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NEWS RELEASE · 15th June 2012
MP Nathan Cullen
Changes to environmental assessment was ranked the issue of most impact to the Northwest during Tuesday evening’s telephone town involving 8,498 callers and hosted by MP and House Leader Nathan Cullen and Opposition environment critic Megan Leslie.

“Over 52% of people responding to this question told us that EA changes worry them most,” Cullen said. “This certainly fits with the explosion of grassroots activism we’ve seen the past year, especially with opposition to Enbridge and the attempts of Conservatives to stomp all over the Fisheries Act.”

A veteran of many telephone town halls, Cullen said he was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of Northwest residents for the call.

“It was a great call. We had close to 8,500 participants; an incredible 93% of the people who picked up the phone joined our event.” Last year’s first-ever telephone town hall in the riding also attracted over 8,000 participants, or 86% of the calls answered live.

Cullen said the electronic town hall technology is useful in a sprawling riding such as Skeena-Bulkley Valley as it “unites and brings together thousands of people to talk about common issues of concern.

“I wish the government would listen in on these calls to get more in touch with what people are thinking and saying about the stuff coming out of Ottawa.”

Three polls were conducted during the town hall to canvass constituents regarding action they want Cullen to take on issues affecting the riding. Significantly, 82% of 448 people answering whether they agree or disagree with the Conservatives putting so many changes into the budget bill said they oppose the move.

Increased post-secondary funding topped the list of where people would like to see the federal government spend money. Over 30% of people choose this option, followed by 26% favoring increased pension spending for seniors, 22% tapping additional northern living allowance tax credits, and 10% pointing to universal dental care.

182 people asked questions on the call. While time allowed only 11 questions to be answered, notes of all questions will allow individual follow-up over the summer.

Complete results and an audio tape of Tuesday’s telephone town hall is now posted on our website,
That reminds me....
Comment by Janice Robinson on 16th June 2012
Whatever their reasons for building those new prisons, I have no doubt that they will be built. Seeing as First Nations Canadians are over-represented in prisons, I believe it makes sense to build a federal prison on one of our beautiful, spacious reserves!

Mr. Cullen, we have the history, compassion, and expertise to facilitate a federal prison on our territory. A project such as this would not only provide employment opportunities for people of all ethnicities, but also a substantial boost to the local economy.
Is my paranoia hanging out?
Comment by Blocky Bear on 16th June 2012
My question is: How long will it be until Harper and Company start using The Not Withstanding Clause? Will the new prisons have tall smokestacks? d.b.
Dear Mr. Cullen, M.P. Skeena/Bulkley Valley:
Comment by Janice Robinson on 15th June 2012
Thankyou for dialing my phone number, thus giving me the opportunity to take part in your Town Hall meeting. I hung in as long as I could, and enjoyed listening to everybody's input and questions. I had three offerings:

1. Health Canada (INAC) provides funding and support to First Nations treatment centres (for drug/alcohol addictions) all across Canada. They stop short, however, at providing funding for DETOX CENTRES. Their reasons are that detox is a medical procedure, and a provincial responsibility. Native treatment centres accept non-Native clientele as well. We are in dire need of a regional detox, and it can be provided to us with federal funds.

2. The number one health issue affecting Canadian women involves the beatings they experience at the hands of their male spouses. A lot of lip service is paid to this fact. Many women suffer internal injuries, which impact them negatively for life. Could you research sentencing practices, regarding these crimes? The tendency is to minimize the crime, and shuffle the victims and offenders off to an alternative sentencing program.

3. Physical, mental and sexual abuse, and neglect of seniors in care facilities is dealt with at the institutional level. Offenders are protected from criminal charges by this policy, and by their unions and administrations. The victims are often deemed demented, and/or suffering hallucinations. Recently, care facilities across Canada have been exposed for harmful, unwanted and unnecessary "prescribing" of anti-psychotic medication BY NON-DOCTORS. Beating and/or sexually abusing a senior should be treated the same as beating and/or raping a child. Both groups of humans are in positions of trust and helplessness.

Janice Robinson.