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NEWS RELEASE · 13th March 2011
MP Nathan Cullen
An “outstanding” 86% of the 9,415 calls answered live at last Wednesday’s first-ever Skeena-Bulkley Valley telephone town hall chose to join the event.

“Outstanding! Our electronic town hall was a tremendous success, a truly creative way to connect with communities right across our huge riding,” Cullen said today.

“We’ve just crunched the raw numbers and are awed by the power of this amazing technology to create a larger dialogue by putting our whole region in touch with each other.

“It’s an extraordinary way to share ideas and work together towards solid solutions to mutual challenges and opportunities.”

Cullen said a wide range of questions was raised during the call, with health care and the economy dominating discussion. “The loss or limitations of health care services and ways to get more jobs going in the Northwest definitely topped the agenda,” he said.

While the 75-minute call meant only 20 of the 251 questions posed could be answered, Cullen said notes of all questions allow follow-up beyond the call. He said he was particularly pleased to hear from an 11-year-old boy in Fort St. James, who called to demand what his MP intends to do about reducing pollution.

Five polls were conducted during the town hall to canvass constituents regarding action they want Cullen to take on issues ranging from fisheries to retirement security. The polls drew 1,559 responses, 611 of which were logged around the proposed Enbridge pipeline and associated supertanker traffic (65% against, 13% in favour, 21% unsure).

While he had strong expectations for his first riding-wide telephone visit with constituents, Cullen said he is “still on a high” and excited about the opportunities this technology, pioneered by the Barack Obama presidential campaign, offers to sprawling ridings such as his.

“We’ve got a few technical bugs to work out but the event provided us with excellent outreach and data,” Cullen said. “We’re definitely looking at holding these fantastic telephone town halls annually.”
A suggestion
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 14th March 2011
The size or the number of participants was far too big. Next time do it on smaller scales so the issues are fewer and more relevant to the audience.