NDP MP Nathan Cullen won't be seeking re-election
Daniel Otis , CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Friday, March 1, 2019 4:10PM EST
Last Updated Friday, March 1, 2019 8:38PM EST
Prominent NDP MP Nathan Cullen will not be seeking re-election, becoming the 13th member of his party to make such an announcement.
“Before every election -- I’ve been in five of them -- before we go in my family and I always sit down and talk about whether we want to do this,” Cullen told CTV News Channel Friday evening from his home in Smithers, B.C. “I felt that representing this place and also trying to do my work in Parliament as well as having a young family, it was kind of unsustainable, actually. And it felt like this was the right time to go.”
Cullen, who represents the federal riding of Skeena-Bulkley Valley in northwestern B.C., made the surprise announcement Friday afternoon along the snowy banks of the Bulkley River in Smithers.
“From the advancement of Indigenous rights and title to the protection of our rivers and coasts, from fighting for better jobs to demanding more accountability in our government, these past 15 years have been a great adventure and challenge,” Cullen said in a statement. “I have experienced this work as a powerful vocation and calling, and I have given it my full heart and mind.”
Cullen was first elected to the House of Commons in 2004 and currently serves as the NDP’s critic for democratic reform. In 2012, he placed third in his party’s race to replace its late leader, Jack Layton.
“It’s real mixed feelings today,” Cullen added in his CTV interview. “I love this work, I love being able to represent this place, and yet I also know for me and where I’m at right now that this is the right decision.”
Cullen joins a growing list of NDP MPs not seeking re-election this year, including fellow B.C. MPs Murray Rankin, Kennedy Stewart, Sheila Malcolmson and Fin Donnelly, Alberta’s Linda Duncan, Ontario’s Irene Mathyssen and David Christopherson, and Quebec’s Tom Mulcair, Helene Laverdiere, Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet, Anne Minh-Thu Quach and Romeo Saganash.
Despite not seeking re-election, Cullen has vowed to help the NDP and leader Jagmeet Singh in their upcoming campaign.
“I think October 2019, we’re going to surprise people -- I really do believe that,” Cullen said. “I think there’s nothing but good things with an unapologetically progressive candidate like him stepping up and offering Canadians a different choice.”