Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau. (Submitted)

Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau. (Submitted)

Sonia Furstenau voted in as new leader of the B.C. Green Party

Furstenau is the MLA for Cowichan Valley and beat out two others in the leadership race

The Green party’s new leader in B.C. wants the premier to focus on COVID-19 and overdose deaths instead of fuelling speculation about a fall election.

Sonia Furstenau, one of two Green party members in the legislature, said now isn’t the time for Premier John Horgan to take steps to dissolve the house.

“To John Horgan, I say you have a responsibility to govern, not play politics,” Furstenau said shortly after winning the party’s leadership on Monday.

B.C. should be fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and the illicit opioid overdose crisis, not considering an election because it may benefit Horgan’s New Democrats, Furstenau added.

A fall election would be “completely irresponsible,” she said.

Horgan set off election speculation last week when he said the Green party he made an agreement with three years ago that allowed the NDP to form a minority government has changed.

“You know full well that the Green caucus today is not the Green caucus of three years ago,” Horgan said Wednesday.

“And you will also know that nowhere in that document will you see the word ‘pandemic.’ So, the world we live in today is not the world of 2017.”

Horgan made the agreement with previous Green leader Andrew Weaver, who stepped aside in January to sit as an Independent in the legislature.

A fixed election date is set for next fall.

Furstenau defeated Cam Brewer and Kim Darwin after two ballots in the Greens’ leadership contest. She had 2,428 votes to Brewer’s 2,127 votes on the second ballot.

Darwin was dropped from the race after the first ballot when she placed third with 521 votes.

Furstenau said the Greens are stronger because of the leadership race.

“This leadership campaign has invigorated our party,” she said. “This campaign has reminded me about what’s so special about the B.C. Greens and I’m excited about the future we will build together.”

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Green Party

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

Just Posted

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

New business owner Kalina Whitelaw of Miner's Mud started selling coffee and fresh=baked goods in Fernie this weekend. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Bob Keating was CBC’s Kootenays correspondent for 21 years. He retired last month to start a podcasting company. Photo: Tyler Harper
The voice of the Kootenays: CBC correspondent Bob Keating retires

Keating had reported out of Nelson since 2000

A vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The White House says it is making plans to share up to 60 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 11,075 since the pandemic began

Teck's Elkview operations seen from Sparwood. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Teck profits up, coal sales to China a priority

The company is continuing to see increased interest in Elk Valley coal from China

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Most Read