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Darwin debates other Green hopefuls

Darwin debates other Green hopefuls

Three BC Green Party leadership candidates faced off in a debate aired on YouTube on Sept. 1.
The event was joined by an audience of close to 600. The only departure from the business-like proceedings was the lead into Sechelt-based candidate and entrepreneur Kim Darwin’s closing remarks. The discussion prior to the closing focused on the impacts of the opioid crisis. Darwin spoke about attending a service marking the drug overdose death of a 22-year-old acquaintance. She needed a moment to maintain composure before reiterating her plan for a provincial “resilient green recovery” from the pandemic should she win her party’s leadership.
On Aug. 31, International Overdose Awareness Day, Darwin added a commitment to adopt new methods to address mental health, addictions, and homelessness to that plan. Other components are early childhood education, affordable housing, local food security and a de-carbonized BC economy.
The 90-minute debate involving candidates Darwin, Cam Brewer and Sonia Furstenau was moderated by Global BC television news anchor Neetu Garcha. Only one exchange between the leadership hopefuls verged on discord. During candidate to candidate questioning, Furstenau asked Brewer how he planned to lead the party and his initial run for a seat in the provincial legislature at the same time. Brewer responded that he had over thirty years of “successful team building” in his professional, political, and personal life.
All candidates committed to work by the existing agreement with the BC New Democratic Party to permit the current minority government to continue operations. All three also stated support for seeking “evidence-based solutions” to the opioid crisis.
The debate was one of eight events held to familiarize the public with the candidates and their views. Pre-recorded questions were asked by representatives of small businesses, students, the technology sector, the BC Civil Liberties Association, and a harm reduction advocacy group.
No live audience input was included. Chat room posts questioned that exclusion. Others commented that the time allowed for the candidate responses to questions was too brief.
One party was repeatedly blocked from commenting by the chat room manager. Following those attempts, the manager posted that the use of foul or disrespectful language would not be tolerated.
The BC Greens began their leadership search in January. This followed the resignation of party leader Andrew Weaver due to personal health reasons.
The voting will take place between Sept. 5 and 13. Those registered will cast ballots online or via telephone. Connie Jordison

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