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

Just Posted

Saanich’s 20-year-old acting mayor encourages other young people get involved in politics

There is a ‘hunger for young voices’ in politics right now

Designs for Johnson Street Bridge waterfront areas hit delays

Upgrades to the Songhees Park, surrounding area being presented Thursday

Personal health scare inspires Sidney’s newest gym

Arne Jackson said the scare was a ‘wake-up call’

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Supplemental information for SD63 students circulates as strike appears close to end

Letters were sent to families of SD63 students late last week

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

Fisherman missing near Lake Cowichan’s Shaw Creek

Family is asking for everyone and anyone to keep their eyes open,… Continue reading

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Most Read