Cullen leaning toward not running for NDP leadership

Skeena NDP MP Nathan Cullen says he’s leaning toward not taking a run at his party’s leadership

Skeena NDP MP Nathan Cullen says he’s leaning toward not taking a run at his party’s leadership.

The long-serving MP whose name was immediately mentioned as a potential successor to Tom Mulcair when the NDP voted in favour of finding a new leader earlier this year, compared his thinking to that of the needle in the colour-coded scale used to indicate forest fire danger ratings.

“Right now I’d say I’d be in the orange leading to red,” said Cullen.

First elected as the NDP MP for Skeena in 2004, Cullen’s national profile has increased steadily and he became well known when he finished a strong third in the last NDP leadership race in 2012.

That was won by Mulcair who took the NDP into last fall’s election with high hopes of forming the next government. But the party fell to third place, sparking a leadership review vote resulting in the decision to replace Mulcair.

The position itself doesn’t faze Cullen but if he does run and is elected as the leader of the federal NDP, he’s worried about how the job might affect his family.

The Cullens have twin boys who will be six this summer and about to enter Grade 1.

“That’s what gives me pause, the impact on my family and being what’s most important, a good parent,” he said.

“I’d say that would be the single biggest concern right now,” he said.

Cullen noted he already does a lot of travelling given his riding is among the largest in the country and is one of the farthest away from Ottawa.

And Cullen said he’d have to take into account what residents of Skeena, people he calls his “boss”, might have to say.

“These are the people who hired me and, in this job, they are my first priority,” he said.

“Some like the idea of being in a riding where the MP would be the leader of a party because of the attention it would bring to rural issues,” said Cullen.

“Others say a MP in that position wouldn’t be able to pay attention to local issues,” he added.

Still, when weighing all of the factors, Cullen said he’s keeping an open mind. “There have been a lot of discussions with my family,” he said.

To date Cullen is not aware of any formal or informal group of NDP members forming to support a leadership bid.

“Some of the old [leadership] committee have called and said they’re ready to help,” said Cullen.

Senior NDP federal officials met over the weekend to thrash out when a leadership convention would be held and to set the rules for how the race would be run.

Speaking in advance of those deliberations, Cullen said his ultimate decision on running or not running wouldn’t depend on whether there a leadership convention is held sooner rather than later.

 

Just Posted

WATCH: Going once, going twice… Rotary Auction gone!

The Prince Rupert Rotary club received $85K in donations and made $60k back in revenues

Prince Rupert’s Salvation Army receives $550 on a 550th celebration

The Indo Canadian Sikh Association of Prince Rupert will be celebrating their first Sikh Guru

The Northern View presents Santa Shops Here in Prince Rupert

More reasons to spend your shopping dollars locally

New band mayor elected in Lax Kw’alaams

Garry Reece Sr. will be replacing John Helin as band mayor

STORY & VIDEO: Crafty combo means even more entertainment at this year’s Kaien Island Craft Fair

Live music and food were 2019’s new arrivals at the popular event

Your Prince Rupert 55th Rotary Auction guide

Online guide to all the items up for bid before Monday’s live auction

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Most Read