With a B.C. election now scheduled for October 24, the NDP has formally nominated its star northern candidate Nathan Cullen to run in the Stikine riding. There’s just one wrinkle–a prominent Tahltan leader named Annita McPhee says the nomination should to have gone to her instead.
“I hoped my candidacy would uplift all people, but after what I’ve experienced, [I] can only offer deep hurt and disappointment in a party I’ve believed in and supported my entire life,” McPhee said in a statement this week after learning of Cullen’s nomination.
Cullen was seen as a favorite to be nominated for the northern B.C. riding because he’s previously served federally as the MP for Skeena–Bulkley Valley. But McPhee challenged him in recent days, citing an NDP equity policy that says once a man retires from an NDP seat the replacement should be a woman or a man who is a visible minority, has a disability or identifies with the LGBTQ community.
The former Stikine MLA is Doug Donaldson, who said he won’t be running this election.
The equity policy, McPhee argued in a post on Twitter, “exists to support people who have historically faced barriers to these opportunities. Nathan Cullen should support more Indigenous women entering provincial politics and respect the equity policy.”
But the NDP suggests its equity policy is meant to be a guide and not a strict rule.
“In certain instances, despite extensive candidate searches, our regulations permit allowances for other candidates to be considered for nomination,” NDP president Craig Keating said in a statement.
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