Greens face imminent deregistration – Update

ryan-watson-smallNova Scotia Green Party leader Ryan Watson says the party will publish its 2008 audited financial statements “within a few weeks.” Based on regular conversations with Elections Nova Scotia, he believes this will be soon enough to avoid loss of official party status.

By law, the financial statements should have been filed by April 30. Elections Nova Scotia communications director Dana Philip Doiron told contrarian earlier today that Chief Electoral Office Christine McCulloch had issued the required 30-day notice of deregistration required under the Elections Act, and a report due for release Tuesday would detail the issue. He said deregistration could follow shortly.

Watson said the late filing resulted from the party being new, its treasurer taking an untimely vacation,  and its reliance on volunteers who were “wading through the election regulations,” and busy preparing for and fighting the June election.

Watson said the party executive voted to postpone its annual general meeting until Fall because of the election, and he acknowledged this put the party in violation of its constitution.

He said an executive meeting was canceled when it failed to achieve quorum in part because he declined to attend. Watson said he was the target of “aggression and personal attacks” from certain members, and chose to focus on the election instead of creating a divisive forum. He declined to name the critics.

Michael Marshall, a longtime political gadfly who was the Green candidate in Eastern Shore, circulated an open letter yesterday complaining that the party was in violation of its constitution for failing to produce audited statements show how it handled a $300,000 windfall it received in public funding when it became a political party.

Watson said no Green Party riding associations face deregistration for the simple reason that none have registered with Elections Nova Scotia.