The party won at least two seats, and remained hopeful for a third late Monday.
But the night was tinged with disappointment, as party leader Annamie Paul failed a second time to win her seat in Toronto Centre, finishing fourth in a blowout to Liberal Marci Ien.
“Certainly, I am disappointed. It is hard to lose, no one likes to lose. But I am so proud of the effort, the creativity, the innovation, that our team brought to this race,” Paul told supporters in her concession speech.
“We promised to offer real representation, we promised to offer a real choice to the people of Toronto Centre, who have so much need, so much work to get done, and you did that and I thank you for that.”
The party failed to recapture the seat it won in Fredericton in 2019, though did add its first-ever seat in Ontario, in where Mike Morrice won in Kitchener—Centre.
Even that victory came with an asterisk, however, coming in a riding where Liberal contender Raj Saini was forced to withdraw after accusations of sexual misconduct.
And incumbent Paul Manley looked to be in trouble in Nanaimo—Ladysmith, a too-close-to-call three way battle with the NDP and Conservatives.
Former leader Elizabeth May, who won the party’s first seat in 2011, held on in Saanich—Gulf Islands, and had strong words about the campaign.
“There certainly will be issues the party is discussing internally; we always do a post-mortem after every election,” May said.
“This one, I’ve never seen the party so unprepared for an election. Not to have candidates in every riding, is something we need to explore and investigate how that happened.”
Of particular concern to the Greens was their popular vote collapse.
After locking in a record-high 6.49 per cent in 2019, the party appeared on track to pull in just 2.3 per cent of the vote late Monday night.
In 2019, the Greens won a historic three seats, including its first-ever seat outside of British Columbia with the election of Jenica Atwin in Fredericton, and held onto Nanaimo—Ladysmith, a seat it had only acquired six months earlier in a byelection.
While climate change has consistently polled as a top issue for Canadians, it took a back seat in a 2021 campaign dominated by COVID-19 and viewed by some as a referendum on Justin Trudeau.
Further complicating matters for the party, former BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver publicly backed the Liberals’ climate change plan.
Moreover, the Greens were beset by highly public internal strife of their own.
They faced a messy summer that began with Atwin defecting in June, crossing the floor to the Liberals amid infighting over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Paul then faced an attempt by party executives to force a membership suspension and vote of non-confidence in her leadership.
Though both were blocked by an independent arbitrator, the revolt proved damaging for the party.
Paul spent most of the election campaigning in Toronto, acknowledging that it was “not a given” that all candidates wanted her in their riding. She made her first and only visit to British Columbia just two days before the general vote.
Editor’s note: This is a corrected story. Global News previously reported the candidate’s name as Mark Morrice, and that the Greens received 12.5 per cent of the vote in the 2019 election.