B.C. Greens scramble to confirm candidates in first days of campaign
B.C. Green Leader Sonia Furstenau outside the B.C. legislature in Victoria on Sept. 21, 2020. (CTV News)
VICTORIA -- The B.C. Green party has so far confirmed only two candidate nominations ahead of the Oct. 24 provincial election.
Leader Sonia Furstenau was at her party’s campaign headquarters in Victoria on Wednesday, preparing for the snap election she and her party had hoped to avoid.
“We’re having to sprint,” said Furstenau. “But we are ready for this and we are capable of this.”
The party has only confirmed the nominations of Furstenau, who is running for re-election in the Cowichan Valley, and Adam Olsen, seeking re-election in Saanich North and the Islands.
With the departure of former leader Andrew Weaver from the party, the Greens only held these two seats coming into the campaign.
Max Cameron, a political science professor at the University of B.C., says the party could be in for a tough go this election — not only because it has lost Weaver and his profile, but also because the party has little time to prepare.
“It really does look like the premier pushed the election through, knowing that it would catch the Greens off guard,” says Cameron.
In fact, Cameron says he thinks one reason why NDP Leader John Horgan may have called the election when he did was not only to win a majority – if his opinion poll popularity translates into votes – but also to reduce or eliminate the influence of the Greens.
“I think the longer term strategy is to put the Greens out of business, because I don't think the NDP like to have competition for progressive voters,” Cameron says.
Furstenau scoffs at the idea that she or her party will not have a strong showing in the election, and notes that she and her party have been underestimated in the past.
“If Horgan was so afraid of me and the Green party that he had to trigger a snap election, then I’d say he’s going to be very surprised at the end of this election.”
Although she wouldn’t commit Wednesday to the Greens having a full slate of 87 candidates running in the election, Furstenau said that’s the goal.
The Greens are expected to announce more candidates on Thursday. Furstenau and Horgan are both scheduled to speak at the Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting Thursday.
Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson is in Maple Ridge, speaking at a seniors home.