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B.C. Green MLA Adam Olsen won't seek re-election, citing 'existential re-evaluation'


British Columbia Green Party MLA Adam Olsen will not seek re-election this year, the two-term member of the legislature announced Tuesday, citing "an existential re-evaluation of what is truly important to me."

Olsen, one of only two Green MLAs in the B.C. legislature alongside party leader Sonia Furstenau, made the announcement Tuesday during a news conference in Victoria.

Olsen was first elected to the Vancouver Island riding of Saanich North and the Islands in 2017, and won re-election in 2020. He served as the interim leader of the B.C. Green Party from 2013 to 2015 and then once again before Furstenau was elected leader in 2020.

"It's been a challenging year, and setting aside the cut and thrust of politics – something I've grown accustomed to and, frankly, thrived in for more than a decade and a half – the challenges that I face are personal," Olsen told reporters.

"There are three deaths in the last calendar year that, each in their own way, have put me into an existential re-evaluation of what is truly important to me, who I'm prioritizing and where I serve."

Furstenau, standing beside an emotional Olsen, described her colleague as "one of the greatest parliamentarians in B.C.," saying her friendship with Olsen has been "the greatest gift of the last seven years."

Olsen will not be retiring from politics altogether. Instead, he will serve as the B.C. Green Party's campaign chair, helping the party recruit candidates and shape its strategic direction ahead of the next provincial election in October.

Olsen said discussions are now underway to identify a suitable Green candidate for Saanich North and the Islands before the fall.

His departure isn't the only major shakeup for the party ahead of the looming election.

Furstenau announced earlier this year that she will leave her Cowichan Valley riding to run in the NDP stronghold of Victoria-Beacon Hill this fall, saying the B.C. capital is "where my heart is."

The Victoria Beacon-Hill riding is currently held by NDP MLA Grace Lore, who also serves as the B.C. Minister of Children and Family Development. Top Stories

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