British Columbia

B.C. Green MLA Adam Olsen named new interim party leader

The B.C. Green Party has announced Adam Olsen as its new interim leader, along with a new suite of rules around how and when a new permanent leader will take over from Andrew Weaver.

Party will also open up its membership to those as young as 16

MLA for Saanich North and the Islands Adam Olsen has been named as the B.C. Green Party interim leader. (JoAnnWay.com / nuttycake.com)

The B.C. Green Party has announced Adam Olsen as its new interim leader, along with a new suite of rules around how and when a new permanent leader will take over from Andrew Weaver.

At a press conference in Victoria on Friday, the party said Olsen, the Saanich North and the Islands MLA, would take charge for the duration of the leadership contest.

He will head the party from Jan. 6 to Jun. 27, 2020, when the results of the leadership contest are expected.

Party bylaws state that any interim leader many not run for the party's permanent leadership position.

"It is our hope that the 2020 B.C. Green leadership contest can be an opportunity to participate in an important democratic process for those who would otherwise be uninterested, disadvantaged or excluded," said Sat Harwood, the chair of the party's provincial council.

Olsen said he's honoured to take on the role.

"I want to acknowledge and thank my colleague and friend Andrew Weaver for his leadership," he said.

"The 2020 leadership contest is an opportunity to champion our values, open up our organization, welcome new voices, and build the next era of politics in B.C."

Weaver announced he would step down as party leader in November, but intends to stay on as the member of the legislature for the Victoria-area riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head.

The party also said it plans to open membership to British Columbians from the age of 16.

Leadership contest rules

  • Voter base expanded to include those aged 16 and up who wish to support a candidate but do not wish to become a party member.
  • Full membership free for youth aged 25 and younger.
  • Spending limit for each candidate is $300,000, excluding fees paid to the party.
  • Three debates to take place after April 30:   
         
    • Vancouver Island
    •    
    • Lower Mainland
    •    
    • Rest of province
    •    
  • Voting to take place June 15-26, primarily online, but with a secure telephone option for those without Internet.
  • Ranked ballots to be used for a contest of three or more candidates.
  • First-past-the-post for a contest of two.
  • Fees paid to the party will total $16,000, plus a compliance deposit and 25 per cent of additional contributions.

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