Andrew Weaver says he's ready to lead B.C. Greens

Andrew Weaver is set to officially announce his candidacy for the leadership of the B.C. Green Party Tuesday night. The Oak Bay- Gordon Head MLA has scheduled a 7 p.m. event in the University Club at the University of Victoria. Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is expected to make the introductions.

Weaver, deputy leader of the provincial party, is the only person to enter the race so far. Candidates have until 5 p.m. on Dec. 1 to submit applications.

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The party will hold a membership vote for a new leader in February.

Weaver, who defeated Liberal cabinet minister Ida Chong in the last provincial election to become the province’s first Green MLA, passed up the party’s leadership when Jane Sterk stepped down in August 2013. He said at the time that he wanted to focus on his duties as an MLA, and would help the interim leader build up party membership and riding associations in advance of the next provincial election in 2017.

Adam Olsen, who lost Saanich North and the Islands by only 379 votes in 2013, was named interim leader. He said earlier this year that he had no plans to run against Weaver for the leadership.

Weaver said Monday he’s ready to head the party after gaining valuable experience in the B.C. legislature. “I’ve enjoyed my 2 1/2 years there. There’s a real opportunity for getting things done in the political sphere if you stay away from the kind of ‘gotcha’ politics, which I’m not so interested in. I’m more interested in holding to account policy and policy issues and trying to advance good policy.”

He said the Greens can offer voters something different than the Liberals and NDP. “British Columbia needs to have a viable alternative that puts the needs of people first and foremost — not the vested interests of big unions and big corporations,” he said.

If successful, Weaver, a climate scientist, said he will focus on building an election platform, recruiting strong candidates and raising money. “There’s three things that will get us elected in 2017: People, policy and money,” he said. lkines@timescolonist.com

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