The two contenders for the leadership of the BC Green Party are back on the campaign trail again as of June 15.
The party decided to restart the leadership campaign after suspending it in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau and Kim Darwin, a former vice-chairman of the party who ran for the Powell River–Sunshine Coast seat in the last provincial election, are seeking the leadership position, which has been vacant since Andrew Weaver stepped down in January.
Saanich North and the Islands MLA Adam Olsen has been serving as interim leader, and will remain in that position until a new leader has been selected.
The abbreviated leadership contest began at 1 p.m. on June 15 and will culminate in a leadership vote that will take place Sept. 5-13, with the winner being announced on Sept. 14.
Furstenau said she is excited to continue speaking with Green Party members, supporters and newcomers about the future of the party.
She said as B.C. moves towards recovery from COVID-19, the province needs an equitable, sustainable renewal to make it stronger.
“We need fresh ideas and the political courage to implement them,” Furstenau said.
“The B.C. Greens are changing the political conversation in our province. Because of our leadership, issues like serious climate action, basic income and the development of genuine progress indicators are being worked on in government. I am excited to keep pushing for new and big ideas in my campaign, and I will be releasing new policies as part of my leadership platform shortly.”
Furstenau previously released her first platform plank on building a resilient economy, which includes policies such as exploring a four-day work week, adopting health and well-being budgets and increasing investments in child care and mental health, on Feb. 28.
Darwin said she has a number of media interviews scheduled in the coming days now that the campaign is on again.
She said she is also relaunching her campaign website, and promised a redoubled commitment to lead the party out of one of the most difficult periods in recent memory.
“I’ve built a highly successful business, and it has sustained throughout the pandemic, but I am choosing to set it aside now so I can dedicate my time to the leadership race and the leadership role when elected,” Darwin said.
Darwin said the BC Greens alone have demonstrated a proactive and pragmatic approach to addressing the issues facing B.C. voters, beginning with the climate and extending to affordable housing, education, the rights and title of B.C.’s indigenous people, the opioid epidemic and access to affordable health care.
“The clean-tech, climate-conscious economy of the future starts today in B.C. as we prepare to elect a Green government in the province to pass progressive, thoughtful and balanced legislation to transition our economy to one one that restores the planet and supports an inclusive and thriving resilience for future generations,” she said.