Jerry Pribil chosen as PC party candidate for London North Centre

Jerry Pribil of Marienbad Restaurant addresses fellow local business owners during a news conference inside Toboggan Brewing Co. on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Andrew Graham / Global News

A London, Ont., restaurant owner says he’s been serving people his whole life, and now he’s hoping to do so in a different way as he moves into the political sphere as the Progressive Conservative party’s chosen candidate in London North Centre.

Jerry Pribil, owner and operator of Marienbad restaurant and Chaucer’s Pub, was announced as the PC’s London North Centre candidate for the 2022 provincial election last Wednesday.

Pribil told Global News that he’s been interested in politics for decades.

“I was introduced to [politics] some 20 years ago by two world politicians, and they showed me how governments can work together with the businesses, how to improve the economy. And it was the first time I actually thought about it that potentially might be an area that I would like to explore further.”
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He says about six or seven years ago he and his wife decided that “if it’s something that I can add to the society, do something good for the community and leave a strong, positive legacy” then he would explore it once his youngest son was an adult.

“He is now and we think that it’s [the] right timing, with all the things ahead of us, all the challenges. I’m really, truly excited about it.”

Pribil says he was “heading this direction either way” but the experience of the novel coronavirus pandemic made him think more deeply about his decision to run.

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“I want to introduce myself. I want other people to get to know me, not just from Marienbad, Chaucer’s and also managing Station Park hotel, but I want them to know what I believe in, what I think I can bring to the table,” he explained.

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“We honestly need strong leaders to move forward because the challenges ahead of us will be huge.”

Recovering from the pandemic is important, he says, but it’s the growth period following that that he believes is critical.

“If you are going to concentrate right now only on the crisis, we are not going to be ready and we are going to hit recovery and we are going to say ‘what hit us?’ And then we are going to be kind of catching up.”

Speaking as a business owner, he also expressed thanks to the entire community for its “incredibly” support of the restaurant over these last 12 months, adding that the future looks bright.

London North Centre is currently represented by NDP MPP Terence Kernaghan. Last summer, Kate Graham was selected as the riding’s Liberal Party candidate for the 2022 provincial election.

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