Annamie Paul is a Canadian activist and lawyer. Paul was elected as the leader of the Green Party of Canada, becoming the first Black Canadian and first Jewish woman to be elected leader of a major political party in Canada. She won 54.53% of votes on the final round of voting, defeating runner-up Dimitri Lascaris and 6 other candidates.
The daughter of Caribbean immigrants, Paul represents a course-correction to what she sees as the “profound lack of diversity” in federal politics. Apart from the Greens, all Canadian parties are led by men. Paul is only the second party leader of colour after the New Democratic party’s Jagmeet Singh.
Annamie Paul, the first Black person to head a mainstream Canadian federal party, said that her victory was a sign that politics could become more inclusive. She said, “What I bring is hope to all the people who have not seen themselves represented in politics to this point, hope it’s possible we can have a more inclusive style of politics.“
“And of course, we’ve never had a Black person or a woman of colour lead a party,” said Paul, who is also the first Jewish woman to lead a national party. “It is highly symbolic and highly important that I sit here today,” she said in a News conference in Ottawa.
The Princeton-educated lawyer, who worked as an adviser at the international criminal court and in the non-profit sector, knows the power of those symbols. “But I would not have been the leader that I hoped to be if I hadn’t put my name forward to represent this community,” said Annamie Paul. “You have to be daring.”
Cheers to women leaders who are unapologetically ambitious.