Peter Tam has announced he will not run for the Green Party if an election is called, as he pursues his music career. (Contributed)

Green Party will need candidates in both Maple Ridge ridings

Election ‘doesn’t seem like a wise idea in the middle of a pandemic’ says Pope

If Premier John Horgan calls a snap B.C. election this fall, the Green Party will be looking for new candidates for the ridings of Maple Ridge-Mission and Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.

Peter Tam ran for the Greens in Maple Ridge-Mission during the 2017 provincial election, and Alex Pope ran in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows. Neither man would be running for the party in a fall election.

The election is scheduled for October 2021, unless it is called earlier. Last month, Horgan told reporters there is “an opportunity” to have an election as soon as this fall.

READ ALSO: ‘Opportunity’ for election in fall, next spring or summer, B.C. premier says

Tam ran under the Green banner in two federal and one provincial campaigns, and is still involved in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows electoral district association federally.

“I’m taking a break, and becoming a musician,” said Tam. “I have no plans to run as a candidate.”

Tam, a piano player who is writing jazzy music, said he is coming up with ways to get his music out during the pandemic, like live streaming songs online. He said he has made some key contacts in the music industry who are helping him.

“I’m going full time at it, and being confident about it.”

Pope said he will not be personally ready to run again this fall, although that could change if the election is farther off. He added that fall would be poor timing for an election.

“It doesn’t seem like a wise idea in the middle of a pandemic,” said Pope.

The BC Liberal Party candidates will be former city councillor and school board trustee Cheryl Ashlie in the riding of Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, and a soon-to-be-nominated candidate in Maple Ridge-Mission.

READ ALSO: Ashlie acclaimed Liberal candidate in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows

Ashlie, the constituency assistant to former Liberal MLA Doug Bing in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, was acclaimed as candidate in January.

Onyeke Dozie, a past Maple Ridge council candidate, has announced his intention to run for the nomination in Maple Ridge-Mission, and there could be at least one more nominee.

READ ALSO: Continued quest for political office has Dozie eyeing seat in Victoria

Ian Sas of the riding association said there will be a clearer picture of the nomination process in early September.

He is not personally in favour of an early election.

“People are stressed about going back to school, the COVID-19 numbers are going in the wrong direction, and the economy has some challenges,” he said, but added his party will be ready to campaign.

The NDP holds both local ridings, with Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Lisa Beare in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows and first-term MLA Bob D’Eith in Maple Ridge-Mission.

Both have said they will be running again.

Former Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MP Dan Ruimy withdrew as a candidate for the B.C. Liberals in Maple Ridge-Mission some months ago. He explained he prefers the federal political scene.

There has been talk that the federal Conservatives will trigger an election, bringing down Justin Trudeau’s minority government over the WE Charity scandal. That could happen as soon as next month, after the government’s throne speech.

READ ALSO: Tories say they want full truth of WE Charity scandal out before next election

Ruimy does not expect a federal election, and said the government will present a throne speech and budget next month that all parties will support.

“I’m hoping to see a throne speech and a budget that takes bold action,” he said.

“People aren’t ready for an election, and neither are the parties.”

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