The BC Green Party has announced the immediate suspension of its leadership contest due to COVID-19.
“The B.C. Green Party Provincial Council has unanimously voted to postpone our leadership contest for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 crisis,” announced Chair of the party’s Council Sat Hardwood on Friday.
“We are facing a global pandemic that requires all hands on deck. It is more important than the political processes of the B.C. Green Party.”
Kim Darwin and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau were two candidates making a run for leader and were just about to launch their campaigns.
Saanich North and the Islands MLA Adam Olsen agreed to stay on as interim leader until the contest can be completed.
The party’s annual convention, originally scheduled for June 26 to 28, has also been cancelled, and staff is expected to find ways to hold the party’s annual general meeting online.
“The COVID-19 crisis has impacted our lives in countless ways,” Olsen added.
“A leadership contest in the midst of a pandemic cannot embody participatory democracy, one of our party’s six core principles. Instead, we must put our efforts into taking care of one another. The work of the B.C. Green Party continues in supporting emergency legislation, distributing essential information and getting people the support they need.”
Olsen’s mother’s partner tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and his mother herself is a presumptive case.
The interim leader urges everyone to follow the advice of the Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and to practice social distancing for the benefit of all British Columbians.
No decision has been made on when the contest will resume, but the Greens will be monitoring the situation on an on-going basis.