Campaign teams and active members of the B.C. Green Party received an unexpected visitor during their Regional Conference meeting at the Best Western in Kelowna this weekend.
On a sunny afternoon, what was supposed to have been a mundane discussion regarding a review of campaign performance, Green party policies and organizational issues, was interrupted by Green Party leader Andrew Weaver.
Weaver was in Kelowna vacationing and took time to address the Green Party community. Among the issues and questions that were touched upon were the Site C dam, Green Party running platforms and the NDP and Green Party minority government.
Weaver spoke about his agreement to join forces with the NDP but said the party must remain independent moving forward.
“We have to remain very independent of them because there is a danger, that’s why we did not agree to a coalition, we only agreed to be (part) of the minority,” said Weaver. “We felt it was important to maintain our identity because we could become (consumed) by their machinery.”
Weaver also spoke about the opportunity the Green Party has as B.C. politics moves forward, noting both the NDP and the Liberals have adopted parts of the Green platform.
“We brought the Liberals one way and we brought the NDP to our values,” he said. “Politics in B.C. is largely Green right now because both parties came to our values. Both of them are driven by the power of governance not about the issues that they want to solve and that is our opportunity because we’re issue-based. I think we are far more effective in this minority government than we would be in a coalition. We were offered cabinet seats.”
The meeting also saw key note speakers led by Robert Mellalieu, the Green Party Regional Representative and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.