The 2017 provincial election will be remembered as a historical stepping stone for the B.C. Green Party.
Party leader Andrew Weaver was re-elected in his Oak Bay-Gordon Head riding with 51.91 per cent of the riding votes (13,843). Liberal candidate Alex Dutton brought in 6,482 with NDP candidate Bryce Casavant earning 6,229.
Most important, of course, is that when Weaver returns to the legislature he will be accompanied by two new Green MLA’s, Adam Olsen of Saanich North and the Islands and Sonia Furstenau of the Cowichan Valley.
“What a historic day for British Columbia,” said Weaver, who addressed the crowd of the Delta Ocean Pointe Hotel in Victoria shortly before 1 a.m. on Wednesday morning. “People across British Columbia have shown they are ready for politics to be done differently in this province.”
Liberal candidate Alex Dutton conceded the Oak Bay Gordon Head riding from her campaign office on Oak Bay Avenue at about 11 p.m. election night.
“I’m really proud of the work that we did, we knocked on the doors of 6,500 houses, we met 8,000 people, and we changed some minds,” Dutton said. “Not enough, but I’m proud of the effort and enjoying this night with my team.
“I’m still pulling for the Liberals, that the absentee and advanced votes can come in and we see a majority,” Dutton added. “I’m 35 and I ran for this party for the future and the children, and my yet to be conceived children, so I’m still hoping that we pull through.”
While still short of the four seats needed for official party status, Weaver was pleased with the “first ever Green elected caucus in North America.”
In North Saanich, the energy was ‘electric’ for new MLA Adam Olsen.
“It’s now going to be a time in B.C. politics like we haven’t seen,” Olsen said. “We exist because the other parties aren’t offering something … (and) I’m ready to work with all British Columbians.”
After losing the 2013 provincial election by roughly 300 votes, Olsen came out on top by roughly 3,000 this time.
“You can trust that every decision the B.C. Greens will make will follow the principle, issue by issue, of an evidence-based approach,” Weaver said. “In the days ahead there will be discussions taking place between all parties, but [tonight] is not the time, [tonight] is the time for Greens to celebrate.”