When the next federal election is called, Maple Ridge city councillor Ahmed Yousef will run under the Liberal Party banner in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge.
Yousef was informed on Wednesday afternoon that he will eventually represent the party against Conservative MP Marc Dalton, NDP candidate Phil Klapwyk, and People’s Party of Canada candidate Juliuss Hoffmann.
“It’s a lot of responsibility, and a ton of work,” said Yousef.
He noted city council is on a month-long vacation for August, so he now has almost three weeks to get organized for a campaign, printing signs and pamphlets.
If he has any insight into when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will call an election, Yousef offered no real hints.
“I have no indication that we’re staring down the barrel of an election, but everyone seems to think one is imminent,” he said.
Yousef said the environment is a key issue for him, including safeguarding the Alouette River and restoring salmon runs. He also plans to hear the priorities of the community during the campaign.
“I’ll be listening to the constituency and what they want me to go to work on, if I’m given an opportunity, in Ottawa,” he said.
The riding has been changing hands. Dan Ruimy took it for the Liberals in 2015, and after one term Dalton took it back for the Conservatives in the last election.
Yousef is in his third year on Maple Ridge council, and owns a business that exports fruit and other food.
He has lived in his native Egypt, Kuwait, the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates. He met his wife Shelley in 2002, when she was teaching in Abu Dhabi, and he was working for the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research. They married the next year, and moved to Maple Ridge in 2010. They have three children.
He has been an active volunteer in the community, affiliated with Scouts Canada, Hope for Freedom Mat Program, Canadian Blood Services, and Operation Red Nose. He serves on the boards KidSport, the Friends in Need Foodbank, and is a lifetime member of the Alouette River Management Society.
“I take great pride in being of service to others, and always seek opportunities that serve the greater good of our country,” he said.
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