News of Jane Sterk stepping down as leader of the B.C. Green party has members and candidates looking to the upcoming Annual General Meeting as an opportunity to build on her legacy.
The AGM, which will be held Aug. 24 in Vancouver, will give Greens a chance to redefine how the party will move forward.
The party elected its first MLA in the 2013 provincial election under Sterk’s leadership, placing UVic climate scientist Andrew Weaver in the riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head.
“The Green party under Jane Sterk’s leadership has grown and reached a number of notable milestones, especially in the recent provincial election,” said Weaver. “It is important that the party continues to build capacity, membership, and riding associations along with policy that reflects the values and aspirations of British Columbians.”
Weaver announced on Aug. 14 that he will not be stepping in as interim leader.
“Leading this process is a full-time job that requires full-time commitment. I have an ambitious agenda for my term as MLA and achieving this requires focus and hard work,” he said. “I consider it in the best interests of my constituents, the party and the province if, for now, I focus on my role as MLA and support a new interim leader who can concentrate on building the party.”
In addition to Sterk’s retirement, the AGM will also see the election of several new members to the Provincial Council, including three councillors at large, a secretary, treasurer and vice chair. The incoming council will be responsible for appointing an interim leader and deciding when to call for a leadership convention. However, the interim leader is not eligible to run for party leader at the leadership convention.
“The next few years will see many challenges for the province, and possible opportunities for the party, should by-elections be held,” said Weaver. “I recognize that in the lead up to the 2017 election, should I decide to seek reelection, and if I am the only sitting Green party MLA then it would be natural to seek leadership of the party at that time.”
The BC Green Party AGM is on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Vancouver Public Library’s Alice MacKay Room. Membership must be current in order for a ballot to count. Those who cannot make the AGM may vote for Provincial Council by mail, by requesting a ballot online. For more information go to greenparty.bc.ca/agm2013.