Local ballots for the upcoming federal election will not feature a Green Party of Canada candidate for the first time in recent memory and the party and local organizers are mum on why that is the case.
The Green Party apparently either missed the deadline to field a candidate for the Sault Ste. Marie riding or didn't submit one in the first place.
This is not a problem limited to Sault Ste. Marie. According to its own web site, the Green Party has candidates in only about 250 ridings across Canada, bringing them more than 80 shy of fielding a candidate in each of the country's 338 ridings.
In a recent Facebook post, past candidate Kara Flannigan said the required signatures of 100 people were collected locally to allow for a Green Party candidate on the ballot for Sault Ste. Marie.
It was unclear from the post who that candidate would have been. Flannigan has run for the Greens locally in a number of elections, but in 2019 the local Green candidate on the ballot was Geo McLean.
Flannigan declined an opportunity to comment for this article, saying only that she does not speak on behalf of the party.
Ian McLarty is the past president of the Green Party electoral district association for Sault Ste. Marie. When reached for comment for this story, McLarty would only say the EDA dissolved last year due to lack of volunteers and requested any further questions be sent to the party headquarters.
Aside from being about 80 candidates shy of a full slate for the upcoming election, the Green Party of Canada is experiencing a number of internal issues after the election of new party leader Annamie Paul, including a lawsuit against her by her own party brass.
In a recent Facebook post, Green Party candidate Dalila Elhak in the riding of Beauport–Limoilou called Paul 'a disgrace' and promised to run to replace her.
SooToday first reached out to the party's press secretary Rosie Emery on Sept. 4 for comment on the situation in Sault Ste. Marie, but on Wednesday was told the Green Party would not be commenting on the lack of a candidate for Sault Ste. Marie.
The lack of a Green candidate for Sault Ste. Marie leaves only four candidates on the ballot: incumbent Terry Sheehan for the Liberal Party of Canada, Sonny Spina for the Conservative Party of Canada, Marie Morin-Strom for the NDP and Kasper Makowski for the People's Party of Canada.
In the 2019 election, McLean earned 1,781 votes, or about 6.5 per cent of the ballots cast.