then turn the matter over to the Executive Director, or it may be submitted directly to the Executive Director.

The Executive Director shall prepare a report on the matter with a recommendation for the Executive Council. The Executive Director will note if the request is obviously trivial, vexatious, made for an improper purpose, is without substance or does not warrant further consideration.

The Executive Director will automatically initiate a membership review if a member:

  • Initiates legal proceedings against the Party.
  • Is a member of, works for, or states that they are working to form, another federal political party.
  • Runs against the Party’s approved candidate in an election or by-election.
  • Is publicly known to have assumed any sort of role in another candidate’s campaign against the Party’s approved candidate in a federal election or by-election.

The Executive Council will consider the report and decide whether to close the file, to attempt to seek a resolution, or to recommend a full membership review to Federal Council. The Executive Director will then contact the member under review, informing them of all allegations against them in writing, informing them that their membership rights are suspended until the matter is resolved, and informing them of the remedy sought by the Executive Council. If the recommendation is a membership review, the member will be allowed 30 days to prepare their defense, and informed of the Federal Council meeting date and time when they will be given an opportunity to be heard.

In respect for the individual’s privacy, the matter is to be kept confidential within council, staff and any EDA executive involved. If the individual under review is a member of Federal Council, they shall not participate in any deliberations.

A membership may be revoked by simple majority vote (51%) of the federal councillors present in a properly convened meeting. After Federal Council has taken its decision, the Executive Director will inform the individual of the status of their membership.

Where Federal Council has failed to follow the requirements of the Constitution and Bylaws, the former member may file a complaint detailing the breach of procedure with the Ombuds and Appeals Committee within 48 hours of being informed of the decision to revoke their membership.

Suspension of membership rights until a matter is resolved

A suspension of membership rights starts when the member is informed that they are under review. All membership rights are suspended, including the rights to participate in all activities of the GPC and its EDAs, serve on Federal Council or the Young Greens Council, attend a National Convention, vote, stand for election, or represent the party in any capacity. The member will be marked as “not in good standing” on the GPC database.  A suspension ends when Federal Council decides to not revoke the membership.

Registry of revoked or declined memberships

The Executive Director will keep a registry of individuals whose membership has been revoked or declined. This registry is confidential within staff and Federal Council. The member may not reapply for membership unless Federal Council removes them from the registry by a majority vote initiated on the request of four members of Federal Council.

Version information

Version 1.0 enacted January 15, 2012. Developed by Ethics Committee to replace Code adopted in 2008.

Version 1.1 enacted April 26, 2012. Approved by Ethics Committee for presentation to Federal Council.

Version 1.2 enacted August 9, 2012. Amended by Ethics Committee for presentation to Federal Council.

Version 1.3 enacted January 20, 2019. Developed by Governance Committee and approved by Federal Council.