BC Green Party marks 40 years as a political force in the province

BC Green Party marks 40 years as a political force in the province

The BC Green Party is celebrating 40 years as a party in British Columbia at a news conference in Victoria with the leader Sonia Furstenau.

“It’s really easy to be proud of the resilience of the people here today. and the ones who have dedicated their hard work building the party to what it is today,” Furstenau said.

One of those key people is the party’s first leader, Adrianne Carr, who campaigned tirelessly to raise her party’s profile in its first run at provincial politics in 1983.

“The campaign’s got momentum. Feeling very good.  We’re getting a lot of support from people everywhere we go,” Carr said while campaigning in Oak Bay in 1983.

It took until 2017 for the party to really gain traction.

With leader Andrew Weaver at the helm, the BC Green Party won three seats and 17 per cent of the popular vote.

“In the days ahead, there will be plenty of discussions taking place between all parties,” Weaver said to supporters at the party’s campaign headquarters in 2017.

It would turn out to be the party’s greatest victory to date.

A leader for just days when the 2020 election call came, Furstenau says losing one seat hasn’t slowed them down.

“The BC Greens have consistently punched above their weight in terms of putting items on the political agenda that would not be there if it were not for us in the house. And that is something I’m incredibly proud of.”

But former leader Andrew Weaver says the current party is squandering opportunities.

“The issue of climate change is a defining issue for the Green Party. I’ve heard nothing of substance come from the BC Greens on the issue of climate change, a defining issue for their party,” Weaver said.

Political analyst David Black says the party has had an impact on the political landscape.

“They saw the environment, and sustainability in general, as an issue that really broke from that partisan mould. That it attracted people from across the political spectrum for whom the environment was not necessarily a partisan but certainly a political issue,” Black said.

“And I think that’s what the BC Greens have sought to make and to represent.”

And they plan to do just that, intending to run a full slate of candidates in the next provincial election.

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Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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