Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau has received the endorsement of Elizabeth May in the race for the BC Green Party leadership. (Submitted)

Elizabeth May endorses Furstenau in BC Greens race

Former federal party leader backs Cowichan Valley MLA

Sonia Furstenau has received a valuable endorsement in her bid for the leadership of the BC Green Party.

Elizabeth May, the former leader of the Green Party of Canada, has thrown her support behind Furstenau, in the race to succeed Andrew Weaver as leader of the provincial party.

“Sonia is a proven leader,” May said in an announcement on Monday, July 6. “She’s extremely articulate, eloquent, brilliant, sharp — also courageous. She is someone who stands up and speaks out on behalf of our natural world. She’s a champion for water. And I know that with Sonia at the helm of the Green Party of British Columbia, we’ll elect more and more talented Greens to our Legislature in Victoria.”

Furstenau said she is honoured to have the backing of May, who led the federal Greens from 2006 to 2019, and was the first member of the Green Party of Canada elected to Parliament when she won the Saanich–Gulf Islands riding in 2011.

“Her leadership enabled the Greens to break through in Canadian politics,” Furstenau said. “Since she was first elected in 2011, we now have dozens of Greens elected at all three levels of government across the country. She has modelled a different style of politics and kept vital issues like climate change and income inequality at the top of the Canadian political agenda.

“People are ready for change that will tackle systemic racism and inequality and build a truly clean economy. My campaign is about providing common sense solutions that will make our province more equitable, sustainable and resilient. I am delighted to have Elizabeth’s support as I move forward with building the next generation of the B.C. Green Party.”

The BC Greens will hold their leadership vote on Sept. 5-13. Furstenau and Sunshine Coast resident Kim Darwin are the only two candidates.

Late last week, Furstenau also announced that her campaign has joined a boycott of paid advertising on Facebook as part of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign. The campaign is calling on Facebook to take more responsibility for its role in promoting hateful content.

“Ending systemic racism means eradicating it from all of our institutions,” Furstenau said. “Social media companies are very powerful institutions that are overdue for taking responsibility for their role in facilitating the spread of hate online.

“When my campaign was reviewing our paid ad strategy for July, we became aware of this campaign and realized we had a responsibility to do our small part to show solidarity and raise awareness about this issue.”

Green Party

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