Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Sonia Furstenau’s first month as leader for the BC Greens is one she soon won’t forget.

One week after Furstenau was voted in as party leader by supporters, BC NDP Premier-elect John Horgan called a snap election – dissolving the prior coalition agreement between the two parties that was created after the 2017 election and allowed the NDP to form a minority government.

Furstenau, projected winner for the Cowichan Valley, was forced to hit the ground running, finding candidates to tout the Greens platform in each of B.C.’s 87 ridings.

Most will agree: her hard work paid off on Saturday night (Oct. 24), not only expanding the Greens’ footprint but also capturing the party’s first riding outside of Vancouver Island.

“I think it’s an indication that we are no longer limited just to the Vancouver Island, where we’ve been strong, but that people around the province are recognizing that the Greens are offering a very important alternative than the kind of politics of the other two parties,” Furstenau told reporters from Election Day party headquarters in Victoria, shortly after media projected Horgan would be premier and backed by a majority government.

Adam Olsen, who served as interim leader after Andrew Weaver stepped down in January, is projected to be re-elected in the riding of Saanich North and Islands. Jeremy Valeriote cinched the West Vancouver – Sea to Sky riding, making the first-ever win for the Greens in the Lower Mainland.

Weaver’s former riding of Oak Bay Gordon Head flipped orange, however, and was won by NDP candidate Murray Rankin.

Since government was dissolved in mid-September, Furstenau has criticized Horgan for calling an election during a time when political leaders need to be focusing on COVID-19 recovery. During the election campaign, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry declared that B.C. had entered its second wave of the pandemic, reporting more than 200 cases each day this past week.

ALSO READ: Incumbent Sonia Furstenau says lots of work to be done in Cowichan Valley

Unlike Horgan and BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, Furstenau had to not only push Green platform pledges but also introduce herself to the province beyond her Cowichan Valley riding as the new party leader.

During the only televised debate, Furstenau notably pushed to differentiate herself from the other two party leaders when she pledged to work to end systemic racism but admitted that the three of them, who are all white, could never grasp its nuances.

While Horgan’s risk to call a pandemic election paid off, flipping historically Liberal ridings in the Fraser Valley in what is being dubbed the “orange crush,” Furstenau said Saturday night that the Greens will ensure accountability from the NDP in the B.C. Legislature.

“They were half successful,” she said.

“What these results are showing is that British Columbians are not willing to give the government a pass on things like climate change, old-growth [forests] protection or the holes in COVID recovery plan.”

Based off Elections BC preliminary results, the NDP are projected to lead a majority government with 55 seats. The Liberals are projected to have garnered 29 seats, followed by the Greens with three seats.

Due to the pandemic, more British Columbians have decided to vote by mail-in ballot than ever before. Election results won’t be finalized until mid-November, after those mail-in ballots are counted beginning Nov. 6.

Across B.C., a total of 497,900 mail-in ballots were returned to Election BC, as of Friday (Oct. 23). There are roughly 3.5 million registered voters in the province.

Video by Arnold Lim, Black Press Media


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

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

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

Michelle Thorne of Fernie Distillers with some Griz-themed cocktails available for Griz Days 2021. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Griz Days comes to town

While mostly virtual, there’s Griz-themed food and drink around town

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. File photo
COMMON’S CORNER: Challenging the government on vaccine availability and more

The first of a quarterly column from Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison

(L-R) Shawna Klein, Elkford Branch Manager; Stephen Fairbairn, Director at EKC and also Secretary of the Elkford Housing Society; Kim Bauer, Vice President, Elkford Housing Society; Donita Orsten, Staff Representative of the Legacy Celebration Committee. (Image contributed by EKC)
EKC donates $10,000 to Elkford Housing Society

The society is working towards constructing 22 homes for seniors in Elkford

The Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre (VIAC) is gearing up for another season of providing avalanche safety information. Black Press file photo
Black Diamond, PIEPS issue recall for avalanche transceivers

PIEPS said that avalanche incidents in 2017 and 2020 had prompted the recall, but defended the product

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

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

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read