New Brunswick Tribune

Members of the Green Party’s watchdog committee are being sued by a former councillor

Key takeaways:

  • The authors of a leaked internal Green Party study that accused members of the party of racism and transphobia were sued for slander.
  • Complaints from party members are received and investigated by the party’s ombuds and appeals committee. 

The authors of a dripped internal Green Party research that accused party members of racism and transphobia have been sued for defamation.

Beverley Eert has launched a lawsuit against the ombuds and appeals committees, both present and former members. Eert served on the governing board for four years, first under Elizabeth May and then under her successor, Annamie Paul.

According to Eert’s statement of claim, the report made various “false and malicious” charges, and the authors shared it with two dozen persons in the hopes that “selected recipients” would “re-publish” it extensively.

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According to the statement of claim, summaries of the report were allegedly disseminated on Slack, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and other digital platforms.

In court, none of the claims in the statement of claim have been established.

Ben Petkau, Sara Golling, and Kathleen Dewitt are named as defendants in the court document. Because the case is in court, the three authors declined to comment.

Complaints from party members are received and investigated by the party’s ombuds and appeals committee. After the Toronto Star published an article titled “Senior Green officials are sabotaging the first Black woman to lead a Canadian political party, ‘disgusted’ sources claim,” the committee received a complaint from a party member in April.

The committee generated an internal report. The committee claimed that the party’s temporary executive director, Dana Taylor, Eert, and another federal councilor, Kate Storey, disputed that the Greens had a systemic racism problem. Eert and Storey allegedly established a toxic dynamic on the federal council, according to the study.

Former Green party councillor sues members of party watchdog committee for  defamation

“We note the numerous resignations of councillors and personnel,” the report stated. “Media leaks of council deliberations and correspondence, primary evidence of councillor mistreatment of key staff personnel, the necessity for a conflict resolution consultant in a council meeting, and a failure to accomplish movement on critical topics,” according to the report.

In party circles, the study states, racist remarks, transphobic utterances, and gender misgendering (failing to use a person’s preferred pronouns) were widespread. There were no particular examples given in the study.

The committee’s report was based on 45 witnesses and more than 100 documents. The CBC and other news organizations obtained the committee’s report.

Eert claimed in her statement of claim that the report’s claims were “made with malice knowing they were untrue, or in casual disregard of whether or not they were true.”

The Green Party’s communications director, John Chenery, stated that the party “had no comment at this time.” Eert declined to comment because the case is still pending in the courts.

Source: CBC News

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