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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

I’ve spoken with potential candidates, supporters and members who are excited to bring fresh perspectives and enthusiasm to this campaign – BC Green Party leadership candidate Sonia Furstenau

Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley, is now in the running to be the next leader of the BC Green Party.

In making the announcement in Victoria this morning Furstenau stated, “BC needs a new style of leadership that listens to evidence and to communities,” Furstenau said.

I got into politics because I saw a disconnect between the decisions made at higher levels of government and how they affect peoples’ day to day lives. I have seen time and time again how good ideas get stalled at the provincial level due to old ways of thinking and partisan divisiveness. But, the past two and a half years in office have also made it clear to me that it does not have to be this way”. 

She then continued, “We need a plan for the future that embraces new ideas and MLAs who have the courage to implement it. We need to embrace solutions to the climate crisis that will improve quality of life and create opportunities for British Columbians. We need to shift away from century-old markers like GDP growth to more meaningful indicators like equality, infrastructure, health and wellbeing. We need to move beyond the tired ideological wars of the 20th century, focus on the concrete outcomes we want to achieve, and work collaboratively to find the best common-sense policies to make them happen”.

A parent to three children and two step-children, Sonia is the Green Party MLA for Cowichan Valley and has served as the BC Greens Deputy Leader and House Leader in the legislature.

Sonia’s roles, as the lead BC Green spokesperson for seven different government files, appear to give her inroads to the top position, based on experience.

She has successfully advocated for changes to the child welfare system, worked with the government to make reforms to environmental legislation and to develop childcare and early childhood education programs, and stood up against the government’s tax breaks to the fossil fuel industry.

She also sits on the Legislative Affairs and Management Committee, where she is working alongside her colleagues to make the legislature more transparent and accountable and to introduce a long overdue respectful workplace policy for employees.

Concluding her announcement, Furstenau stated, “The BC Green Party has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years, and since beginning initial conversations about my leadership candidacy I have spoken with dozens of potential candidates, supporters and members who are excited to bring fresh perspectives and enthusiasm to this campaign”.
“These conversations have underscored for me how much potential there is to expand our impact in provincial politics. I can’t wait to travel the province to speak to current and future members and supporters about our shared future.”


MORE INFORMATION on her run to lead the BC Green Party can be found on her campaign website.  Furstenau was joined by the following endorsers at her campaign launch: 

Eli Enns, President and CEO, IIISAAK Olam Foundation:
“I myself am non-partisan. As a political scientist, I was told in year one that politics is dirty by nature. However, in my observation, there is a new kind of politician emerging today - politicians who are proving that politics and integrity can co-exist. It is my observation that Sonia Furstenau is one such emerging leader, and it is for this reason that I wholeheartedly endorse her drive for Leader of the B.C. Green Party. Klecko Klecko (deep sense of gratitude)!”

Dr. Lisa Gunderson, psychologist, educator and equity consultant:
"I'm supporting Sonia because of her commitment to building a stronger, more inclusive, equitable, and representative democracy. She has the leadership skills required to recruit a diverse team of candidates, organizers and supporters and to win an inspiring campaign in the next election."

Andy Mackinnon, forest ecologist and Metchosin councillor:
"Sonia Furstenau and the BC Green Party are champions for BC's species and ecosystems. This leadership is crucial for our province's long-term economic, social and environmental prosperity. I believe that Sonia has the vision, the intelligence and the spirit to lead the BC Green Party, and our province, in a better direction and I'm looking forward to supporting her campaign."

Dr. Amita Kuttner, astrophysicist and Green Party of Canada critic for science and innovation:
“Sonia has my support because I know she is committed to building a future that is equitable and just. I trust her to follow the evidence and science to create a plan for our province that acknowledges the realities we face.”

David Slade, business owner and Member of the Cowichan Watershed Board:
“As a partner in a family owned well drilling business, a small-scale organic farmer and a concerned grandfather, I appreciate that Sonia understands the role small business plays in creating resilient communities that are able to adapt to changing conditions in the economy and environment. Supporting small business keeps jobs and profits close to home, creating opportunities to invest in local products, services and networks that are more sustainable.”

Emiy Hiser, University of Victoria student and Member of the Victoria Youth Council:
“Sonia is a leader who will push for affordability, climate accountability, youth representation, and what is best for British Columbia. I am proud to be advocating for someone who will lead with kindness, knowledge, honesty, and enthusiasm."


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