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Green Party MLA Adam Olsen won't run in upcoming B.C. election

“There’s only one story about this decision… what’s in the best interest of our family,” MLA Adam Olsen said of his decision not to run for re-election.
Adam Olsen, B.C. Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, addresses the media as party leader Sonia Furstenau looks on during an event at the Magnolia Hotel in Victoria on Tuesday, June 25, 2024. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

MLA Adam Olsen is not running for re-election in the Oct. 19 provincial election, saying the deaths of people close to him have forced him to re-evaluate his priorities.

“There’s only one story about this decision… what’s in the best interest of our family,” said Olsen, speaking at the Magnolia Hotel in Victoria.

Oslen, who represents Saanich North and the Islands, was first elected in 2017 and is house leader of the B.C. Green Party. He is a former two-term Central Saanich municipal councillor and small business owner, and a member of the Tsartlip Nation.

“The challenges that I face are personal,” Olsen said. “There are three deaths in the last calendar year that each in their own way have put me into an existential re-evaluation of what is truly important to me, who I’m prioritizing and where I serve.”

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau called Olsen “one of the greatest parliamentarians” in the B.C. legislature over the past seven years. “I have such love and admiration and respect for Adam,” she said.

Olsen began his campaign earlier this year but said he told Furstenau in May that he was “not able to continue as an MLA or put my name forward.” He said it was the most difficult conversation he’s had — rivalled only by the public announcement on Tuesday.

Olsen was emotional in thanking his family as well as staff and volunteers. He also noted “the love and trust that Sonia has shown in me,” which he said should be a model for all political leaders.

He said he’ll work alongside Furstenau on the provincial campaign as campaign chair for the party.

A new Green Party candidate for the riding has not been named.

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