It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head since 2013.
Yet after a great deal of thought and reflection, on Oct. 7 I announced that I will not be seeking another term as your MLA. I have taken significant time this summer to reflect with my family on the reasons why I sought elected office, as well as why I sought the leadership of the B.C. Green Party. It has long been my belief that those who seek public office should do so out of a sense of civic duty rather than choose it as a lifelong career.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the support I have received since making my announcement. I have received many emails, messages and phone calls of support and I am very appreciative.
When I first decided to leave my post as a Canada Research Chair in climate modelling and analysis at the University of Victoria to run for public office in 2013, I did so out of a sense of civic duty. I had watched with dismay as our province slipped from being a climate leader to climate laggard. The B.C. Green Party is where I felt I could make the most difference, but I could not imagine the many ways we would transform the B.C. political landscape. From the first four years as a lone Green MLA to the 2017 provincial election which resulted in the BC Green Caucus holding the balance of power in a minority government, we have had considerable impact. The foundation of this minority government is climate action, best represented by our work on CleanBC – our economic plan to build a thriving climate-responsible and climate-resilient society.
I feel a deep responsibility and pride for the role the BC Greens have played in getting the province back on track to meet its climate commitments and to recognizing climate change as an economic opportunity.
Recent climate marches and the incredible movement being led by youth continue to inspire me. This is one of the main reasons why I believe it is time for the BC Greens to elect a new leader. It is time to let another generation take the lead – the ones who must live the consequences of the decisions we make.
Soon it will be time for me to step aside and allow a new leader to take what I have accomplished, make it better and take it further. I am 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.
I intend to remain as leader of the BC Greens until a new leader is elected in early summer 2020. In the months ahead, I will continue to work on a number of key policies, including an ambitious climate accountability act, and doing everything I can to ensure that CleanBC is fully implemented, so our 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets can be met. I will continue to work with the BC NDP to accomplish what was set out in our Confidence and Supply Agreement.
I look forward to continuing the work we have in front of us and to welcoming a new leader in 2020.
Andrew Weaver is MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head.