Green Party MP Jenica Atwin rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. Two sources say New Brunswick MP Jenica Atwin is set to join the Liberal caucus, leaving the Greens with just two MPs in the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Green Party MP Jenica Atwin rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. Two sources say New Brunswick MP Jenica Atwin is set to join the Liberal caucus, leaving the Greens with just two MPs in the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

New Brunswick MP Jenica Atwin set to cross floor from Greens to Liberals

Move comes after Atwin openly challenged Leader Paul’s position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Two sources say New Brunswick MP Jenica Atwin is set to join the Liberal caucus, leaving the Greens with just two lawmakers in the House of Commons.

The move comes amid internal rifts in the Green party and after Atwin openly challenged Leader Annamie Paul’s position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict last month.

Atwin’s aisle crossing marks a small win for a Liberal party looking to tout its environmental credentials and shore up the ranks of its minority government, but marks a much bigger blow for a Green caucus already struggling to stay afloat.

New cracks appeared in May when Atwin called Paul’s more traditional stance on the latest round of violence in Israeli-occupied Palestine “totally inadequate” in a Twitter post.

Paul has said her team is seeking internal “reconciliation,” but two Green party sources say they have seen few efforts to patch up fresh wounds.

The Greens’ stance on environmental and social policy often aligns more closely with New Democrat positions, but NDP prospects in Atwin’s riding of Fredericton appear vanishingly small after that party won less than six per cent of the vote in 2019.

The sources spoke to The Canadian Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss matters not yet made public.

—The Canadian Press

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