B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver says he will carry on until a new leader is selected next summer, but he will retire from politics after the provincial election in 2021.
Weaver, the first Green elected to a Canadian provincial legislature, is in his second term as MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head. He announced Monday as the B.C. legislature resumed sitting that he has asked the B.C. Green Party executive to start the process of selecting a new leader next summer.
Weaver said his decision has nothing to do with a health problem that has had him working from home in recent weeks, and he has no plans to enter the federal scene, where Green Party leader Elizabeth May is hoping to add to her current two-seat caucus.
“The last thing in the world I will ever do, and you can just watch the daily news cycle in the federal election, is run federally,” Weaver said. “I can assure you and swear on a stack of Bibles, that will never, ever happen.”
Weaver listed his accomplishments over the past two years as supporter of the minority NDP government of Premier John Horgan, including eliminating corporate and union donations to political parties in favour of a per-vote taxpayer subsidy for parties, and the government’s “CleanBC” program to reduce greenhouse gases from transportation, housing and other sources over the next two decades.
Horgan said Monday that Weaver’s decision won’t have any effect on his party’s minority government support agreement with the B.C. Greens, which allowed the NDP to assure the Lieutenant Governor that it had a working majority in the legislature.
Weaver said he may return to the University of Victoria, where he taught applied mathematics and climate modelling before entering politics in 2013. Weaver has contributed to reports of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and has often said he was motivated to run for the legislature after former premier Christy Clark froze B.C.’s pioneering carbon tax.