Andrew Weaver will still sit as an MLA, but not with the BC Greens
VANCOUVER -- The outgoing leader of B.C.'s Green Party still plans to sit as an MLA, but as of next week, he'll be an Independent.
The announcement about Andrew Weaver's decision, which comes into effect on Monday, was made through a statement issued by the party Wednesday morning.
Interim leader Adam Olsen said the party supports Weaver's choice, "so he can attend to the various health challenges affecting his family.
"The BC Green Party's work these past years to begin to reduce partisan polarization from our political discourse and restore the public's trust has been demanding, and because of this, we recognize that a person's commitment to their family needs to come before those to their caucus."
Weaver, who represents the Vancouver Island riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head, previously announced he'd resign as leader in January.
In November, he said he felt it was time to "pass the torch" and that "it's best not to be that hanger-on."
As he'd already announced he would not be seeking re-election, he said it would be better if he stepped aside, making room for an interim leader.
"That way I'm no longer the spokesperson for the party because that could potentially be viewed as undermining my colleagues," he said at the time.
Weaver said he'd recommended the interim leader be someone who does not plan to run for the party's leadership.
In an emailed statement, B.C.'s Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Carole James addressed the announcement.
"I want to thank Dr. Andrew Weaver for all his work in establishing and maintaining a government that tackles the climate crisis and works every day to improve the lives of British Columbians," she said.
The NDP MLA said she looks forward to working with Weaver and the two remaining Green MLAs, and sent her best wishes to those in Weaver's family dealing with health challenges.
BC Liberal Party leader Andrew Wilkinson thanked Weaver for his public service and wished him and his family the best.
"Going forward, I look forward to continuing to work with the now independent MLA Weaver in the legislature on the issues that matter most to British Columbians," Wilkinson said in a statement.