I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Andrew Weaver, Leader of the BC Green Party and each and every Green Party candidate who ran in British Columbia’s provincial election!
Greens were able to make exceptional gains by electing 3 members to the legislative assembly; Sonia Furstenau in Cowichan Valley, Adam Olsen in Stanch North and the Islands and Andrew Weaver in Oak Bay – Gordon Head. The Greens increased their share of the popular vote to an astounding 16.6%. The election was extremely close and the Greens now hold the balance of the power in the legislator. They may even choose wether the NDP or the Liberals will form the next government. This has never happened before in North America.
Andrew Weaver’s performance in the leaders debate and on the campaign train were remarkable. He made headway on important issues such as implementing progressive taxes that would reduce real estate speculation and gentrification. The Greens held Christy Clark to account on her government’s lack of action on the opioid crisis. The Greens also took strong positions in favour of banning corporate donations from political parties, something that is long overdue in big money BC politics.
As many of you know, Andrew Weaver has long been considered to be the spokesperson for the center-right of the Canadian Green movement. This was made apparent last year when he chose not to support the federal Green Party’s policy on Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against the state of Israel. He has also been severely criticized for failing to call for a permanent ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure and for supporting two Liberal austerity budgets in the legislature.
Tonight’s victory for the BC Greens will inevitably relaunch the left-right debate within the Canadian Green movement. As an outside observer to BC politics, my analysis is that the Green Party could have won even more seats if they had proposed a bolder, more progressive and eco-socialist platform. Going forward, progressives will need to continue to apply pressure on Green Party leaders and members to keep our parties where they belong; on the left of the political spectrum.
That all being said, once again, I would like to congratulate Andrew Weaver, Adam Olson and Sonia Furstenau as well as all the candidates and everyone who helped out on the BC Greens campaign. Tonight’s victory shows that now, more than ever, it is possible to elect Green Party candidates to provincial legislatures in Canada!
Leader of the Green Party of Québec