Pubdate: Thu, 22 Jan 2015
Source: Georgia Straight, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2015 The Georgia Straight
Author: Travis Lupick


JODIE EMERY SAYS she remains a supporter of Justin Trudeau and the 
Liberals after the party dropped her from its nomination race in 
Vancouver East.

"This doesn't change anything for me," the advocate for marijuana 
reform told the Straight. "There are a lot of people who feel this is 
backtracking by the party, but most people understand that this is a 
high-stakes election and any sort of distraction could do a disservice."

In a telephone interview, Emery said she and her husband, Marc, who 
recently completed a five-year prison sentence for selling marijuana 
seeds to customers in the United States, will proceed with plans to 
campaign against the federal Conservatives. The couple remains 
committed to a cross-country tour tentatively scheduled to begin in 
the summer, Emery added.

"I will continue to campaign politically, as always," she said. "And 
this year's focus will be to replace the Harper Conservatives with 
the Liberal government."

In June 2014, the Straight reported that the Liberals were floating 
the idea of Emery, an entrepreneur and former candidate for the B.C. 
Green Party, as a contender for Vancouver East as a means of proving 
the party is serious about legalizing marijuana.

At the time, it was assumed the NDP would field Libby Davies, who has 
held the riding since 1997. With Vancouver East then all but certain 
to remain with Davies, the Liberals had little to lose by allying 
with Emery to see her use the election as a podium from which she 
could talk about marijuana reform.

All of that changed on December 12 when Davies announced she would 
not be seeking re-election.

"Libby Davies retiring was the number-one game changer," Emery said. 
"With the riding going from no-hope to high-stakes...things changed 
quite a bit."

And so on January 16, Emery recounted, she received an email carrying 
a letter from the Liberals' so-called "green-light committee" 
informing her she would not be competing in the nomination race for 
Vancouver East.

"Upon careful review, they've decided not to recommend me to be a 
contestant," Emery said.

The email was, however, more than an informative note letting Emery 
know she did not have the committee's support. It also stated her 
name was removed from the ballot, and that her nomination deposit was 
already on its way back to her bank account.

"It was a long shot for me to begin with," Emery said. "Nobody was 
putting their name forward. And I thought it would be an honour to 
represent the party and the issues relevant to the riding."

Pressed on who she felt was responsible, Emery spoke with the sort of 
diplomatic caution one expects from a federal politician. She said 
she was disappointed, but quickly added that there was no one to whom 
she assigns blame.

"A lot of attention and scrutiny was put on my application by the 
Conservatives and the NDP and the media," she said. "It was just the 
pot activist thing."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom