Former BC Green leader criticizes Eby, praises Rustad

Former BC Green leader criticizes Eby, praises Rustad
Former BC Green leader criticizes Eby, praises Rustad

Former BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver is stepping back into BC politics, criticizing NDP Premier David Eby in an op-ed in the Vancouver Sun and praising BC Conservative leader John Rustad. He echoed those sentiments in an interview with CTV News on Wednesday.

“(Rustad) reminds me a lot of John Horgan because he’s a listener. He’s someone who will listen to you, disagree with you, but is open to changing his views,” Weaver said.

Weaver is a climate scientist and one of the architects of the province’s CleanBC climate plan. He forged an alliance – and famous bromance – with Horgan that brought the NDP to power in 2017, but he is critical of Horgan’s successor.

“We’re looking for someone who is authentic, who is willing to talk to us and who is willing to listen,” he said.

John Rustad opposes the carbon tax and CleanBC. He was expelled from BC United for his climate change stance, but Weaver says they’re not that far apart on the environment.

“He’s responding as some people are, and frankly I am too, to the alarmist rhetoric that’s out there,” Weaver said Wednesday.

Rustad was pleased with Weaver’s praise on Wednesday and returned the volley.

“Honestly, I think he would be a great candidate for us if we could ever find a spot and he was interested in running for us,” Rustad said.

Rustad says climate change exists and humans contribute to it, but argues that it is not an existential threat or crisis.

“I don’t even think this is the worst thing we’ve seen in this province, compared to British Columbia,” he said.

Environment Minister George Heyman told CTV News on Wednesday that Rustad’s comments on climate change are frightening and that he worries that Rustad could undo everything he has worked on over the past seven years, including with Andrew Weaver.

UBC political scientist Gerald Baier said Weaver’s comments are evidence that the Conservatives have more momentum.

“It certainly suggests that there is still a lot of support for the BC Conservatives as an alternative to the BC NDP,” Baier said.

The prime minister acknowledged Tuesday that this momentum is there. When asked who his main opponent will be this fall, he said he would “probably” run against Rustad.

Weaver said Wednesday he has no plans to run for reelection, but he would like to serve as a climate adviser to Rustad, a role he described as more akin to an economic adviser.