British Columbia

'I really like John Horgan': Green leader praises NDP alliance as he reflects on 2018

Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver admits he thought it would be very difficult to work with the NDP, but says he's been surprised by how much he likes Premier John Horgan. Weaver sat down with CBC reporter Tanya Fletcher for this year-end interview.

Andrew Weaver 'didn't think it would work very well' but now expects deal to last the full term

Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver sat down with CBC reporter Tanya Fletcher for a year-end interview on Nov. 29. (Mike McArthur / CBC)

Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver admits he thought it would be difficult working with the NDP.

But looking back on 2018, he said that has all changed.

So, what would it take to dissolve his alliance with Premier John Horgan? Weaver sat down with CBC reporter Tanya Fletcher for this year-end interview.

Note: This interview was conducted before the results of B.C.'s referendum on electoral reform were released.

Year in review

Looking back on the past year, what is the one thing you are most proud of? What would you change if you could do things differently?

For me personally, the Clean B.C. strategy is a culmination of many years of work in this area.

I'm really excited about the zero-emission vehicle standard we announced, the building retrofit program and the myriad other measures we've announced.

If we could've done things differently ... in terms of the NDP bringing legislation forward, that they do things in a more regimental fashion throughout the session.

A much more stable workload would be something I'd love to have; it's tiring because there's only three of us [Green Party MLAs], but I hope we get four in Nanaimo.

I like to think of us as the sober second thought on government policy as we're there to provide an oversight, and it's been very rewarding in that regard.

Legislature suspensions

Following the suspensions of the clerk and sergeant-at-arms, a line has emerged between protecting the integrity of the investigation versus transparency to the public. How well has the government done balancing that?

This is not a government investigation, this is an RCMP investigation.

Whenever there is a criminal investigation it is entirely inappropriate for MLAs to be seen as potentially interfering through commentary on this investigation.

I can understand that the public wants details — they're itching for details.

There will be a time when information comes ... but we have a police force for a reason and we trust them.

So, let them do their job and whatever transpires from this we can deal with the consequences after the fact.

Propping up the NDP

How do you reconcile the idea of sacrificing your own party's stance to prop up the NDP over issues you disagree on?

Take the speculation tax; when it was first announced in the February budget it was not, in our view, clearly thought through.

I spent hundreds of hours on this file, bringing information to government and [when it was introduced as legislation] many of the initial concerns were addressed.

B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver and NDP Leader John Horgan met up at a rugby game after the 2017 election ended with uncertain results. (Chap Hipolito/The Canadian Press)

I thought that it would be very difficult to work with the NDP. I didn't feel like this was going to work very well.

But over the course of this year what has surprised me most is that not only have I seen this work, but it's become clear to me that I really like John Horgan. He's a guy I'd go for a beer with.

[There was never] a second that I thought we made the wrong decision.... No way.

Airtight alliance

That sounds like an airtight alliance. So what would it take for you to pull that away?

I can't see that happening. I honestly don't see that in the cards.

A year ago, I could've seen that happening. A year ago, you could've asked me that question and I could've said, 'Yeah, we're frustrated on this and that.'

But a year later, I just don't see it.

That doesn't mean the government should be complacent and it doesn't mean there won't be tensions or disagreements.

But it does mean that I don't realistically see this not going the full term.

This interview has been edited for clarity and structure. Watch the full interview below:

Weaver sits down with CBC's Tanya Fletcher in this year-end interview. 2:59

About the Author

Provincial Affairs Reporter covering the B.C. Legislature. Anything political: tanya.fletcher@cbc.ca

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