Cullen excited as federal election campaign kicks off

  • Nov. 28, 2005 6:00 p.m.

Moments after voting against the Liberal minority government in the House of Commons today, forcing it to fall, Skeena MP Nathan Cullen said he was excited, determined and looking forward to the coming campaign.
“It’s been a bit of a zoo around here,” Mr. Cullen told reporters at 4:30 pm. “You could feel the import of what was happening and the severity of it.”
The election date won’t be set until tomorrow, when Prime Minister Paul Martin goes to see Governor General Michaelle Jean, but is expected to be either Jan. 16 or 23.
Mr. Cullen said campaigning in the vast riding in the dead of winter will be challenging, but nothing more than northwest residents face daily during the cold season.
“We’ve put the studded tires on,” he said. “This is northern living and this is what people have to go through.”
Mr. Cullen said he will speak to the other candidates and expects that they will all agree to take a holiday break from campaigning in the week or so around Christmas.
The Liberals have not yet named a candidate in this riding, while the Conservatives chose former MP Mike Scott earlier this year. Mr. Scott was the Reform and Alliance MP here for two terms.
Mr. Cullen said he expects to win the riding by a larger margin this time than the 1,400 votes which separated him and Conservative candidate Andy Burton in June 2004.
“I’ve just made so many more relationships, I’ve made strong bondsÂ… I think that bodes well,” he said. “We’ll see, we’re going to fight like the Dickens.”
Voted “rookie MP of the year” by his fellow parliamentarians in 2004, Mr. Cullen said his successful fight in helping secure federal funds for the Prince Rupert port expansion and the launch of the Youth Entrepreneur Awards are two of his key accomplishments.
This will be the third campaign in eight months for BC residents, who have already been through a provincial election in May, municipal elections in November, and now a federal election in January.