Northwestern B.C. members of the New Democratic Party are meeting in Terrace May 25 to select a candidate for the fall federal election now that the sitting Member of Parliament for the Skeena – Bulkley Valley riding, Nathan Cullen, has announced his retirement.
Cullen was first elected as the NDP MP for the riding in 2004, going on to win re-election in 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2015. He announced March 1 that he won’t be running again.
“It’s been 15 years since we’ve had to do this. It’s going to be exciting to see what happens,” said Dan Mesec, the president of the NDP’s Skeena – Bulkley Valley constituency association.
He said voting details are now being worked out and that in addition to voting in Terrace on May 25, details are being worked out for mail-in balloting to ensure as many party members as possible have the chance to cast a vote.
Smithers mayor Taylor Bachrach has already been confirmed as a candidate and Terrace resident Amanda Ramsay has also submitted nomination papers.
“I know there are several others who are interested. It’s up to them to announce,” said Mesec.
Meetings are being planned throughout the riding so NDP members can meet the nomination candidates.
“We’re planning those in Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, Smithers, Burns Lake and Fort St. James,” said Mesec of the meetings which will take place in the latter part of April.
There are approximately 1,000 members of the NDP in the riding, a number that will grow as candidates sign up new members to support their nominations.
Mesec said people who want to vote have to sign up at least 30 days prior to the nomination meeting.
Other political parties are already making their own preparations for the Oct. federal election voting day.
Bulkley Valley resident Rod Taylor has been confirmed as a candidate for the Christian Heritage Party. He’s currently the national leader of that party.
And Claire Rattée, chosen by the Conservative Party of Canada as its Skeena – Bulkley Valley candidate last month, is holding her first official campaign event this Saturday in her hometown of Kitimat.
Three Conservative MPs —Michelle Rempel, Blaine Culkins and Glen Motz — will be featured at a meet and greet in support of Rattée.
Terrace resident Martin Holzbauer has submitted his papers to become a candidate for the federal Green Party of Canada.
Correction: an earlier version of this story both online and in print misidentified Rod Taylor as the party president for the Christian Heritage Party. He is the national leader. The story above has been corrected. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.