Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver speaks at event with federal party leader Elizabeth May and interim B.C. party leader Adam Olsen.

Green MLA Weaver to seek leadership

UVic professor Andrew Weaver kept his options open for two years, but now says he wants to lead B.C. Green Party into 2017 election

He took a pay cut to go from the tranquil groves of academe to the bare-knuckle brawl of B.C. politics, but Andrew Weaver says he’s ready to lead the B.C. Green Party into the next election.

The first-term Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA told reporters at the legislature this week he made up his mind over the Christmas holidays to carry on with his political career, after two years of keeping his options open.

Weaver said he will stand for the leadership of the party as it tries to consolidate its Vancouver Island foothold of one provincial and one federal seat, held by federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May. He said that leadership vote likely won’t be until 2016, to prepare for the next scheduled B.C. election in 2017.

A mathematician specializing in climate models, Weaver took political leave from the faculty of the University of Victoria to run in the 2013 election, and defeated former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister Ida Chong. He went from a $180,000 job at UVic to $101,000 as an MLA.

Weaver declined to seek the leadership after winning the party’s first-ever B.C. seat, and the party appointed Saanich North and the Islands candidate Adam Olsen as interim leader instead. Olsen has indicated he will run again in the seat where he came close in 2013, with voters who supported May in the last federal election.

Despite the marginal role given independent MLAs, Weaver has made an impression on the government and the opposition NDP. Premier Christy Clark has taken to praising his ideas, such as his call to replace flat-rate Medical Services Plan premiums with a system that shifts more of the cost to high-income earners.

Clark ruled that out for the February budget, but said Weaver’s suggestions are refreshing after the negative rhetoric of the NDP.

NDP leader John Horgan said promoting Weaver is just more political tactics by Clark.

“I think they’re trying to draw attention away from us, who I think are doing a relatively effective job, and trying to put a spotlight on someone who may well cut our grass over the long term,” Horgan said.

 

Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Second World War prompts airport construction

And now it’s the busiest airport in the region

Trudeau announces bioregional oceans protection agreement in Prince Rupert

Agreement announced in partnership with 14 central and north coast First Nations

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

B.C. man wins job he was denied after saying he had depression

Transport Canada has been order to give Chris Hughes a high-level job and nearly $500,000

B.C. soldier shot down a century ago to be honoured

Norman Stuart Harper, of Kamloops, was killed on a bombing mission over Lahr, Germany, in 1918

Trump sends letter to Trudeau calling for increase in NATO defence spending

The letter comes as tensions between Canada and the United States have risen to a dramatic high

Most Read