Cullen walks away with Stikine

With 50 of 51 polls reporting Cullen leads by more than the number of mail-in ballots distributed

Nathan Cullen. (Facebook photo)

Nathan Cullen. (Facebook photo)

Despite some campaign controversy, NDP candidate Nathan Cullen has prevailed handily in the Stikine riding.

With 50 out of 51 polls reporting as of 11:00 p.m., Cullen led Liberal candidate Gordon Sebastian by 1,362 votes, more than the number of mail-in ballots that still need to be counted.

“It was very exciting, not just for us locally but for the party right across the province, a historic win,” Cullen said on Monday. “We have a lot of votes left to count but it seems like the trend is very much towards a very strong majority for the party.”

As a former federal Member of Parliament, Cullen said that there will be a learning curve transitioning into provincial politics but he is excited for the opportunity.

“The issues that we deal with provincially will be obviously connected but different, yet the relationships I have across this region and I have across B.C. will help and having played a role in opposition and appreciating what that is, I think it’s helpful to be able to see how things get done, to be able to push things forward that matter for the people that live here.”

“I’m so grateful for the support people have offered me and I’ve always been a believer that when the election is over it’s over and then we get down to work for everybody.”

Sebastian was gracious in defeat while at home watching election coverage with his wife.

“Nathan has represented this riding for a long time, he definitely loves the riding, he loves the people and the people like him, so it should be a pretty good government in terms of what is to happen for this riding,” he said.

Sebastian said he will continue to build the Liberal party infrastructure and would like to run again under the Liberal banner in the next provincial election.

“I’m a hereditary chief myself, I’ll continue working with the Gitxsan and also this has sparked my interest, I was very interested in seeing how the electoral process works and how the government is formed in B.C. so I took quite a huge interest in this,” he said.

Cullen was the presumed favourite from the start, but immediately ran into controversy when Annita McPhee, a three-time president of the Tahltan Central Government was overlooked for the nomination seemingly in contradiction of the party’s own equity policy.

LIVE INTERACTIVE RESULTS MAP

Later, during an all candidates meeting in Smithers he was caught on a hot mic making an insensitive comment about North Coast Liberal candidate Roy Jones Jr. (Cheexial), a Haida elder.

Both Cullen and NDP leader John Horgan later apologized for the incident.

Although the results are preliminary even the record number of mail-in ballots requested will not be enough to overturn the local result.

Providing, however, that the breakdown is not much different at the end of the counting, both Christian Heritage Party candidate Rod Taylor and Rural BC Pary candidate Darcy Repen said they were pleased with their percentage of the election day vote.

Taylor’s showing of almost 13 per cent was three points higher than the 2017 election.

“The percentage going up is a good thing,” he said. “We’re happy to have people endorsing our position. Obviously, we do this because we care about where the country’s going. In that sense, it’s disappointing not to see a greater groundswell, not only just for this riding, but the whole province. I’m going to say, I’m more or less disappointed that the province is going further and faster in the same direction, but it is what it is. It’s a democratic process and we’re glad that it is a democratic process.”

For his part, Repen said it is telling that he was able to get 10 per cent of the vote without even being in the riding during the campaign because he was working in Yellowknife.

“I’m doing pretty good compared to other third party candidates,” he said. “I got my issues on the table which is the main thing I was hoping to accomplish in this election, was to get people thinking about the representation they should have in the Stikine and the issues, particularly in the Stikine that are important.”

Due to the pandemic, more British Columbians decided to vote by mail-in ballot than ever before. Election results won’t be finalized until after Nov. 6., when those mail-in ballots are counted.

An estimated 1,234 number of mail-in ballots were requested by Elections BC within the Stikine riding. There are 14,250 registered voters in the region.

Across B.C., a total of 47,900 mail-in ballots were returned to Election BC, as of Friday, Oct. 23, approximately 69 per cent of the 724,279 they issued.

There are roughly 3.5 million registered voters in the province.



editor@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BC politicsElection 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary School in Hazelton is being shut down for a week by the Gitanmaax Band Council following a confirmation of a COVID-19 exposure there on Feb. 26. (Black Press Media File Photo)
COVID-19 exposure notice shuts down Hazelton school

Closure to last for one week and school is to be sanitized

Dave Livesey, right, has been elected as Telkwa councillor defeating Klaus Kraft (middle) and Erik Jacobsen. (Interior News composite photo)
Dave Livesey elected to Telkwa council

Livesey received 60 votes to Klaus Kraft’s 51 and Erik Jacobsen’s 34 in preliminary results

Smithers Local Health Area reported just one new case of COVID-19 from Feb. 14-20. (BC CDC graphic)
Local weekly COVID infections drop to one

The Smithers Local Health Area (Houston to Witset) reported a single case between Feb. 14 and20

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Most Read