No name change for Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding yet

MP Nathan Cullen says he wants to adequately consult with residents on the name.

File photo                                MP Nathan Cullen

File photo MP Nathan Cullen

The riding will remain Skeena-Bulkley Valley for the time being.

After constituents spoke out for better inclusion on poll conducted by Nathan Cullen, the MP said in a press release today that he will invite further and proper consultation from residents.

“Frankly, I hit ‘send’ too quickly and missed the mark on properly involving constituents in this decision,” Cullen said in his release.

“Our poll that ended yesterday shows a will for change, with 64 per cent of 662 respondents supporting a name that more accurately reflects the broad expanse of people and geography in our huge riding.

“But, more importantly, a lot of people also told us they didn’t feel a part of the process, they didn’t have the opportunity to really think about options and to be heard,” continued Cullen in the release.

“I’ve always believed the best decisions are based on good consultation and people told me that my process this time just didn’t meet that high standard.”

This feedback, mirrored in a November online name change poll that garnered 240 votes, points to passing on the current parliamentary opportunity for riding name changes as the best action, he added.

Cullen added an Elections Canada review of all riding names and boundaries after the October 2019 federal election provides a timely opportunity for Skeena-Bulkley Valley residents to consider what they’d like to call their Northwest riding.

“A lot of people are concerned that our current name reflects less than 30 per cent of the people and geography of our 330,000-square kilometre riding and I look forward to continuing this conversation over the next two years,” Cullen said.

What is now Skeena-Bulkley Valley began as the riding of New Westminster when B.C. became the sixth province to join Confederation in 1871.

In the 1896 election, the riding became part of Burrard, Comox-Atlin in 1904, Skeena in 1917, and finally Skeena-Bulkley Valley in 2003.