As a green hue sets on New Brunswick this week, B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver said it’s the start of a green wave stretching across the country.
On Tuesday, David Coon, leader of the New Brunswick Green party, was re-elected to the legislature, but with Kevin Arseneau and Megan Mitton this time, broadening the caucus to three.
The result was similar to the 2017 B.C. election where Sonia Furstenau and Adam Olsen joined Weaver, and historically went on to form a government with the John Horgan-led NDP.
“In the last election camp, the B.C. Greens campaigned on an economic vision that builds on our strengths,” Weaver said, adding it was a successful move because the NDP “didn’t have a solid financial plan.”
Long thought of as the party of the environment, the Greens are starting to gain a foothold in health and education platforms. “Being fiscally prudent is fundamental to who we are, but at the same time, we value our social safety net,” Weaver explained.
Across the country, there are now 10 provincial Green representatives – up from three last year – in B.C., Ontario, New Brunswick and P.E.I.
The Green approach to government is thinking long-term, Weaver said, establishing public policies that reach into generations, instead of satisfying individual goals of the elected officials of the day.
“It’s a different way of thinking,” said the Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA.
Weaver predicts the increase of Green voters could result in federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May inching her way up the polls in the 2019 federal election, particularly since the Liberals’ purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline is not sitting well with many Canadians.
“Trudeau and his government have essentially been saying it will be built, strong-arming the province,” Weaver said of the pipeline.
The Greens, he said, would have gone about the process ensuring transparency and due diligence, as opposed to the way “political backroom deal makers” in Ottawa have operated.
Pointing to both the Vancouver and Burnaby civic elections, where Weaver predicts “breakthroughs” for the Greens.
“People are voting their values,” he said.
The next federal election is Oct. 21, 2019.