B.C. Green MLA Adam Olsen was in Vernon’s Cenotaph Park Saturday afternoon to speak to the public – one of roughly 40 events that volunteer teams with the party are holding between June and September.
Olsen was elected to the Saanich North and the Islands electoral district in 2017. He’s one of three members of the Green Party who sit on the provincial Legislative Assembly alongside Sonia Furstenau and party leader Andrew Weaver.
Olsen was introduced just after 12 p.m. in front of a gathering of about 20 supporters by Keli Westgate, the B.C. Green Party candidate in the Vernon-Monashee riding for the 2017 provincial election.
“Thank you for continuing to advance what is a very diverse set of policies and ideas that will help us change and renew our relationship not only to nature and to our economy, but also to ourselves,” he said to the crowd of supporters donning Green Party pins.
Olsen’s names salmon policy as the issue he’s been most involved around, and pointed to the province’s dropping number of sockeyes. His policy priorities also revolve around the province’s forestry industry.
“Communities are devastated, people have lost their jobs, and there’s very little reliability in the economy that has been left behind in this,” he said, making direct reference to the ongoing rallies by lumber industry workers in Mackenzie, B.C.
Olsen grew up in Saanich but spent a lot of time in Vernon growing up.
“If I’m going to leave anything here it’s not going to be a policy piece, it’s not going to be politics, it’s just going to be that this is a community that has always had a soft spot in my heart,” he said.
Marc Reinarz, federal Green candidate for the North Okanagan – Shuswap district, was also in attendance. Climate change was the main topic he spoke to during his brief speech to attendants.
The party’s local associations cover 32 ridings across the province, and newly forming associations will soon cover an additional 15 ridings. They play a central role in holding B.C. Greens events, recruiting new supporters, fundraising as well as selecting the B.C. Green candidate in the riding for the next provincial election.