In 2017, voters in British Columbia elected its first Green caucus.
Just over one year later New Brunswick did the same thing, led by party leader David Coon. They join the B.C. Green Party and the P.E.I. Greens as the third provincial Green Party caucus in Canada.
B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver – one of the first Green politicians elected at the provincial level in 2013 – commended Coon on a “positive campaign based on hope, not fear.”
“What the people of New Brunswick have done is said ‘we want people to work together,’ just like they did in B.C.,” Weaver said. “It looks like the major parties are going to have to work with [the Greens].”
Balancing the responsibilities of positions in government lends itself to better check and balances, he added, and that is good for democracy.
There are now 10 provincial Green representatives – up from three last year – in B.C., Ontario, New Brunswick and P.E.I. The B.C. Greens gained two more seats with Sonia Furstenau and Adam Olsen both elected from Vancouver Island in the 2017 B.C. provincial election.
From coast to coast, Weaver senses a “very real shift afoot,” crediting the hard work of Green politicians that voters are starting to recognize.
|Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and leader of the B.C. Green Party. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)|
He next points to the Vancouver civic election where Green candidates are polling well and to Burnaby where he sees potential for a Green “breakthrough” adding he would not be surprised to see federal Green leader Elizabeth May do well in the 2019 election.
“People are voting their values and voting for who they want in government,” he said, as opposed to the 2015 federal election where the goal was to oust the Stephen Harper-led Conservative government.
Anyone who thinks minority governments are easy, Weaver said, are mistaken. “It’s tough but leads to better public policy. This is what they’re going to find out in New Brunswick.”
– With files from Kristyn Anthony