Green Party 3.0: Where to from here? Back to the past, or forward to our destiny?

Dear Green Party member and supporter,

Southern Vancouver Islanders have been stalwart BC Green supporters, even when it wasn’t popular to talk about the environment and climate action. This group has stuck together for so many years, and have formed incredibly strong bonds. This was apparent last week when Elizabeth May provided her endorsement to her Southern Vancouver Island mate.

However, it is fundamental to the continued growth of the party to expand beyond Southern Vancouver Island, and build equally deep roots in the rest of the Province. That is my promise: I have delegated the control of my business so I can dedicate my time to growing and supporting the team of MLA candidates that we will take into the next election - without the burden of legislative calendar restrictions. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

2017_BC_Election.jpgIt barely requires mentioning that this is a critical time for our party. Before we witness history repeat itself, and we lose the enormous gains we’ve achieved, I want us all to consider where we go from here: back to the BC Green Party of old, or forward to build on the new heights of influence we have so recently gained? In 2017, the BC Green Party captured 332,387 votes, or 16.84% of the popular vote - our best showing ever, by a significant margin. For comparison, in the 2013 provincial election, our party captured 146,607 votes, or 8.13% of the popular vote. This is a 127% increase in total BC Green votes in just one electoral cycle - virtually unheard of. How did this happen?

It happened because our former leader, Andrew Weaver, inspired unprecedented numbers of volunteers and quality candidates with his professionalism, pragmatism and passion: a powerful voice as comfortable debating climate science as he was on business, the economy, technology, the opioid crisis or mental health. Whether we always agreed with his approach or not, this was a new and vital voice for the BC Green Party with an ability to work effectively across the aisle. Andrew was also able to attract a new type of candidate, including myself, where I also doubled the BC Green vote total in my Powell River-Sunshine Coast riding in 2017. Let’s recognize that he did not accomplish all of this alone, but he did lead effectively. 

So again, the question for us all is: do we go back to the past, or do we go forward to a new and ever brighter future? This is why I am running to lead our party: we have gained so much ground in such short order, we cannot allow ourselves to give back one inch of it!

A Leader for all of BC.

We may stand on the shoulders of giants, but our calling is the future, and our eyes are focused straight ahead, unblinking and undeterred. We must not take any actions that will allow our party to go back to being branded as a one issue party, or the party of one particular region of BC; we must be just as strong or stronger in Vancouver, Surrey, Whistler, Nelson, Prince George, Kelowna, Penticton, Kitimat, Salmon Arm or 100 Mile House. We must be the party that is known not only for climate science, but also for economic revival, inclusive policies to ensure a green recovery for all; the party known for thoughtful, pragmatic solutions to issues such as reconciliation and reparation; the advocates for critical investments in mental health, childhood education and elder care. We must be the party that all British Columbians know they can trust with the hard decisions on healthcare investing, homelessness, the environment and the economy.

In my work, I am seeing a new era of cooperation building around us, a result of the COVID-19 crisis that has shocked us all into realizing our interdependence once again. And with that, there is a need for our voices, the BC Green Party voice, to lead in the healing and recovery of our province. There is a need for a BC Green Party leader who, like Andrew Weaver, combines a deep and broad spectrum of experience in business, finance, climate, social and healthcare related fields. There is an opportunity for our party to continue our rapid ascent as a force for positive change, and as a leading voice on the issues that matter most to British Columbians. 

Leveraging the experience of my professional background in business and finance, I want to build on the growth our party has seen in the last seven years by continuing to articulate our Green message in a fashion that can be heard outside of the green bubble, just as our predecessor did. Our goal is not to lead on an issue, it is to lead our Government. 

Let us not retreat, let us advance and expand our reach and relevance, with courage, commitment and a relentlessly positive vision for our province. All of our province. 

I’m Kim Darwin, and I am ready to lead us forward.