Sunday, October 21, 2007


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


With the election today of Esquimalt City Councillor Jane Sterk as the Leader of the provincial Green Party of British Columbia, Green members in 2009 will witness an historic occasion.

Ms Sterk ran against a number of strong candidates for the Leadership but what she has that the others didn't is elected political experience. Not only being elected at the municipal level, Ms Sterk also topped the polls on her first run. That is impressive. She is well regarded and while she serves out the remainder of her term as an Esquimalt Councillor, she will receive considerable media attention.

Ms Sterk will need to assemble a strong Green team to secure her place in the history books of provincial political life.

She should run on the island where she lives and where Green support is strongest. Much of the Green campaign in 2009 will need to focus on her. In fact, I suspect Ms Sterk will be the only Green elected but that in itself is what is needed to ensure the Green party become an electoral force.

The Green party of BC would have faced an uphill battle if they chose either Damian Kettlewell or Ben West as leader. Both these men, while being dedicated and worthy candidates, live in Vancouver and it is really doubtful whether Mr Kettlewell would have beaten Premier Gordon Campbell in Vancouver-Point Grey where Mr Kettlewell would run since he lives there. Ditto for Ben West who said he would run in Vancouver-Burrard, even though he has no connections there. Moreover, he doesn't reside there. The Greens have always placed third in Burrard and this riding has the potential to go Green but it would take someone with very close ties to the riding.

So today is the day for Ms Jane Sterk. Congratulations on your win and good luck in leading what surely must now be an exciting time at re-newed strength of the Green party of BC.

Jamie Lee Hamilton