Weaver announces he will not seek re-election in 2021; asks party to prepare for a leadership contest

October 07, 2019

VICTORIA B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, today announced his decision not to run for re-election as MLA in the next scheduled provincial election in 2021.  In preparation, Weaver has requested the party’s Provincial Council begin preparations for a leadership contest to select a new leader. Weaver will continue in his role as leader until a successor has been chosen by the party’s membership.

“It is after a great deal of thought and reflection that I am announcing today that I will not be seeking another term as MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head,” Weaver said. “I am 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.

“When I first decided to leave my post as Canada Research Chair in climate modelling and analysis at the University of Victoria to run for public office in 2013, I did so out of a sense of civic duty.  I had watched with dismay as our province slipped from being a climate leader to climate laggard. The B.C. Green Party is where I felt I could make the most difference, but I could not imagine the many ways we would transform the B.C. political landscape.”

History was made when the B.C. Green Caucus agreed to support the province's first minority government in 60 years through a confidence and supply agreement (CASA). 

“We have shown that minority governments can work well. They unite parties on issues of common ground. The foundation of this minority government is climate action, best represented by our collaboration on CleanBC - our economic plan to build a thriving, climate-responsible and climate-resilient society,” Weaver continued. “I have long said it is time we reimagined the climate crisis not solely as an environmental problem, but as an incredible opportunity for innovation, creativity, and the advancement of our society.

“The decision not to run for re-election has not been easy for me.  I feel a deep responsibility and pride for the role the B.C. Greens have played in getting the province back on track to meet its climate commitments and to reframe climate change as an economic opportunity – instead of a purely environmental catastrophe.”

B.C. Green Party Provincial Council will meet later this month to put a leadership contest committee in place. This committee will be responsible for recommending contest rules and timeline, eligibility and vetting for Provincial Council.

“Andrew propelled the B.C. Green Party into provincial relevance, and his decades of work as a climate scientist and then as an MLA greatly contributed to what we are seeing now with climate change being at the forefront of the national political conversation,” said Sat Harwood, chair of Provincial Council. “We will miss him as our leader, but his legacy is part of every British Columbian who values clean water and clean air. Andrew is excited for the future because he sees all this energy around tackling climate change; he is leaving the B.C. Green Party well positioned to offer British Columbians a unifying and fair, sustainable and equitable option when they go to the polling station in 2021. 

“I expect the leadership contest will culminate at the party’s 2020 convention to be held in Nanaimo from June 26-28, but details regarding the leadership contest, including a launch date, will be released in the coming weeks and months as they are approved by Provincial Council.”

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Significant moments - Andrew Weaver

Andrew Weaver was elected as the first provincial Green politician in North America in May 2013 for the riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head.

Weaver was acclaimed as the B.C. Green Party’s leader in December 2015.

During the Spring legislative session in 2016, Weaver introduced legislation that would require post-secondary institutions implement policies regarding sexualized violence. The B.C. Liberal government of the time agreed to support this initiative and introduced an updated version of the legislation that passed into law.

In September 2016, Weaver announced the party would no longer accept corporate and union donations, a major issue in the provincial election that followed.  

The 2017 election resulted in the first provincial Green caucus in North America, which also holds the balance of power in the legislature. 

Weaver led negotiations with the other parties, eventually reaching a confidence and supply agreement (CASA) with the B.C. NDP. 

Notable CASA outcomes include: campaign finance reform, lobbying reform, Innovation Commission, Emerging Economy Task Force, CleanBC, Basic Income Study, Fair Wage Commission, new investments in childcare and early education.

CleanBC is the culmination of Weaver’s efforts to put B.C. back on track as a climate leader. It was announced by Weaver, Environment Minister George Heyman and Premier John Horgan in December 2018. Weaver and Heyman were awarded Canada’s 2020 Clean16 award in recognition of their collaboration in developing CleanBC. 

In May 2019, Weaver and B.C. Greens introduced and unanimously passed the first opposition party private member’s bill in the history of the province. This legislation is also the first in Canada to provide a legal framework for businesses committed to pursuing social and environmental goals to incorporate as benefit companies. 

The caucus’ second private member’s bill also passed in Spring 2019 also passed unanimously, the Residential Tenancy Amendment Act. Because making everyone feel safe in their home is a nonpartisan issue.

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