Cullen walks away with Stikine

With 50 of 51 polls reporting Cullen leads by more than the number of mail-in ballots distributed

Nathan Cullen. (Facebook photo)

Nathan Cullen. (Facebook photo)

Despite some campaign controversy, NDP candidate Nathan Cullen has prevailed handily in the Stikine riding.

With 50 out of 51 polls reporting as of 11:00 p.m., Cullen led Liberal candidate Gordon Sebastian by 1,362 votes, more than the number of mail-in ballots that still need to be counted.

“It was very exciting, not just for us locally but for the party right across the province, a historic win,” Cullen said on Monday. “We have a lot of votes left to count but it seems like the trend is very much towards a very strong majority for the party.”

As a former federal Member of Parliament, Cullen said that there will be a learning curve transitioning into provincial politics but he is excited for the opportunity.

“The issues that we deal with provincially will be obviously connected but different, yet the relationships I have across this region and I have across B.C. will help and having played a role in opposition and appreciating what that is, I think it’s helpful to be able to see how things get done, to be able to push things forward that matter for the people that live here.”

“I’m so grateful for the support people have offered me and I’ve always been a believer that when the election is over it’s over and then we get down to work for everybody.”

Sebastian was gracious in defeat while at home watching election coverage with his wife.

“Nathan has represented this riding for a long time, he definitely loves the riding, he loves the people and the people like him, so it should be a pretty good government in terms of what is to happen for this riding,” he said.

Sebastian said he will continue to build the Liberal party infrastructure and would like to run again under the Liberal banner in the next provincial election.

“I’m a hereditary chief myself, I’ll continue working with the Gitxsan and also this has sparked my interest, I was very interested in seeing how the electoral process works and how the government is formed in B.C. so I took quite a huge interest in this,” he said.

Cullen was the presumed favourite from the start, but immediately ran into controversy when Annita McPhee, a three-time president of the Tahltan Central Government was overlooked for the nomination seemingly in contradiction of the party’s own equity policy.

LIVE INTERACTIVE RESULTS MAP

Later, during an all candidates meeting in Smithers he was caught on a hot mic making an insensitive comment about North Coast Liberal candidate Roy Jones Jr. (Cheexial), a Haida elder.

Both Cullen and NDP leader John Horgan later apologized for the incident.

Although the results are preliminary even the record number of mail-in ballots requested will not be enough to overturn the local result.

Providing, however, that the breakdown is not much different at the end of the counting, both Christian Heritage Party candidate Rod Taylor and Rural BC Pary candidate Darcy Repen said they were pleased with their percentage of the election day vote.

Taylor’s showing of almost 13 per cent was three points higher than the 2017 election.

“The percentage going up is a good thing,” he said. “We’re happy to have people endorsing our position. Obviously, we do this because we care about where the country’s going. In that sense, it’s disappointing not to see a greater groundswell, not only just for this riding, but the whole province. I’m going to say, I’m more or less disappointed that the province is going further and faster in the same direction, but it is what it is. It’s a democratic process and we’re glad that it is a democratic process.”

For his part, Repen said it is telling that he was able to get 10 per cent of the vote without even being in the riding during the campaign because he was working in Yellowknife.

“I’m doing pretty good compared to other third party candidates,” he said. “I got my issues on the table which is the main thing I was hoping to accomplish in this election, was to get people thinking about the representation they should have in the Stikine and the issues, particularly in the Stikine that are important.”

Due to the pandemic, more British Columbians decided to vote by mail-in ballot than ever before. Election results won’t be finalized until after Nov. 6., when those mail-in ballots are counted.

An estimated 1,234 number of mail-in ballots were requested by Elections BC within the Stikine riding. There are 14,250 registered voters in the region.

Across B.C., a total of 47,900 mail-in ballots were returned to Election BC, as of Friday, Oct. 23, approximately 69 per cent of the 724,279 they issued.

There are roughly 3.5 million registered voters in the province.



editor@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BC politicsElection 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

Haleigh Callison during a photo shoot for the Toronto Furies when she played professionally in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. (File photo)
Former Smithereen frustrated with COVID-deniers following horrific bout with the disease

Haleigh Callison hopes people will follow precautions and tone down the rhetoric

India farm protest Dec. 1 2020 (Jake Wray/Terrace Standard)
Demonstrators gather in Terrace to support farmers in India

Many farmers are protesting changes to Indian agriculture law

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

Terrace RCMP have arrested Kenton David Fast, who was unlawfully at large. (Terrace RCMP Photo)
UPDATE: Terrace RCMP arrest man who was unlawfully at large

Kenton David Fast was arrested on Dec. 1, 2020

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

Most Read