A round-the-world sailing odyssey during her retirement sparked an environmental awareness — and political interest — of provincial Green Party leader Jane Sterk.
Before entering the world of politics, the Esquimalt resident had worked as a teacher and educational consultant. She also co-owned a computer business. After retiring, she headed west and involved herself in politics.
“She’s always been politically inclined,” said Lindsay Sterk, Jane’s son, who is the artistic director at Pantuso Dance in Courtenay. “She’s been quite heavy into it, I would say, about 12 years.”
After his father, John, retired as a lawyer, Lindsay’s parents moved from Edmonton to the coast of B.C. During the sailing trip with her husband, Sterk noticed the amount of damage and impact being sustained on the ocean. When she returned to Victoria, she became active with the Green Party of B.C.
Sterk served as a city councillor in Esquimalt before taking over the party helm in 2007.
Lindsay recalls growing up in a “spirited household” in Edmonton, from where he moved to attend university before his parents migrated west.
“I guess that we learned how to think politically at the dinner table,” said Lindsay, who was a professional performer around Canada before taking over Pantuso Dance about six years ago.
“There were always conversations about the goings-on in the world. I think the biggest thing my parents taught me was to develop my own opinions, to think critically and to analyze everything and think in shades of grey … the ability to not see something as black and white, to examine everything and find my own path that way.”
According to recent Angus Reid ratings, NDP leader Adrian Dix has a 49-per-cent approval rating among voters while Sterk is sitting at 32 per cent. Premier Christy Clark, the Liberal leader, is at 25 per cent approval and BC Conservative Party leader John Cummins 20 per cent.
Lindsay backs his mother 100 per cent.
“I think that the times are really calling for what the Green Party is offering,” he said.