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

Some 500 people attend Sidney vigil for victims of Iran airplane crash

All 176 passengers, including 57 Canadians, died when Flight PS752 crashed

Saanich Police ask for help locating missing high-risk youth

Robyn Coker-Steel has not been in contact with anyone from her home since Dec. 27

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: Study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Victoria’s reconciliation dialogue on newcomers, Indigenous peoples takes place Monday

The third of six discussions on reconciliation will take place at the Crystal Garden

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Most Read