Despite rumours about a possible provincial election, B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau says the announcement of a snap election caught them off guard.
“We were blindsided by this unnecessary election call,” Furstenau told reporters during a campaign event in Victoria on Saturday.
Premier and leader of the B.C. NDP, John Horgan, called a snap provincial election on Sept. 21, citing a need to eliminate the “uncertainty and instability” lies ahead over the next 12 months.
Prior to the announcement, the NDP and the Greens had a confidence and supply agreement, effectively allowing Horgan and his party to form government following the 2017 provincial election.
A fixed election date had been set for October of next year.
Furstenau had met with NDP Leader John Horgan three days before he made the decision to call an election and has claimed she told him that her party was willing to continue work with the NDP.
“We believed that the confidence and supply agreement and the legislation that ensures that we were supposed to have an election on a fixed election date in October 2021,” said Furstenau. “We believed that the NDP government would abide by their agreement and by the law, they didn’t.”
Her comments come after the party announced they will have 74 candidates in the upcoming election, failing to reach all 87 electoral ridings. In 2017, the Green Party managed to nominate 83 candidates.
When the snap election was called, the Greens did not have a single candidate nominated, even though other parties had been announcing nominations ahead of time.
Furstenau, on Saturday, praised the decision by her party’s 74 candidates to run on short notice and said the candidates are diverse in terms of age and experience.
“We have some younger candidates, we have some middle-age candidates and some older candidates, as it should be,” she said.
The Greens leader was also asked by the media on Saturday about what success would look like for her in the election.
“It is that no single party has absolute power and control in the legislature, which means that they will not be able to be held accountable for four long years, and we know that majorities deliver scandals, crisis,” Furstenau said.
However, the latest poll updates show that the NDP, who currently lead at 46.4 per cent, have a chance at a majority Government. The liberals follow at 32.6 per cent, while the Greens trail behind at 13.8 per cent.
Meanwhile, NDP leader John Horgan was in Revelstoke, where he promised to revitalize B.C.’s struggling forestry sector.
“The B.C. Liberal government didn’t put the effort in when the beetle kill came through to prepare for when that wood was gone,” Horgan said, referring to the pine beetle infestation and the damage it has done to B.C. forests.
The Liberals didn’t hold any events on Saturday. Their leader Andrew Wilkinson will be making an announcement in North Vancouver on Sunday at 9:45 a.m.
with files from CBC and Canadian Press.