Andrew Weaver leaves B.C. Green Party to sit as independent

Former B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver is leaving the party to sit as an independent MLA starting Jan. 20 because of family health problems.

The move is not expected to immediately affect the balance of power held by the minority NDP government, which is supported by a confidence-and-supply agreement (CASA) with the Greens.

"Sitting as an independent will allow me to better balance work with the competing health demands affecting my family," said Weaver in a statement. "I remain committed to the stability of this minority government and CASA."

On Jan. 6, Weaver stepped down as B.C. Green Party leader after a reported health scare.

The 58-year-old will continue to represent the riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head in Victoria.

Weaver's decision reduces the Green Party caucus to two:  Adam Olsen, interim Green Party leader and MLA for Saanich-North, and Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley.

"We support MLA Weaver in his decision to sit as an independent so he can attend to the various health challenges affecting his family," said Olsen.  

"The B.C. Green Party's work these past years to begin to reduce partisan polarization from our political discourse and restore the public's trust has been demanding, and because of this we recognize that a person's commitment to their family needs to come before those to their caucus."