Hope next MP follows Nathan Cullen’s example

Christian advocacy group ARPA’s director says Cullen always had time for people he disagreed with.

Mark Penninga

Honour.

A dictionary will tell us that the word means “high respect” and “great esteem” or to “fulfill an obligation.”

Citizens are duty-bound to honour our civic leaders, who in turn are obligated to honour the callings of their respective offices.

The word came to my mind after hearing the news on Friday [March 1] that our local Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen has announced he will not be running again in the next election.

Although Cullen and I have diametrically opposed worldviews, I have high respect for this Parliamentarian who, for 15 years, has exemplified what it means to be an elected representative.

In my work as the leader of a national advocacy group I have met many hard-working and devoted politicians. But there are very few who work as hard to listen to their constituents, including those who they know will oppose many of their core beliefs.

We live in the largest riding in B.C., by size. It is also one of the furthest from Ottawa. Cullen used that long commute to write hand-written notes in response to letters from his constituents. And his correspondence was personal, direct, and sincere, avoiding the fluff that parties instruct their MPs to communicate.

When I, or volunteers with our BV ARPA group requested a meeting, I can’t think of a time that he turned us down. He knew that we want to discuss controversial issues like euthanasia or abortion. But he didn’t ignore us, or point to his full schedule as a good reason to not meet.

Minutes before standing up in Question Period the day that the SNC Lavelin scandal broke, he was meeting with a small group of high school students, including two from Ebenezer School, who had travelled to Ottawa, hearing them out about what Parliament can do to protect children from pornography.

Many self-described “progressive” leaders have little desire to even speak with Canadians like myself who respectfully disagree with their definition of progress. Sadly, their parties also increasingly whip their MPs to tow the party line, even on issues of conscience. That is why Cullen’s willingness to meet with us time and again is a breath of fresh air in a political atmosphere where dissent isn’t welcome, ironically even under the banner of tolerance and inclusivity.

Scripture says that everyone is to be subject to their political leaders, “for there is no authority except that which God has established” (Romans 13:1). Understood this way, a MP’s position must be treated with great honour because the source of their authority originates from the highest authority.

On behalf of many other citizens and constituents from Skeena-Bulkley Valley, we sincerely thank Nathan Cullen for his devotion to this nation and hope that his example of representation is matched by our next Member of Parliament.

Mark Penninga is the executive director of the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada, a nonpartisan Christian political advocacy organization. He and his family live in Smithers.

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

 

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen announces at Riverside Park in Smithers that he is not running in the 2019 federal election. (Chris Gareau photo)

Just Posted

Horgan makes campaign stop in Terrace and Kitimat

BC NDP leader met with local First Nations leaders, reiterated campaign promises

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

‘Monkey Beach’ supernatural film adaptation premiers at VIFF

Based on Kitamaat author Eden Robinson’s debut, mystical novel

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Ecosocialists nominate candidate for Stikine

Edward Quinlan is the new party’s regional director for Skeena and Bulkley Valley regions

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read