Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C.'S Lone Green MLA Becomes Lightning Rod at B.C. Legislature

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C.'S Lone Green MLA Becomes Lightning Rod at B.C. Legislature

Article excerpt

B.C.'s lone Green MLA takes centre stage

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VICTORIA - He's a climate scientist who's become a political lightning rod at British Columbia's legislature.

Andrew Weaver, B.C.'s lone Green party member of the legislature, spent years espousing and debating climate change theories in the academic world. Now he finds himself in the middle of a gathering political storm, with the Opposition New Democrats and governing Liberals on his left and right.

In recent months, the Liberals have been goading the Opposition New Democrats by calling Weaver the legislature's most effective Opposition politician, while the New Democrats, who have 34 members, say their focus is on holding the government to account, and it's Weaver who often votes with the government.

And Weaver -- who recently popped in for a visit to the B.C. press gallery wearing jeans and Neil Young anti-oil-sands tour hoodie, said there's no place he'd rather be than stuck between the two opposing fronts.

B.C.'s politicians are set to return to the legislature Tuesday for the spring session where they will debate the government's budget. Weaver recently announced he sees bright days ahead for the Greens and he will seek the party's leadership and run again in his Victoria-area Oak Bay-Gordon Head riding in 2017.

"They can all go worry and play politics about what they want to do," said Weaver about Liberal and NDP strategies to inflate or mitigate his political value. "I'm not worried about that. I'm worried about our party, our Green party and providing alternatives for people."

Premier Christy Clark and NDP Leader John Horgan admit Weaver's role in the legislature plays a large part in the current political environment even though he represents a single vote.

With the current standings at 49 Liberals, 34 NDP and two Independents, Weaver's lone voice isn't enough to swing votes, but there's weight in his political potential. …

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