Annamie Paul, LLB ’95, announced earlier this year that she was throwing her name in the race to become the next leader of the Green Party.
A Toronto native, Annamie grew up in the Black and Caribbean communities where she saw, first-hand, example of leaders seeking to implement positive changes. Her mother, a visionary and firm believer in Canadian values, enrolled her and her three siblings in French Immersion school. Annamie now also speaks fluent Catalan and Spanish.
She became a student at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, at only 19 years old, after completing two years in the Faculty of Arts. She chose to remain with the University of Ottawa because of our bilingualism and close access to national institutions but also, because the Common Law Section offered at the time (and still does) the Option in Aboriginal Law and Indigenous Legal Traditions. A firm believer in equality and diversity, the program we offered respected her core values. During her studies, she took the opportunity to join many student governance bodies, where she met her life partner, Mark Freeman, LLB ’95. She holds a Masters of Public Affairs from Princeton University, and has interned with both the Ontario and Federal Parliaments.
My years in the Faculty of Law were some of the most important of my life. I will be forever grateful. - Annamie Paul, LLB ’95
After graduation, she remained involved with her alma mater by participating in the creation of the Common Law Honour Society, and other committees with then Dean Bruce Feldthusen. The mission of the Society is to recognize our alumni who have used their legal education as a foundation for the achievement of great success. The members each exemplify the values of leadership, excellence and community that are the hallmarks of the Faculty.
Most of Annamie’s career has been focused on international affairs. She has worked as a Director for a leading conflict prevention NGO in Brussels, as an Advisor at the International Criminal Court, and as a Political Officer in Canada’s Mission to the European Union. Annamie co-founded and co-directed BIPP HUB, an innovation hub for non-profits working on global challenges. She also served on the Board and advised a number of NGOs, including the Climate Infrastructure Partnership (CLIP), Higher Education Alliance for Refugees (HEAR) and Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT).
After returning to Canada, she chose to actively participate in national politics. She joined the Green Party because she said she found it the most diverse and reflective of her own values and experiences. In the 2019 election, she ran against Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, in Toronto Centre. Although she did not win, she earned 7 % of the votes for the Green Party, compared to 2% in the same riding the Party earned the previous election.
We know that in terms of encouraging new generations of young people to vote, that representation matters. Seeing themselves reflected, whether it’s in terms of race, whether it’s in terms of gender, identity, et cettera, we know that those things make a difference in terms of their participation in the political process, and we also know that diversity yields better public policy results.
Annamie is now running for the Green Party’s leadership. She is the first Jewish member since David Lewis, of the NDP in 1975 to seek a leadership position in one of the national parties.
My experience and what I offer as a Green Party of Canada Leadership Candidate, they're all informed by my experiences. On both sides of my family, we have a history of […] oppression, a history of loss, […] of having to fight for our civil rights. These are values that we pass along to our kids. These are values that I bring to my public policy work.
The other leadership candidates are Meryam Haddad, Dr. Courtney Howard, Dr. Amita Kuttner, Dimitri Lascaris, David Merner, Glen Murray, Judy N Green and Andrew West. The 2020 Green Party of Canada leadership election will take place on Sunday, October 4, 2020.