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Andrew Weaver to step down as B.C. Green Party leader in January

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver announces that he won't be running as leader in the next provincial election during a press conference at the Hall of Honour at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, October 7, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito.
B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver announces that he won't be running as leader in the next provincial election during a press conference at the Hall of Honour at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, October 7, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver will step down as the party’s leader in January, but will stay on as the member of the legislature for the Victoria-area riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head.

Weaver’s last day as leader will coincide with the first day of the upcoming leadership contest.

“This makes the start of the leadership contest an appropriate time to let the party begin a new chapter,” he said. “It presents an exciting time for the next generation to lead. I look forward to supporting this new period of the party’s history.”

The B.C. Green Party will now select an interim leader, who is not looking for the long-term party leadership. Current Green Party MLAs Sonia Furstenau and Adam Olsen have still not announced their plans.

READ MORE: B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver will not seek re-election in 2021

An interim leader will be announced by Dec. 6. The leadership contest will run from mid-January until June 28 of next year. The party will announce the new leader at a convention in Nanaimo.

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“Stepping aside as leader at the start of the leadership contest allows me to provide more space and provide more support for a vibrant leadership race without me messing up being the ongoing spokesperson for the party,” Weaver said.

“I feel a deep pride in the work the B.C. Greens have done to get the province back on track in meeting climate commitments.”

WATCH (aired October 7, 2019): Andrew Weaver announces plans to step down as leader of the Green Party

Andrew Weaver announces plans to step down as leader of the Green Party
Andrew Weaver announces plans to step down as leader of the Green Party

Weaver said he would not seek re-election in the next British Columbia election.

No candidates have put their names forward but Weaver says three people have approached him about running for leadership.

“We are looking forward to a robust process that builds on the achievements of the party these last four years,” Provincial Council Chair Sat Harwood said.

WATCH (aired December 23, 2019): Green Party leader Andrew Weaver sits down with Global reporter Richard Zussman for a year-end interview

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver sits down with Global reporter Richard Zussman for a year-end interview
Green Party leader Andrew Weaver sits down with Global reporter Richard Zussman for a year-end interview

Weaver was hospitalized in September after being diagnosed with labyrinthitis, a condition that affects navigation and balance.

Weaver has had a history-making political career. In 2013, he became the first Green Party representative to win a seat in the B.C. legislature.

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The climate scientist led the party into the 2017 election where the Greens won three seats and held the balance of power in the B.C. legislature. The Greens decided to support the BC NDP and hand John Horgan the premier’s job.

“This session has become a fitting conclusion to my time as leader,” Weaver said.

“From the Climate Accountability Amendment Act to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, our party has worked collaboratively to fulfill many core aspects of our vision.”