The British Columbia Green Party is announcing a star candidate this morning who leader Jane Sterk hopes will raise the party's fortunes across the province.
University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver is going to run for the Green's in the Victoria-area constituency of Oak Bay-Gordon Head. As a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Weaver shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
"We're very excited and I think this is significant for the Green Party and for British Columbia politics," said Sterk. "We now have a calibre of candidate people want to vote for."
Sterk said she believes recruiting Weaver will help attract another four or five high profile candidates and that the party hopes to elect enough MLAs in the May 2013 election to gain official party status.
The Green Party's announcement quoted Weaver saying he never thought he would enter politics. "With a rudderless provincial government and the potential for a landslide NDP victory in the upcoming election, I felt now was the time to get engaged to ensure that the principles of economic, social and environmental sustainability continue to be raised and discussed in the legislative assembly,” he said.
In recent years, during interviews on climate change, Weaver has said the science is conclusive that the planet is warming and that what's needed is political action. He has been a frequent speaker at environmental rallies and has endorsed candidates for office at various levels and from various parties.
Weaver ran for public office in 2002 with a bid to join the board of Victoria School District 61. In that race he won 7,201 votes, placing him 15th out of 19 candidates, according to the Nov. 18, 2002 Victoria Times Colonist newspaper.
Oak Bay-Gordon Head is currently held by BC Liberal cabinet minister Ida Chong, who has said she intends to run in 2013. The NDP has nominated Jessica Van der Veen to be its candidate.
Sterk plans to run in Victoria-Beacon Hill, the constituency now held by former NDP leader Carole James.
Sterk also said the party intends not to run candidates in Delta South or Cariboo North, ridings held by independents Vicki Huntington and Bob Simpson, respectively. "They're doing a good job," she said. "We could work with both of them."