The Green Party says it is "firmly behind" leader Elizabeth May in spite of recent allegations that she bullied and berated former staff.
The allegations, published in the Toronto Star on Saturday, come from three former employees who allege May created a hostile work environment by yelling at and insulting employees.
In a statement issued hours after the Star story was published, the party framed the allegations as coming from "disgruntled former staff."
The party says May is being "held to a different standard than her male counterparts" because she is a woman and described her as a "strong and forthright leader who expresses herself clearly and with passion."
The party says that if May were a man, she would be admired for those traits.
But the employees say May behaved inappropriately and should be punished.
One of the former staffers told the Star that May requested her office be repainted and "threw a fit" when she came back to the office before it was done.
In an interview with the Star, May said that she had been gone on a work trip and when she returned, her office — which was bright red — was the only room in the workspace that hadn't been repainted.
"It is extremely unlikely that a decade-old anecdote about a man's frustration with his office paint job would merit national news," the party said in its statement.