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

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

The Nisga’a Valley Health Authority reported an isolated cluster of COVID-19 cases among non-direct care staff at the New Aiyansh Health Centre. (Gary Fiegehen/Nisga’a Lisims Government)
New Aiyansh Health Centre experiencing COVID-19 cluster among non-direct care staff

Nisga’a Valley Health Authority asking residents to cancel appointments outside the Nass Valley

A photo of the CervixCheck at-home test kit, developed by Eve Medical. (Submitted Photo/Katina Pollard, Métis Nation British Columbia)
Pilot project puts cancer screening into the hands of northwest B.C. women

Métis women experience barriers to cervical cancer screening

Brett Alexander Jones is wanted on several warrants province-wide, in connection with multiple charges. Jan. 21, 2021. Kitimat RCMP photo
Kitimat RCMP searching for man wanted on several warrants province-wide

Jones is described as a five-foot 10-inches Caucasian man, with blond hair and blue eyes.

The Nisga’a Lisims Government has extended its state of local emergency. (File photo)
Nisga’a state of local emergency extended, vaccines delayed

There are 21 active COVID-19 cases in the Nisga’a Valley Health Authority

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

Most Read