OTTAWA — On Tuesday, eight former provincial NDP candidates, alongside New Brunswick Green Party leader David Coon, held a press conference to announce that a total of 14 former candidates and one member of the national executive were leaving the party and would be joining the NB Green Party and the Green Party of Canada.
Today, we have been able to contact the former NDP national executive member, Jonathan Richardson, and seven of the former provincial candidates, all of whom confirm that their position has not changed. They also report that following their announcement on Tuesday, the NDP called them and strongly urged them to renege and deny that they ever planned to join the Green Party.
It should be noted that most of the group have rejected these strong-arm tactics and will continue to support the Greens.
It should also be noted that immediately after Tuesday’s announcement, accusations of racism were levelled at the former candidates by various high-profile members of the NDP, including MPs and federal candidates.
Green Party leader Elizabeth May commented:
“Indeed, it may be a horrible reality that some people will not vote NDP because they are racist. I condemn these attitudes. But it is quite wrong to attack anyone who is disillusioned with the NDP by saying that the only reason they are disillusioned is because they are racist.
“Mr. Singh must understand that the first rule of leadership is to show up. I have visited New Brunswick three times since Mr. Singh became leader. In fact, I have visited every province and one territory in the last seven months. I would like to ask Mr. Singh, since he had no seat for the first 18 months of his leadership — therefore freer than me — why he was absent.
“No wonder New Brunswick NDPers were disillusioned. He also did not show up to help them in 2018 during the provincial election.
“Even more importantly, Mr. Singh did not show up in Fredericton when invited to address the Assembly of First Nations Annual General Meeting in July.
“Being a federal party leader is hard work. And you have to show up. It is for Mr. Singh to determine his priorities. I will not attack him. But it certainly would discourage his membership to never see their leader.”
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