B.C. Green Party MLAs Adam Olsen, Andrew Weaver and Sonia Furstenau are officially independents, unless an amendment is passed to give them party status. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. Greens leader Andrew Weaver seeks official party status

Recognition would give B.C. Green Party more staff, guaranteed time in legislature

Emerging from last week’s too-close-to-call election, B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver had a clear first priority if he ends up with the balance of power in a minority legislature – cleaning up B.C.’s “wild west” election donations.

But after days of uncertainty over recounts, and discussions with B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark and NDP leader John Horgan, a new top priority emerged – official party status for the Greens. In an interview Sunday on CTV’s Question Period, Weaver said party recognition is one of his “deal breakers” in talks with other parties.

“Number one is of course, with three seats, we don’t get official party status,” Weaver said. “We would sit as independents, and that’s simply not acceptable to us. So we would seek official party status for the three Green seats so that we actually are the Green Party and we don’t have to negotiate for speaking time etc., we get allocated time.”

Official status is automatically achieved with four seats, providing additional taxpayer-funded political staff as well as guaranteed speaking time in the legislature. The B.C. Greens held Weaver’s Oak Bay-Gordon Head seat, and elected Adam Olsen in Saanich North and the Islands and Sonia Furstenau in Cowichan Valley.

Election finance reform is now Weaver’s second priority, after the Greens refused all but individual donations in the campaign for the May 9 vote.

“Any person, any company, any corporation, any individual anywhere in the world can donate any amount of money, any time they want, to any political party in B.C.,” Weaver said. “That’s just wrong and we’ll insist that that happens.”

Clark remains premier at least until May 24, when a recount settles results in Courtenay-Comox, where the NDP finished the initial count with a nine-vote lead. A B.C. Liberal win there would give the party a bare majority of 44 seats.

Horgan has argued that with a majority of voters choosing an alternative to the ruling party, conditions exist for opposition parties to take over.

The question of minority government with support or a formal coalition between the NDP and the Greens is also undecided, and won’t be known until the result in Courtenay-Comox is finalized.

Just Posted

Rampage attendance reaches record low

Manager Ron German says low attendance could put team in jeopardy financially

Rainmakers dominate Caledonia

Rainmakers win first of two games 71-31

Teams set for All Native tournament

The 51-team field features 39 automatic qualifiers and 12 qualifying teams

Sports briefs

Here’s what’s going on in Prince Rupert sports this weekend

PART I: How Prince Rupert schools teach Indigenous language to hundreds of students

A multimedia series with videos and photos from children’s Sm’algyax classes on B.C.’s North Coast

Heart of Our City: A fisherman with two loves

Norm Ostrom has owned one boat in his life — Arne A. — for almost 60 years

Carriers wanted for the Northern View

We have open routes for carriers all over Prince Rupert

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of sexual harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Most Read