SKEENA - BULKLEY VALLEY NDP MP Nathan Cullen announced this morning he is running for the leadership of his party.

MP Nathan Cullen enters NDP leadership race

FLANKED BY supporters, Skeena - Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen ended widespread speculation to announce he is running for the leadership of his party.

  • Sep. 30, 2011 7:00 a.m.



FLANKED BY supporters, Skeena – Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen ended widespread speculation to announce he is running for the leadership of his party.

In both English and in French, Cullen said he was appealing to a wide spectrum of Canadians.

Among his supporters at the event, which was held in Vancouver, were a large contingent of First Nations people, including  several representatives of the Nisga’a Nation from his riding in northwestern B.C.

Cullen, 39, was elected for the fourth time this past spring, capturing 50 per cent of the vote.

He is, for the moment, the only candidate for the leadership from western Canada.

A leadership race was made necessary when Jack Layton died Aug. 22.

Cullen and other candidates will spend the next months lining up supporters leading to a convention in March.

Asked if it would be difficult to lead the NDP from the western edge of the country, Cullen said he sees much opportunity because after growing up in one of Canada’s biggest cities he now represents one of its most remote and beautiful regions.

Cullen accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of practising the politics of division and said he would bring a much different approach.

“Common interests are much stronger than the small divisions that get exploited by traditional politics,” Cullen said.

“We have to grow those things that connect us, not tear them apart,” he said.

Those who don’t already know him are “going to get to know me,” Cullen said.

“My sincere commitment to a new form of politics, to a way to find us working together instead of apart, is something I’ve practised my entire life, both in Canada and abroad.”

First Nations supporters at the Cullen announcement included 16 representatives of the Nisga’a Nation.

The following is the text of Cullen’s announcement speech

Seven years ago the people of Skeena-Bulkley Valley honoured me to be their voice in the house of commons.

I was 31 years old at the time. I had little to no formal political experience. Not a lot of name recognition across the Northwest of B.C. and no political machine to speak of.

But through the course of our campaign the people of the Northwest began to believe that something better was possible. My riding is a long way from Ottawa and sometimes I think that’s an advantage. Because the politics that I’ve learned from the people in the north is to do things differently.

And in fact in the seven years since being elected I’ve learned that politics can work right across this country. We’ve all seen politicians tell us what they think we want to hear. We’ve watched leaders change their values and blow in the wind like a political weather vane. And we know that time and time again this has failed our country.

I also represent a riding with some of the oldest and proudest First Nations traditions in the world. And it has been my honour to be mentored by some of the greatest leaders in our country. They’ve made me a better person, they’ve made me a better politician. They’ve taught me the meanings of the word respect, dignity, and passion in public life. It’s shown me that working with others truly does pay off.

As I look at our government now, I think it simply doesn’t work. And this is why it’s time to start an honest discussion about the direction that politics should take and how we need to change it for the better. Because I believe that truth has a crucial and huge place in politics. And the truth I continue to believe in since I was elected, it’s time to change the way we do politics.

This country simply doesn’t have any time to lose. The urgency  of this moment demands that we act together. We can’t afford eight more years of Stephen Harper. That’s why today I am proud to announce my candidacy to be the next leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party.

Compiled with files from Jeff Nagel, Black Press.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Terrace Special Olympics host first annual Sports Day

Many carnival-style games took place

Terrace students hold city accountable for safer bike lanes

Skeena Middle School students biked to city hall to present their report

Terrace-area gold project shows strong promise

Juggernaut Exploration hopes this year’s drilling will follow last year’s exceptional program

Kitselas votes Judy Gerow as new chief councillor

Chief and council members elected June 12

Community gathers at two Terrace schools to protest SD82

Participants carried signs reading ‘We demand transparency’

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read