Local MLA Adam Olsen says family commitments played a large part in his decision not to run for the leadership of the B.C. Greens. He will serve as the party’s interim leader. (Black Press Media File)

Local MLA Adam Olsen cites family commitments as one of the reasons for not running as leader

Olsen will become interim leader of B.C. Greens on Jan. 6, 2020 when leadership race starts

Local MLA Adam Olsen says family commitments were probably the primary reasons for not running for the leadership of the B.C. Greens.

“I have a 12-year-old and a 7-year-old, and they are just getting right into that time of life, where they are going to need to have their parents around,” Olsen said Sunday.

“I have a really busy life, and taking a look at what the requirements of leadership are and the expectations of going around the province doing the work to build a party, I don’t want to add those duties onto the workload I already have.”

Olsen, Green MLA for North Saanich and the Islands, made these comments after the party recently announced on Dec. 20 the rules for their leadership campaign, as well as Olsen’s appointment as an interim leader, a position that prevents him from running for the party’s leadership. Olsen also held the title of interim leader in 2015.

The B.C. Greens are selecting a new leader after Andrew Weaver had announced his decision that he would step down as leader. The leadership race itself starts Jan. 6 and the party expects to announce its new leader June 27 following voting between June 15 and June 26. The party has scheduled a convention in Nanaimo June 26 to June 28.

RELATED: MLA Adam Olsen named interim BC Green Party leader

RELATED: MLA Adam Olsen still mulling over bid for provincial Green leadership

Olsen said it was a relief to make Friday’s announcement. “We have been talking about this through the fall session, and I became quite comfortable in more recent days that this [not running for the leadership] was the right decision to make,” he said.

Writing on his website, Olsen said earlier that he has “deep respect” for the requirements of the job. “My life is busy, I have a strong commitment to my constituency and legislative work and continuing to grow into my role as a Member of the Legislative Assembly,” he said. “In addition, I have a young family and so when I added up all of these considerations, including the sage advice to be patient, I knew this was not my time.”

This said, Olsen did not rule out a leadership run in the future.

Looking ahead to the actual contest, Olsen said the rules of the contest offer the party an opportunity for growth, as all British Columbians aged 16 and up are eligible to participate in the leadership process if they declare themselves party supporters without joining the party itself.

Olsen said this new category of supporter reflects the reality that political parties are changing, with fewer people formally joining political parties. This way, people from across British Columbia can express their support for the party, without becoming members, he added. “It is just a recognition that we want this to be an inclusive process and attract the diversity of the province, but also recognize that people don’t necessarily want to be members of a political party,” he said.

Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and a yet-to-be-determined location elsewhere in British Columbia will each host one of the three leadership debates to take place after April 30.

Olsen’s pending interim leadership marks the second time he had held that role.

“We are definitely in a different situation than they were the last time I was the interim leader,” he said. Compared to 2015, the party has expanded its presence in the provincial legislature and its provincial outreach.

“From my perspective, I am looking at the race overall, and I am hopeful and I believe that we will attract a number of candidates,” he said. “There will be a good debate and good discussion about the vision they will have for the province, and how we as an organization can support and grow that.”


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langford firefighters raise $1,065 for Burn Camp

B.C. firefighters and burn survivors raise $200,068 this year for Burn Camp

Victoria church to ring bells for 75th anniversary of atomic bombings

Bells expected at 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 6 and 11:50 a.m. on Aug. 9

VicPD find used, uncapped needle tied to handrail in Beacon Hill Park

Officers believe the needle was put there with the intent to harm someone

PHOTOS: Kids, parents cool off at Langford splash park

Centennial Park is home to a popular water feature

Saanich landfill gets used oil and antifreeze dropoff centre upgrades

BC Used Oil Management Association oversees upgrades, two new facilities in province

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Most Read