Hope next MP follows Nathan Cullen’s example

Christian advocacy group ARPA’s director says Cullen always had time for people he disagreed with.

Mark Penninga

Honour.

A dictionary will tell us that the word means “high respect” and “great esteem” or to “fulfill an obligation.”

Citizens are duty-bound to honour our civic leaders, who in turn are obligated to honour the callings of their respective offices.

The word came to my mind after hearing the news on Friday [March 1] that our local Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen has announced he will not be running again in the next election.

Although Cullen and I have diametrically opposed worldviews, I have high respect for this Parliamentarian who, for 15 years, has exemplified what it means to be an elected representative.

In my work as the leader of a national advocacy group I have met many hard-working and devoted politicians. But there are very few who work as hard to listen to their constituents, including those who they know will oppose many of their core beliefs.

We live in the largest riding in B.C., by size. It is also one of the furthest from Ottawa. Cullen used that long commute to write hand-written notes in response to letters from his constituents. And his correspondence was personal, direct, and sincere, avoiding the fluff that parties instruct their MPs to communicate.

When I, or volunteers with our BV ARPA group requested a meeting, I can’t think of a time that he turned us down. He knew that we want to discuss controversial issues like euthanasia or abortion. But he didn’t ignore us, or point to his full schedule as a good reason to not meet.

Minutes before standing up in Question Period the day that the SNC Lavelin scandal broke, he was meeting with a small group of high school students, including two from Ebenezer School, who had travelled to Ottawa, hearing them out about what Parliament can do to protect children from pornography.

Many self-described “progressive” leaders have little desire to even speak with Canadians like myself who respectfully disagree with their definition of progress. Sadly, their parties also increasingly whip their MPs to tow the party line, even on issues of conscience. That is why Cullen’s willingness to meet with us time and again is a breath of fresh air in a political atmosphere where dissent isn’t welcome, ironically even under the banner of tolerance and inclusivity.

Scripture says that everyone is to be subject to their political leaders, “for there is no authority except that which God has established” (Romans 13:1). Understood this way, a MP’s position must be treated with great honour because the source of their authority originates from the highest authority.

On behalf of many other citizens and constituents from Skeena-Bulkley Valley, we sincerely thank Nathan Cullen for his devotion to this nation and hope that his example of representation is matched by our next Member of Parliament.

Mark Penninga is the executive director of the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada, a nonpartisan Christian political advocacy organization. He and his family live in Smithers.

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

 

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen announces at Riverside Park in Smithers that he is not running in the 2019 federal election. (Chris Gareau photo)

Just Posted

Houston mill to re-open June 8

Ends lengthy shutdown which began in March

Fibre installation for South Hazelton begins

Citywest says it will install cable in the summer and home installations in the fall

Annual bird count thrills organizer

Count took place over 48 hours

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Major paving projects announced

Extends west of Smithers to east of Houston

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

Most Read