Emery Barnes becomes the first Speaker in BC to be elected by a secret ballot of the MLAs

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 and later with MLA Mike Harcourt. In 1991 Barnes was elected to the revised riding of Vancouver-Burrard and appointed Deputy Speaker of the Legislature. He was elected as the Speaker by secret ballot in 1994 and became the first Black person to hold this position in any Canadian province.

Image courtesy of BC Legislature