2016 Was a Busy Year for MP Cullen
Smithers, B.C. – From a possible leadership bid to criss-crossing the country surveying Canadians on electoral reform, 2016 was a busy year for Nathan Cullen.
The Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP MP says one of biggest personal highlights for him though was the final rejection of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project.
“It was very important for some of us who have been engaging on that project for a long time,” he said during a year-end interview with 250News. “It creates a bit more certainty.”
But on the other hand, he notes the federal government also approved the Pacific Northwest LNG proposal for Lelu Island.
“While I’m encouraged about getting LNG done, I’m discouraged that the government didn’t try and give the company a little bit more room to move the project,” he says.
“I’ve certainly been talking a lot with people in the Prince Rupert area and other places who are concerned about the impact on salmon. There are some options available and we just need the political will to get that done and we can start to do resource development while listening to local concerns.”
Cullen also spent four months travelling the country on a special committee aimed at surveying Canadians on electoral reform.
“And the Liberals have just completely messed this thing up. They had a clear commitment to make the last election the last one we had under first-past-the-post to make every vote count yet have been doing everything they seemingly can to undermine the process all along the way,” he says.
“There’s a lot of people who’ve tried to fill out the mydemocracy.ca survey who try to get through it and can’t get through it or are super frustrated because they never get to answer the questions that seem most obvious to everybody else in the universe.”
Despite the perceived setbacks on the file he hasn’t given up hope though.
“It’s going to take a lot of pressure to get that one done and pressure means a lot of work on the road and in the media just doing everything we can to help them keep their own promise to Canadians.”
Politics aside, Cullen hopes northerners have a great Christmas.
“We get distracted by the presents and the shopping and all the rest, but what’s great about living up here is our community and being outside in it. So just enjoy the time and try not to stress.”