VANCOUVER — Premier Christy Clark has been given up to an hour to outline her government’s plans and policies in an address to the province’s mayors, councillors and regional directors at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver.
Opposition Leader Adrian Dix is allotted 20 minutes.
The Green Party? Five minutes. Between 11:55 and noon Thursday — just before the break for lunch — the Green Party leader will address the convention.
And interim Green Leader Adam Olsen says he’s happy with the opportunity.
Five minutes is the amount of time the conference has traditionally allotted for the Green Party leader.
“We’re given the opportunity to speak and we’ll take it,” said Olsen, a former Central Saanich councillor, who fell about 380 votes short of being elected an MLA for Saanich North and the Islands in the last provincial election.
“I remember when I went to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities [as a delegate] and Elizabeth May, before she was elected [a Green MP], was given 10 minutes.”
One of the B.C. Green Party’s goals will be to continue to grow the amount of time it gets to speak to local councillors and elected people, Olsen said.
“As we grow our presence in the legislature, I'm sure we'll grow our presence at the UBCM.
While Olsen is the interim leader, he won’t be the one addressing B.C.’s mayors, councillors and regional directors. That job will go to Andrew Weaver, the Green MLA for Oak Bay Gordon Head and the provincial party’s only elected member.
“That was scheduled a while back and they officially invited Andrew,” Olsen said. “So he will be giving the address to the UBCM this year.”
Olsen, a former municipal councillor, has been to four consecutive UBCM conventions. He’s at this year’s convention all week, pressing the flesh and listening to local civic leaders.
“Now I’m attending as the interim leader of the Green Party … I think the goal is the same thing [as attending as a councillor] and that’s to build relationships with our political colleagues. I really do see municipal elected officials as the critical political figures in our community. The goal for me is exactly the same as it was and that’s just to build strong, solid relationships, so we can find solutions to common problems across this province.”
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