“This will be a fundamentally new way for parties to work together. This is an opportunity for politics to be done differently by collaborating and openly debating legislation to achieve the best possible outcomes for British Columbians," Andrew Weaver, leader of Green Party of British Columbia
1. The election results are a clear indication that voters want change and their voices heard. How do you plan on making this happen?
After the election resulted in a minority government, we spent a long time considering what we heard from voters and how we could get the best possible agreement that would put their interests first. I believe we have achieved that with our agreement with the BC NDP. In the agreement, they are required to consult with us as they craft their policy. They are also required to honour the principle of “good faith and no surprises.” As an MLA, I also remain committed to listening to the concerns of my constituents, and to British Columbians more broadly, to ensure that their government is actually representing them.
2. What are your views on this new form of governance?
This will be a fundamentally new way for parties to work together. This is an opportunity for politics to be done differently by collaborating and openly debating legislation to achieve the best possible outcomes for British Columbians.
3. Do you believe the election results show that voters have increased confidence in the Green Party?
I’m very proud of what we accomplished in this election. I believe now that voters know that the BC Greens can pick up seats and that we don’t “split the vote,” we will see even more Green MLAs in the future. What is most exciting is that voter turnout in the three ridings that elected BC Greens was among the highest in the province. This is very exciting for our democracy.
4. The NDP and Green Party share common ground on important issues, which issue in particular encouraged you to support the NDP?
Kinder Morgan and Site C played significant roles in our decision. We have a strong vision for BC that builds a sustainable economy of the future and both of these projects are harmful to the kind of economy that is right for BC. What BC needs are good-paying, long-term jobs in industries that are projected to grow for generations to come, and to do that we need to move out of the old way of thinking. We also ran on a commitment to get big money out of politics, and that is an area of agreement with the BC NDP. There are a range of other issues, such as reinvigorating our forestry sector in a sustainable way and giving our public schools the resources they need to provide a world-class education for our children, that also significantly contributed to our decision. On other issues, of course, we will still be able to pass legislation by working with the BC Liberals, and I look forward to working with my colleagues from their Caucus as well.
5. What message does the agreement between the Green Party and NDP send to British Columbians?
It’s time for a new era in BC politics. For far too long, the hyper-partisan, two-party system has led to polarized debates and cynical political calculation. People are ready for politics to be done differently. This can be done when our elected officials work together to put people first.
6. What will be your first priority once the new government is formed?
Banning big money and introducing reforms to the lobbying industry are significant priorities that we committed to taking action in the first sitting of the next session of the new government. We have also agreed to hold a referendum on proportional representation in the Fall of 2018. Both of those initiatives are crucial in changing the way politics is done in BC and will be major priorities for us.
7. How do you plan on maintaining your stand against the expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline?
There are many tools available to the provincial government to stop this pipeline from going ahead. There are many First Nations opposed to the project, and many ongoing legal challenges that have a good chance of preventing the project from coming to fruition. I would implore Mr. Trudeau to honour his commitments. He signed the Paris Climate Accord, and in order to meet our targets, no new fossil fuel infrastructure that is intended to last for decades should be built. At the same time, the cost of renewables continues to plummet. There are so many opportunities to take advantage of when it comes to transitioning to the low carbon economy and I look forward to working with the federal government and the business sector to help BC be at the forefront of innovation in this area.
8. Key concerns like improving transit facilities and housing unaffordability are not mentioned in detail in the agreement. How will the new government tackle these issues?
We have committed to working with the Mayors Council to come up with a transit plan that will work for their residents. We will consult with the BC NDP as they develop their budget, and we are in agreement that transit is essential to reduce emissions, get people where they need to go faster, and make life more affordable for British Columbians.
9. The agreement does not mention free daycare for working parents with children under three which the Green Party promised during the campaign period. What plans do you have with regards to daycare?
We will work with the BC NDP to come up with a daycare plan that reflects our shared values and the best ideas from both of our platforms.
10. How do you plan on dealing with the differences that arise between the NDP and Green Party over the four-year period?
We have a detailed system for consultation, as well as dispute resolution, built into the agreement. We plan on maintaining productive, friendly relationships with our colleagues from both the BC NDP and the BC Liberals so that we can work together to craft good public policy that will put the people of BC first.