Sonia Furstenau

Sonia Furstenau made history on May 9, 2017, when she became the first woman in Canada to be elected as a MLA representing the Green Party. She topped the polls in the Vancouver Island riding of Cowichan Valley, garnering a total of 11,475 votes.

Sonia also was part of a historic breakthrough for the BC Greens in 2017, as the party elected a trio of MLAs and held the balance of power in a minority Parliament. The final election results showed the BC Liberals with 43 seats, the New Democratic Party with 41, and the Greens with three.

On May 29, John Horgan, leader of the NDP, and Andrew Weaver, leader of the BC Greens, announced a formal pact to ensure “a stable minority government for four years.” Shortly thereafter the incumbent BC Liberal government was defeated in the House, and the new Horgan government was sworn into office on July 18.

Before entering elective politics, Sonia studied at the University of Victoria and she earned both a bachelors and a masters degree in History.

She then became a teacher, working first in the Victoria School District and later at Brookes Shawnigan Lake with Dwight School, an International Baccalaureate institution.

Sonia also became socially active, serving as the National Administrator for Results Canada, a non-profit organization working to end extreme poverty, and volunteering with the Citizens Climate Lobby.

In 2014 she won election in the Cowichan Valley Regional District as Director of Area B.

As a MLA Sonia serves as House Leader for the BC Green caucus and sits on a half-dozen legislative committees, including the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth.

Sonia and her husband, Blaise Salmon, have five children and live in Shawnigan Lake.