NDP will keep offshore moratorium, says candidate Cullen

  • Jun. 24, 2004 7:00 a.m.

NDP candidate Nathan Cullen says voting for him Monday is the best way for islanders to ensure the moratorium on offshore oil and gas development stays put.
The NDP is the only major party which is firmly in favour of maintaining the federal moratorium, he said.
And when he spoke to the Observer Thursday morning, Mr. Cullen was exuberant about his chances of winning the Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding, citing a recent NDP poll which showed him three points ahead of Conservative Andy Burton and 10 points ahead of Liberal Miles Richardson.
Mr. Cullen admitted that the NDP is not likely to win across the country, but said his voice against lifting the moratorium will be heard, especially if a minority government is elected.
“They say that the toughest thing about a minority government is every MP counts,” he said. “The party line softens.”
Mr. Cullen was supposed to visit the islands Wednesday, but his plane couldn’t leave Prince Rupert due to fog. His schedule for the next few days is gruelling, including campaigning in Port Edward, Port Simpson, Kitimat, Terrace, Gitsegukla, Hazelton and Smithers for this weekend’s music festival.
On Monday, election day, he’s starting off with a pancake breakfast in Rupert, then working his way across most of the riding, returning to Smithers that evening to vote and then await the results.
Whether he wins or loses, he’s also planning a huge party in Terrace in a few weeks time to celebrate all the volunteers who helped out.
“There’s 300 or 400 volunteers,” he said. “It’s incredible, and humbling.”
One behind-the-scenes volunteer who has been a huge help and inspiration, Mr. Cullen said, is former MP Jim Fulton, who lived on the Charlottes for many years.
“Jim has been amazing,” he said. “I talked to him even before I ran. I said, am I too young? I’m only 31. He told me he’d won two elections by the time he was my age.”

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