Green MLA Andrew Weaver speaks about the need to  expand B.C.’s economy while at Davison Orchards Tuesday. MLA for Oak-BayGordon Head

Green MLA Andrew Weaver speaks about the need to expand B.C.’s economy while at Davison Orchards Tuesday. MLA for Oak-BayGordon Head

Economic diversity urged

Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and deputy leader of the B.C. Greens, made a stop in Vernon Tuesday

B.C.’s lone Green MLA says there’s a need for the province’s economy to diversify.

Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and deputy leader of the B.C. Greens, made a stop in Vernon Tuesday as part of an Okanagan tour.

“I want to know what the barriers to success are,” he said of visiting area businesses, including Davison Orchards.

“This is a family owned business and it employs 100 people. The money stays in the community. This is one example of an innovative business I’m trying to learn about.”

Weaver, who is running for leadership of the Greens, says the current Liberal government has a narrow economic focus and he wants to broaden the scope.

“We won’t be rah, rah LNG bullshit. What we have that is unique is agriculture and value-added forestry,” he said.

“There is no global market for LNG. The market is oversupplied. I am not anti-LNG but it’s fiscal folly to chase a falling star. We shouldn’t be chasing what everyone else can do. We should focus on what we can do.”

Weaver says touring the Okanagan and other parts of B.C. is important so he has first-hand knowledge of the diverse communities.

“I want to learn. I was elected as MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and I want the party to put a strong showing across the province in 2017 (provincial election).”

Weaver wishes the national Greens well in the current federal election, but he says he won’t be getting involved in that campaign.

“We share similar values but the B.C. Greens are a big tent for those who want to reclaim democracy from large unions and large corporate interests,” he said.

Weaver believes strategic voting to stop the federal Conservatives from being re-elected is a mistake.

“High voter turnout is bad for the Harper Conservatives. Get people out to vote for who they want and not who they think they should vote for to get Harper out.”