Saanich North and Islands MLA Adam Olsen, here seen Thursday last week in Sidney with provincial education minister Rob Fleming during the opening of a new playground at Sidney Elementary School, has not ruled out running for the provincial Greens after their leader Andrew Weaver has announced that he will not seek re-election (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Local Green MLA Adam Olsen has not ruled out running for leader of provincial Greens

Olsen says he has not ‘taken anything off the table’ after announcement from leader Andrew Weaver

Local MLA Adam Olsen doesn’t rule out running for the leadership of the provincial Greens after leader Andrew Weaver announced he would not seek re-election – clearing the path for a leadership contest.

“I haven’t taken anything off the table. That would be a fairer statement,” said Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and Islands. Voters elected Olsen, a former Central Saanich councillor, as one of three Green MLAs to the provincial legislature in May 2017.

Olsen said his “primary focus” remains on the provincial legislative session that started this Monday, pointing to a number of what he called “really important” pieces of legislation including the reconciliation act. “As a member of the Tsartlip First Nation (W̱SÁNEĆ), this is a really important piece of legislation personally as well as for our communities on the Saanich Peninsula,” he said.

Olsen said his “secondary focus” is to start a conversation with his family and those around him. “I have two young kids and a partner,” he said. “We are very happy that we live in [Greater Victoria] and get to work and live here. I don’t know exactly what the end will look like, but I will start the process.”

Olsen also said that his constituents can be assured he won’t be distracted by the politics of the legislative session.

Weaver announced Monday that he will not be seeking re-election.

“I’m making this announcement now so that the party has enough time to start the process of electing a new leader in preparation for the next provincial election,” said Weaver in a statement.

Olsen said Weaver’s announcement did not entirely surprise him. “It has been a process,” he said. “We have had several conversations about his future and where he wants to go, and then he made the decision when he did and let us know recently that was the decision.”

Olsen said Weaver has transformed the party since Weaver and he first ran in 2013. “In all aspects, the party is much, much further along in its development than when we first showed up,” said Olsen.

Weaver has also improved the quality of democracy in British Columbia, while moving and elevated the climate change agenda. “We need to celebrate his accomplishments,” he said.

Olsen also praised Weaver’s timing of his announcement. It gives the party’s membership the ability to go through a “thoughtful process” to elect another leader well before the next provincial election in 2021, said Olsen. “This allows for the work that Andrew did, the legacy that he has built to continue for the next leader to pick up, and carry it forward,” said Olsen, adding that the next leader will have the time to learn more about British Columbia and for British Columbia to learn more about the next leader.

RELATED: Andrew Weaver retiring, B.C. Green Party to have a new leader next fall

Olsen, who served as the party’s interim leader before Weaver’s acclamation in 2015, said the process to find a new leader officially started Monday and will likely bear similarities to the process in 2015. “There will be a few weeks here [of internal deliberations] and then we will start to hear what that leadership campaign process will look like.”

The party holds its next annual meeting in Nanaimo in June 2020.

“There is a lot of speculation that that would be the natural concluding point [for the leadership race], although that has not been determined yet,” said Olsen. “We will see.”



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay Beach Hotel now delivers groceries, meals

Checking in with Oak Bay’s only hotel and guest house

Saanich councillor named one of Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25

Coun. Ned Taylor, three other young environmentalists from Greater Victoria on the list

Peninsula markets on hold, could look radically different upon return

Sidney’s chief administrative officer says it is ‘unlikely’ market will go forward in familiar format

Mental Health: Erasing stigma leads to new path for Victoria woman

Paula Roumeliotis struggled with bipolar disorder for 35 years before finding support

COVID-19: UVic Engineering to 3-D print 4,000 face-shields for frontline workers

Team working to ensure Island health care workers have personal protective equipment

From inside the ER: B.C. doctor tells it like it is from the frontlines of COVID-19

‘Stay home. It’s working,’ says ER doctor in a Q&A discussion, ‘And please don’t worry.’

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

B.C. senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Trudeau commits $100M to help food banks amid COVID-19 crisis

Funds will help ‘urgent food needs’ for Canadians awaiting federal emergency benefits to kick in

Couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas: Cowichan by-law

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

How well can cell phones carry COVID-19? Disinfecting may be wise

‘You want to keep it as clean as you would normally your hands’

3M pushes back on Trump administration call to stop sending N95 masks to Canada

3M says it has already been turning out as many of the N95 masks as possible

COVID-19: Vancouver Islander celebrates 90th birthday with Model T ride as neighbours line streets

WATCH: Pandemic ruined plans for a party, so Francesca Dawe’s friends got creative

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Most Read