Jack Emberly seeking NDP bid for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge

News columnist says he can bring people together, be a voice for community

Jack Emberly is seeking NDP nomination in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge.

Jack Emberly is seeking NDP nomination in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge.

Conservatives Mike Murray or Marc Dalton will have some competition in next fall’s federal election.

Whoever wins the nomination for the Conservatives could be facing off against NDPer Jack Emberly – if the latter wins the NDP nod in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge.

Emberly said Wednesday he’s seeking the nomination.

“I have the same battles, the same goals as the NDP,” said Emberly, a retired teacher.

He’s been a columnist for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News for the past five years.

Emberly was approached last October by the local NDP and accepted in December.

He’s already been approved by NDP brass as a candidate.

“I’ve been vetted,” he said.

“I’m a social environmentalist, a social democrat,” he said.

Over the years, other parties have also approached him.

“This is a big step for me. I would never belong to a political party. I’ve remained fiercely independent my whole life so I can say what I want to say.”

Entering politics now, however, is a “logical thing” at this step in my life.

“I think I would offer this community the best voice. I can bring people together here.”

A date for a nomination meeting hasn’t been set, but he expects that within a month.

He didn’t know what his chances would be if he won the nomination and took on the Conservatives.

Current MP Randy Kamp has held the riding since 2004, but isn’t seek re-election.

“It’s a crap shoot,” Emberly said. “Let the chips fall where they may.”

In the 2011 election, Kamp earned almost 10,000 votes more than NDP candidate Craig Speirs.

Kamp took 28,803 ballots versus Speirs’s 18,835.

The Liberals earned only 2,739 votes, only five per cent of votes.

The Liberals haven’t announced a candidate yet.

The fall’s election is scheduled for Oct. 19 and the old Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission riding will disappear and be replaced by the new Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge riding, which includes only the two cities.

Emberly won’t be a News columnist during any of his political involvement.