Andrea Rondeau column: Green Party at a crossroads

So the Green Party is looking for new leadership both federally and provincially.

The Green Party is at a real crossroads.

The Green Party of Canada and the BC Greens were both founded in 1983. The Greens in B.C. won their first seat in the provincial legislature in 2013, and, of course, had a breakthrough with three seats in 2017, holding the balance of power between the NDP and the BC Liberals.

Elizabeth May was chosen as leader of the Green Party of Canada in 2006 and has been instrumental in determining its direction. After the last federal election she announced she was stepping down as leader, and a new one has not yet been selected.

Similarly, Andrew Weaver, the candidate who won that first Green seat in 2013, recently announced he was stepping down as leader of the B.C. Greens. He then announced he was even leaving the party. This was an unnecessary and strange move that has yet to be satisfactorily explained. Weaver said he was stepping away for health reasons, but it remains baffling why that has meant leaving his party entirely, while he continues to sit in the legislature.

So the Green Party is looking for new leadership both federally and provincially. They have made significant inroads into the mainstream political scene in the last couple of decades, though obviously haven’t had the electoral victories they wanted. While many like the Green Party and align with their platform, that hasn’t translated into votes come election day, and their numbers elected to government remain small. Perhaps their biggest success to date is in P.E.I. where the Greens sit as the official opposition in the provincial legislature.

What they have done is bring environmental concerns front and centre in the political debate, forcing traditional parties to develop positions on and address environmental issues during campaigns and in government.

Will the next generation of Green Party leaders be the ones to bring electoral success? Or is the party set to decline with longtime leaders stepping down?

Cowichan Valley’s MLA Sonia Furstenau is determined to see the former, as she has stepped up as a leadership hopeful for the provincial party. In this way, the Cowichan Valley finds itself right in the middle of the evolution of the Green Party, which finds itself in need of reinvigoration. The environment has never been a hotter topic than it is now.

The outcome should prove fascinating for political watchers.

Column

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Marvelous Wonderettes’ sets high bar for Chemainus Theatre season

The script is perfect for Chemainus’s small stage

Thieves steal 6-foot gas pump from Duncan yard

Theft took place overnight on Feb. 6 or into the early morning hours of Feb. 7.

Cowichan school briefs: Koala fundraiser, gravity cars, trades grants, and academic award

There’s been a lot of activity within the Cowichan Valley School District schools

Cowichan Typhoons top Fernandes tourney

Cowichan’s own Typhoons finished atop the standings at the annual Malcolm Fernandes… Continue reading

New Cairnsmore roundabout to be constructed this year

Roundabout will be the City of Duncan’s first

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Original Victoria Clipper vessel sails one last time

Vessel sold to buyers in Gabon, Central Africa

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

Two new hybrid BC Ferries ships christened with new names in Victoria ceremony

Island Aurora and Island Discovery will service Gulf Island and North Island routes

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Victoria police ask victims of human trafficking to come forward after Saskatchewan arrests

Four people from Vancouver Island were arrested in Saskatchewan on Jan. 28

Most Read