Record breaking 3 Green MLAs sworn into B.C. Legislature
Andrew Weaver, Sonia Furstenau and Adam Olsen form largest Green contingent in Canadian history
For the first time in Canadian history, three Green Party representatives have been sworn into a provincial legislature.
In a ceremony in the legislative chambers in Victoria on Wednesday, Andrew Weaver, Sonia Furstenau and Adam Olsen took their place in the history books.
"Ceremony affects in ways you don't always anticipate," said Furstenau. "The historian in me, I studied Elizabethan England and medieval history and parliamentary history and so to now be a part of that ... I don't think I anticipated how moving the experience would be."
Record breaking trio
The three MLAs are the first group sworn in following the 2017 provincial election. The Green Party currently holds the balance of power in the legislature and intends to support the NDP.
Together, the Greens and the NDP have 44 seats, one more than the B.C. Liberals. The government has announced plans to recall the legislature on June 22. It is expected to test the confidence of the house with a vote soon after.
Furstenau is one of 34 female members elected in the last provincial election, the highest number of women voted into the B.C. Legislature in the province's history.
Olsen, a member of the Tsartlip First Nation, is one of a record four Indigenous members elected. He was ushered into the house by a group of Wsanec drummers and participated in a traditional blanket ceremony.
"It's humbling to be brought in the way I was brought in. It's an honour to be recognized by my community the way the Saanich have," said Olsen.
Impact on Vancouver Island
The Greens expect to bring forward an aggressive legislative agenda. Leader Andrew Weaver says the party has a responsibility to the 17 per cent of people who voted for the Green Party.
The three Green MLAs also all represent ridings on Vancouver Island, something Weaver and his colleagues are acutely aware of.
"We will continue to ensure the issues in the Capital Regional District are front and centre. Many would argue, including me, we have really been left behind on the decision making that has been made over the years," said Weaver.