Sunshine Coast resident Kim Darwin, who ran in the last provincial election as B.C. Green candidate for Powell River-Sunshine Coast, is poised to step into the race for the party’s leadership.
In a series of moves that bear all the hallmarks of a “soft launch,” Darwin has updated her Twitter profile to read, “BC Green Party Leadership Applicant with a vision to grow well paying jobs, foster a strong economy and protect the environment.”
On March 1, she also changed the name of the Facebook page set up just ahead of her run in the 2017 provincial election to “Kim Darwin for Leader of the BC Greens” and the website www.kimdarwin.ca began posting information about Darwin’s leadership campaign.
Darwin confirmed Monday that she is entering the race, but said she is still finalizing the details of her campaign and was not available for an interview before Coast Reporter’s deadline.
The only other declared candidate as of March 2 was Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau, who announced her intentions on Jan. 27.
The deadline for leadership candidates to apply to enter the race is April 15, and the Greens say the final list of approved candidates will be released April 30, to allow time for screening of any last-minute entries.
On her leadership campaign website, Darwin says she’s been a member of the B.C. Greens since 2014. She was elected to the party’s provincial council not long after joining and has most recently served as vice chair of the council and president of the party’s Powell River-Sunshine Coast riding association.
As a candidate in 2017, Darwin finished a close third with 6,505 votes, which, at 24.2 per cent, doubled the previous Green showing in the riding in the 2013 election.
Her work outside politics includes a career as an independent financial consultant and as president of the Sechelt and District Chamber of Commerce in the early 2010s, when she wrote a policy that was adopted by the B.C. Chamber of Commerce in 2015, calling on the government to invest in clean technology and renewable energy. A version of the policy was also adopted by the Chamber’s national body.
Darwin has also been active on affordable housing issues on the Sunshine Coast.
On the Facebook page, Darwin says she’s “organized the management structure of my company so that I can commit 100 per cent of my time to lead the BC Green Party to the highest levels of support we have ever achieved.”
She goes on to say the Greens “are the party best suited to manage BC’s transition into a climate focused economy – to enable BC to lead the country and the world into the climate economy.”
Darwin is also putting forward a list of promises that include ensuring the “BCGP platform, policies and communications extend well beyond our environmental message, continue to reflect our values, and resonate powerfully with BC voters.”
On both the website and Facebook page she says, “I am ready to do the heavy lifting as Leader between now and the next election, allowing our currently elected MLAs to focus squarely on the promotion of policies that will result in environmental, economic, social and fiscal sustainability in British Columbia.”
The Green Party is planning three leadership debates between April 30 and June 15, but has not released any details beyond saying one will be on Vancouver Island, one on the Lower Mainland and one in the North or Interior.
Voting will take place online and by telephone between June 15 and 26, and the results will be announced June 27 at the party’s annual convention in Nanaimo.