B.C. Greens prove they’re here to stay, winning a projected 3 seats

Party projected to have its first seat on the British Columbia mainland in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky

Bethany Lindsay · CBC News · Posted: Oct 24, 2020 11:46 PM PT | Last Updated: October 25

B.C. Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau sits with Green candidate Adam Olsen at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort, as provincial election results arrive in Victoria on Saturday. (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)

Just a little more than a month into the job as leader of the B.C. Green Party, Sonia Furstenau appears to have expanded her party’s footprint in the province.

CBC has projected three seats for the Greens in the next legislature, with wins for returning candidate and Leader Furstenau in Cowichan Valley and Adam Olsen in Saanich North and the Islands. The party is also projected to win its first seat on the B.C. mainland, with Jeremy Valeriote projected to defeat the Liberals in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky.

It means the Greens are on track to match their record-breaking result from the 2017 election and gain one seat compared to what they had when the legislature was dissolved in September.

During a speech on Saturday night, Furstenau signalled her readiness to challenge the projected NDP majority government, a shift from the more co-operative approach of the last three years.

“We have worked hard every day to put forward a hopeful vision for how we can help British Columbians during this pandemic,” Furstenau said.

She suggested the surprise election was engineered by the NDP and Leader John Horgan to “destroy their opposition,” but said they didn’t quite succeed.

“What this election has shown is that British Columbians are not willing to give the government a pass on things like climate change, logging of old growth forests and the holes in the pandemic recovery plan,” Furstenau said.

Green candidate Adam Olsen takes a breather Saturday night after learning he’s projected to hang onto his seat as MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

The NDP’s projected majority, however, means the Greens will no longer hold the balance of power in the legislature.

But Olsen said he and Furstenau are returning to the legislature with a wealth of experience they didn’t have when they started as first-term MLAs three years ago.

“Sonia and I are going to be prepared to go in there and hold them accountable,” Olsen told CBC.

Watch: Sonia Furstenau’s election night speech

B.C. Green Party Leader promises to hold NDP government accountable

CBC News Oct 24 2020