31 March 2020—Leadership candidates for the Green Party of Canada are announcing a suspension of fundraising, requesting that the party defer payment deadlines, and preparing a roundtable discussion to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on Canadians.
We, the undersigned candidates for the leadership of the Green Party of Canada (GPC), are announcing the suspension of all active fundraising.
Canadians are confronting an unprecedented public health crisis. Millions of Canadians will be impacted financially. Some will lose loved ones or face illness themselves. We feel that it is inappropriate to request campaign donations in these circumstances.
However, our decision creates a financial problem for the leadership contest. Medical experts tell us that efforts to contain the virus will likely last for months rather than weeks, but all candidates must file nomination papers and pay a $10,000 entry fee by June 3, 2020—only two months from now. An additional $30,000 is due by July 31, only four months from today.
In light of these conditions, we respectfully request that the Party extend all leadership contest fee deadlines by a minimum of six weeks to accommodate the decision to suspend fundraising.
We also request that the Party consider a further reduction to the total entry fee. Even after restrictions lift, the financial hardships Canadians face will continue, and the contest requirements should be adjusted to reflect this. At the same time, by replacing in-person leadership debates with online debates, the party can reduce its expenses to balance this reduction.
Although we have decided to suspend our fundraising activities, we will continue to engage with fellow Canadians online. We very much want to hear the concerns of our fellow citizens and to discuss how best to protect their health and financial security in the coming weeks.
To facilitate this, we will be organizing an online roundtable of candidates, with details to follow.
Lastly, we want to express our profound appreciation for the heroic efforts of Canada’s healthcare workers and workers in essential industries, and to pledge our support to charities working to protect those who are most vulnerable. A list of such charities can be found at www.canadahelps.org/en/donate-to-coronavirus-outbreak-response/ .
In solidarity, Leadership Candidates of the Green Party of Canada: