Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Sonia Furstenau’s first month as leader for the BC Greens is one she soon won’t forget.

One week after Furstenau was voted in as party leader by supporters, BC NDP Premier-elect John Horgan called a snap election – dissolving the prior coalition agreement between the two parties that was created after the 2017 election and allowed the NDP to form a minority government.

Furstenau, projected winner for the Cowichan Valley, was forced to hit the ground running, finding candidates to tout the Greens platform in each of B.C.’s 87 ridings.

Most will agree: her hard work paid off on Saturday night (Oct. 24), not only expanding the Greens’ footprint but also capturing the party’s first riding outside of Vancouver Island.

“I think it’s an indication that we are no longer limited just to the Vancouver Island, where we’ve been strong, but that people around the province are recognizing that the Greens are offering a very important alternative than the kind of politics of the other two parties,” Furstenau told reporters from Election Day party headquarters in Victoria, shortly after media projected Horgan would be premier and backed by a majority government.

Adam Olsen, who served as interim leader after Andrew Weaver stepped down in January, is projected to be re-elected in the riding of Saanich North and Islands. Jeremy Valeriote cinched the West Vancouver – Sea to Sky riding, making the first-ever win for the Greens in the Lower Mainland.

Weaver’s former riding of Oak Bay Gordon Head flipped orange, however, and was won by NDP candidate Murray Rankin.

Since government was dissolved in mid-September, Furstenau has criticized Horgan for calling an election during a time when political leaders need to be focusing on COVID-19 recovery. During the election campaign, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry declared that B.C. had entered its second wave of the pandemic, reporting more than 200 cases each day this past week.

ALSO READ: Incumbent Sonia Furstenau says lots of work to be done in Cowichan Valley

Unlike Horgan and BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, Furstenau had to not only push Green platform pledges but also introduce herself to the province beyond her Cowichan Valley riding as the new party leader.

During the only televised debate, Furstenau notably pushed to differentiate herself from the other two party leaders when she pledged to work to end systemic racism but admitted that the three of them, who are all white, could never grasp its nuances.

While Horgan’s risk to call a pandemic election paid off, flipping historically Liberal ridings in the Fraser Valley in what is being dubbed the “orange crush,” Furstenau said Saturday night that the Greens will ensure accountability from the NDP in the B.C. Legislature.

“They were half successful,” she said.

“What these results are showing is that British Columbians are not willing to give the government a pass on things like climate change, old-growth [forests] protection or the holes in COVID recovery plan.”

Based off Elections BC preliminary results, the NDP are projected to lead a majority government with 55 seats. The Liberals are projected to have garnered 29 seats, followed by the Greens with three seats.

Due to the pandemic, more British Columbians have decided to vote by mail-in ballot than ever before. Election results won’t be finalized until mid-November, after those mail-in ballots are counted beginning Nov. 6.

Across B.C., a total of 497,900 mail-in ballots were returned to Election BC, as of Friday (Oct. 23). There are roughly 3.5 million registered voters in the province.

Video by Arnold Lim, Black Press Media


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

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

Just Posted

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

(File Photo)
Crash causes delays on Coquihalla southbound, travel advisory issued

A vehicle incident between Merrit and Hope has caused major delays heading south

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

The future of the Cache Creek pool is still up in the air as council ponders different options and cost considerations. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
No decision about whether Cache Creek pool will open in 2021

Council still discussing pool’s future; no date set for public meeting about its fate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Island teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

Teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressures from outside and within

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

Most Read