NDP leader may visit Gwaii Haanas this summer, says MP

  • Jul. 7, 2004 7:00 p.m.

Newly-elected MP Nathan Cullen says he has invited NDP leader Jack Layton and his wife Olivia Chow to spend some time kayaking with him in Gwaii Haanas this summer.
“They need a bit of a holiday,” Mr. Cullen said. “It would be pretty exciting to bring him up there.”
The Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP said it was important to him that Mr. Layton see the riding to get a first-hand understanding of the issues here.
“This is the most spectacular riding in the country,” he said. “I’m very, very keen to get out to all parts of it.”
Mr. Cullen and Mr. Layton are two of just 19 NDP MPs elected in last week’s federal election, which resulted in a minority Liberal government.
Meanwhile, he’s off to Ottawa on July 7, and says the NDP is in a “fantastic position” to address some important issues.
The most pressing issues for this region, he said, are getting health care dollars into small communities, using the Romanow Report as a guide, and the economy, which he said must be addressed in an intelligent way.
“You always want to make sure the benefits outweigh the risks,” he said. “Oil and gas remains what it was for me during the election: the risks outweigh the benefits.”
And he completely agreed with Environment Minister David Anderson that events like last week’s major earthquake are a signal that oil and gas development is not a great idea right now.
He said he’s much more interested in the possibility of generating tidal and wind power in the northwest, and is already getting e-mail from all over the riding offering information.