The Green Party of Vancouver has lost another key member following the resignation of its deputy chair and former chair Ben West in June this year.
Scott Andrews, who refers to West as “my good friend”, is leaving the party. He was the Greens’ communications and membership coordinator. The 27-year-old social justice and environmental activist is taking out a membership with the Coalition of Progressive Electors.
“I decided to join COPE, where my values are reflected,” Andrews told the Straight in a phone interview on August 24.
Andrews informed the local Greens about his decision in an email on the evening of August 23. That was two weeks after he was named by the party on August 9 as its candidate for Metro Vancouver’s Electoral Area A. On that day, the Greens also named one candidate each for council, park board, and school board. Andrews now plans to run as an independent in Electoral Area A, which covers UBC, Barnston Island, and other lands.
Adriane Carr, deputy leader of the federal Green Party of Canada, is the local party’s candidate for council. When reached for comment, Carr noted that she somehow anticipated Andrews’s departure because of his association with West.
“It’s sad,” Carr told the Straight by phone. But she said she doesn’t think that Andrews’s resignation is a setback for the party.
West left the local Greens in protest of the party’s decision not to join an electoral alliance with the ruling Vision Vancouver and COPE. The Greens will be running an independent campaign this year.
Andrews shares the same concerns as West. “It became apparent that the Green party is running against COPE and, you know, against other parties that I believe in and feel that they’re progressive. I didn’t feel like putting myself in a slate that would be competing against parties that I think are doing good work for the city.”