Stikine MLA Nathan Cullen, who previously held the portfolio of municipal minister, has been reassigned as the minister of water, land and resource stewardship.
He said he feels fantastic about the appointment.
“I mean, the only next feeling is I really enjoyed school affairs.,” he said.
The new role, however, has him responsible for a lot of issues that touch much closer to home.”
“I feel good with the alignment of where I live and the work that I’m being asked to do by the premier,” he said.
New cabinet appointments were released alongside mandate letters for each minister.
Cullen’s specific mandates include protecting wild salmon and supporting fish and seafood innovation projects, amending the Wildlife Act to support the integration of Indigenous knowledge in the stewardship of B.C.’s ecosystems, funding coastal cleanup, and working with the Ministry of Forests to begin implementation of the recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review.
“We’re landing a lot of reconciliation agreements,” he said.
“The (natural resources) permitting is massive. And I’m also responsible for fisheries, so there’s some some really significant work, particularly in northern waters, but across B.C., and I’m just feeling profound responsibility and the potential where there’s just a ton of good potential to make things happen better and move better.
“So, I’m feeling good and humbled and all that other stuff, too.”
He said it also doesn’t hurt to have fellow NDPer Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach in Ottawa.
“Taylor’s rightly concerned with fisheries and how development is happening on the land and how we make reconciliation real day to day,” Cullen explained. “So we’ve been collaborating on a bunch of stuff and we’ll do more.”
The minister also said he has been on the phone with senior federal ministers and is expecting some announcements that will “greatly benefit” B.C.
“So, stay tuned, there should be some good news by the end of the week,” he said.
Cullen was appointed minister of municipal affairs on Feb. 25, 2022. Before that, he was sworn in to the Executive Council of British Columbia as minister of state for lands and resource operations.
Replacing Cullen as minister of municipal affairs is Anne Kang, who currently serves as the MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake.
-With files from Thom Barker