Emery Barnes had been in politics since 1972. On August 30, 1972 he was elected as the first member in the double-member riding of Vancouver Centre, along with MLA Gary Lauk. He and Lauk were re-elected in 1975, 1979 and 1983. In 1986 Lauk retired, Emery was joined by Mike Harcourt. In 1991 Barnes was elected to the revised single-member riding of Vancouver-Burrard; and at this time he was appointed Deputy Speaker of the Legislature. When he was elected, by secret ballot, as the Speaker in 1994; Barnes was the first Black person to hold this position in any Canadian province.
Image courtesy of BC Legislature