NEWS RELEASE · 17th January 2011
MP Nathan Cullen - Smithers
MP cites constituents, family in deciding not to seek BC NDP leadership
Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen announced today that he will not enter the leadership race for the BC NDP.
“After careful deliberation over a number of weeks, I’ve decided this is simply not the time for me to take on the challenge of the BC leadership race.”
Cullen cited unfinished commitments to his federal constituents and family responsibilities as the father of infant twins as the key reasons for his decision.
“We’re at critical stages in a number of major projects I am working on with the good people of the Northwest and I really believe this is where my energies must continue to be directed,” Cullen said.
Examples of projects in progress include Cullen’s work to ban oil tankers from the BC coast, fight for progressive energy alternatives to Enbridge, develop a robust regional green economy that includes a sustainable resource sector, advocate for Employment Insurance and DFO reform, and continue to build bridges in the sectoralized fishing industry.
On the family front, Cullen noted their six-month old twin sons “are obviously also a big factor in Diana and I deciding that now is simply not the right time for me to be seeking party leadership.”
“I am indescribably humbled and honoured to have been urged to seek the BC NDP leadership by hundreds of British Columbians and opinion leaders,” Cullen said.
While he will not be a leadership contender, Cullen said he is exploring a possible role in steering conversations towards rural renewal, environment and climate change action, and progressive democratic change. “From my perspective, these are the top priorities in the creation of a revitalized British Columbia.”
Cullen noted the province is at a pivotal point of its development with both major political parties renewing themselves through leadership changes.
“There is real, unprecedented opportunity for lasting renewal on a number of fronts in our province and I appeal to all candidates, New Democrat and Liberal alike, to take full advantage of this unique moment.”