Who Will Be the New Leader of Canada’s Official Opposition Party?


February 1, 2012 :: Nathan Cullen
Moderated by Bev Muendel-Atherstone

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
7:00 – 9:00 pm
University of Lethbridge, 1st Choice Saving Centre, Room PE264
Free event: Refreshments provided

More than seven years ago, the people of Skeena-Bulkley Valley, BC elected Nathan Cullen as their voice in Parliament. He believes the Stephen Harper “divide and conquer” style of ruling Canada is not in our best interest and that a new approach to politics is needed. Therefore, Nathan Cullen entered his name into the NDP leadership race September 2011 in his desire to build on Jack Layton’s vision for leadership in Canada.

Speaker: Nathan Cullen

Nathan Cullen’s life and political experience has made him understand there is more that unites Canadians than keeps us apart. While he is the longest-serving MP running for leader, his road to Parliament took him about as far away from Ottawa as you can get.

Nathan grew up in Toronto and attended university in Peterborough and Waterloo, Ontario. After graduating, he worked abroad, in Africa and South America where he learned French and Spanish, helping communities come together—by establishing women’s shelters, financial services and the basic infrastructure most Canadians take for granted.

After returning to Canada, Nathan settled in Smithers, a town of about 6,000 people in beautiful northwestern British Columbia. There, he started a successful small business that took him across B.C., working with First Nations, government, not-for-profit organizations and other businesses. Through this, he learned the value and effectiveness of working together to create solutions.

In 2003, Nathan decided he’d heard enough from his local Conservative MP. So he ran for the NDP in the Skeena—Bulkley Valley riding, which is nearly the size of Norway. He won the 2004 election, making him the only leadership candidate to defeat a Tory MP. By working with others, and taking a new approach to politics, Nathan has increased his winning margin in each of the three elections since.
In Parliament, Nathan enjoys a reputation of being able to work with MPs of many political stripes. The NDP’s former environment and natural resources critic, he introduced the bill that led to the only serious, all-party discussion of a real plan to fight climate change. When the NDP became the official opposition, Nathan was named chair of the Commons committee on ethics.

Nathan lives in Smithers, with his wife Diana, and twin sons, Isaac and Elliot.

Moderator: Bev Muendel-Atherstone


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