What’s in a name, anyway?

At least he tried. He failed wonderfully, but he tried and came out on top.

“It’s official—after widespread consultations, emails, chats in the airport, talks with First Nations leaders and more I will propose to Parliament a name change for our federal riding,” still-Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen said on Facebook early November.

For many years constituents have approached the MP with spite that one of Canada’s largest ridings (330,000-square kilometres) left out more than 70 per cent of people and regions with its restrictive name. So with an invitation from Parliament for name changes and a fast approaching deadline, Cullen launched forth with proposal and a poll, to which 69 per cent of the 240 Facebook respondents voted in favour of change.

Whoa, not so fast!

Change yes, but British Columbia Northwest, definitely not.

“Hi folks!” Cullen then posted. “Some felt they hadn’t been properly consulted when I announced I’d be proposing to change the name of our riding…so we’re going to give this another go.”

Perhaps too bland, too on-the-nose, British Columbia Northwest had been “tweaked” with input from constituents and swapped out for the regal-sounding Skeena-Pacific Northwest. Constituents had five days to respond, and 64 per cent of the 662 that did, approved.

But hang on a minute!

“Frankly, I hit ‘send’ too quickly and missed the mark on properly inviting constituents in this decision,” Cullen said in a Dec. 6 press release.

He suggested we revisit the issue in a couple years after the 2019 federal election (story on Page 7).

Well, that was fun!

Cullen has faced some minor criticism for the proposal, mostly over the inevitable tax dollars to be spent on something as banal as a name change: a bird by any given name is still the same bird.

But Cullen is right to pursue the change. There’s a lot in a name, if only for the respect and the acknowledgement those representing that name receive in return. With humour and candour Cullen revised his attack strategy based the quick, direct feedback from constituents. As quickly as he started the campaign he then ceded without quibble or regret. It was an excellent exercise in public engagement.

We know the majority want change, and we personally look forward to Cullen’s next Facebook post on the matter come 2019.

Just Posted

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

Supportive housing project delayed until end of winter

Rainy conditions have stalled groundwork for the 52-unit development on Olson Avenue

Tyler Dozzi breaks national record, ‘running like a madman’

Terrace runner sets new time in Boston in his last U20 race

Sparse public response on Terrace’s first cannabis store

BC Cannabis is looking to set up shop at the Skeena Mall

Haisla yet to sign LNG benefits deals with the province

Other First Nations already receiving cash payments

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally

B.C. trustee’s anti-LGBTQ comments got him barred from schools

Barry Neufeld calls vote to leave him off liaison list ‘workplace discrimination’

Most Read