Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Annita McPhee will not be the BC NDP’s candidate for Stikine, despite the party’s equity policy. (Annita McPhee/ Facebook)

A former Tahltan Central Government president says she’s disheartened and disappointed her attempt to run for the B.C. NDP nomination in the Stikine riding was turned down.

Instead, party officials selected former Skeena – Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen to contest the seat which became vacant when longtime NDP MLA Doug Donaldson said he wasn’t running again.

ALSO READ: Local Stikine candidates for the Oct. 24 snap election

Annita McPhee, who served three terms as the president of the Tahltan Central Government, said her candidacy was based on the NDP’s policy which states that when a male MLA retires, he must be replaced by an “equity-seeking” individual, such as a woman, person of colour or member of the LGBTQ2+ community.

“I feel incredibly abused in this process,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “I hoped my candidacy would uplift all people, but after what I’ve experienced can only offer deep hurt and disappointment in a party I’ve believed in and supported my whole life.”

A statement from NDP president Craig Keating said that there was a problem with invalid signatures in her application, which she submitted to the party on Friday, Sept. 19.

“The party informed Ms. McPhee of the situation concerning her application and attempted to work with her to address the issue,” said Keating in the statement.

“While these issues were ultimately resolved this morning [Monday, Sept. 21], there was simply not enough time to process the application.”

McPhee ran for the NDP’s nomination in the federal Skeena – Bulkley Valley riding last year when Cullen announced his retirement from federal politics, but ran second to Taylor Bachrach who was then elected in the Oct. 2019 federal election.

She refuted suggestions made by the provincial NDP that following her failed federal bid, she said she would never want to be involved in politics again.

McPhee called those suggestions “hearsay.”

Speaking to reporters during his election call announcement, NDP leader John Horgan said the party contacted 15 people in the Stikine riding to ask if they were interested in running for the party’s nomination.

McPhee said she was disappointed as she was not one of those 15 people.

After reviewing the results of its nomination search on Sept. 14, the party said it asked Cullen, who’s application package was then ultimately approved. Cullen released his nomination intention via Twitter on Sept. 17.

That was two days after McPhee made her first announcement via a Facebook post that she was seeking the nomination.

In a CBC Radio interview Sept. 22, McPhee said Cullen should have known she was also seeking the nomination and that his announcement would run counter to the party’s equity policy.

READ MORE: Citing Stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24


@BenBogstie
ben.bogstie@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

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

Just Posted

Ellis Ross (left), BC Liberal party, celebrated with his wife, Tracey after being named the preliminary winner of the 2020 snap provincial election.
Ross presumptive Skeena winner in snap B.C. election

Election outcome will not be official until mail-in ballots are counted

Voting has officially closed throughout B.C. for the 2020 snap provincial election. (Clare Rayment)
Map of Skeena polling stations

Watch the updates on the map below as polling stations are counted throughout Skeena riding

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

A police pursuit ended with an arrest in Williams Lake on Highway 97 Sunday afternoon. (Facebook video screenshot)
Video catches police pursuit that ends with man kicked, punched in Williams Lake

A video of the arrest is getting widely shared on social media

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read