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Green Party Is In Trouble Again After 'Misgendering' Incident

Just one year after the Green Party imploded over the Israel-Palestine conflict just before the 2021 federal election, it is in crisis over an incident of “misgendering."

What happened? At a Sept. 3 media event in Vancouver kicking off the party’s leadership contest, interim Leader Amita Kuttner was identified using a caption bearing the pronouns “she/elle.”

Kuttner utilizes the terms non-binary and pansexual (attracted to all genders and orientations), and goes by they/them pronouns. In a subsequent statement, Kuttner slammed the “misgendering,” saying the incident “made me feel hurt and isolated” and hinted that it was “reflective of a larger pattern of behaviours that a few in the party are perpetuating.”

The statement added, “in moments like these I wonder — how can I ensure other people’s safety if I can’t even ensure my own?”

Kuttner’s statement was followed by a joint letter — signed by leadership candidates as well as the party’s two MPs, Elizabeth May and Mike Morrice — calling for a “restorative process” to root out “harassment” within the Greens. “The September 3 incident was but the latest in a number of similar behavioural patterns that Dr. Kuttner has faced throughout their tenure,” it read.

This prompted a bunch of resignations. Green Party President Lorraine Rekmans was the first to resign. A volunteer who estimated that she has worked 40-hour weeks for the past year on party business, Rekmans implied in a Saturday resignation letter that leadership candidates were subtly blaming her for the “she/elle” mistake.

Rekmans wrote that she is “constantly distracted by claims of harm.” “I was surprised that the contestants would use (the Sept. 3 media event) to attack the Party they were running to lead,” she wrote, adding, “I find that some in GPC, wish to cling to the image of a political party that is the same as all the other political parties in Canada, fuelled by money, and controlled by people who wield power.” Krystal Brooks, the Ontario representative to the party’s federal council, also resigned. Ironically for the Greens' political posturing, both Rekmans and Brooks are indigenous. Rekmans had been celebrated only 12 months ago as “the first Indigenous woman to be president of a national political party in Canada.”

Former Green leader Elizabeth May has also threatened to resign. Could we be seeing the end of the Green Party once and for all?

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