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Greens likely to hold virtual leadership convention due to pandemic: May

Last Updated Jun 3, 2020 at 3:54 pm EDT

Green Party MP Elizabeth May speaks with media during a news conference Wednesday June 3, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — Former Green party leader Elizabeth May says she does not expect the party’s leadership and policy convention to happen as planned in Prince Edward Island this fall because of COVID-19.

With the application deadline passing today, the party has approved seven people to run in the contest, although they will only be confirmed when the pay the remaining $20,000 of the $30,000 entry fee before the end of the summer.

COVID-19 already forced all of them to cancel tours and any in-person fundraising events and now most appear to expect the results to be delivered virtually in October as well.

The party has not yet cancelled the event but B.C. lawyer and leadership candidate David Merner says that is the responsible thing to do, noting many people probably wouldn’t go if it went ahead.

Annamie Paul, who was the first official candidate in the race, says a convention can be a “bonding moment” for the party but making it virtual might open up participation to people who wouldn’t have been able to go in person.

Paul says a virtual campaign isn’t what she was planning and it has made some things, like fundraising, more challenging, but her team has managed to adapt.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2020.

The Canadian Press