B.C. Green Liberal Caucus backs Nathan Cullen for federal NDP leader
They believe that they prevented Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon from becoming premier. And they did it by signing up to vote in the B.C. Liberal Party’s leadership contest last year.
Now members of the so-called B.C. Green Liberal Caucus want to make a difference at the federal level, again through strategic voting. To do this, they’re taking out memberships before the cutoff on Saturday (February 18) for the race to choose Jack Layton’s successor as head of the official Opposition NDP.
“B.C. was kind of, for a lot of people…a lesser-of-two-evils situation between [now premier Christy] Clark and Falcon, whereas in this case we’ll actually be voting for somebody that’s worthy of support,” caucus member Jon Cooksey told the Straight in a phone interview. “So that would be a pleasant difference.”
Their choice: Skeena–Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen.
According to Cooksey, the filmmaker behind the award-winning ecodocumentary How to Boil a Frog, Cullen got the group’s support because of his long-standing and passionate advocacy of protecting B.C.’s coast from catastrophic oil spills.
It was Cullen who introduced a motion, passed by the House of Commons in December 2010, that called for a ban on bulk oil tankers on the central and northern coasts.
In a separate phone interview, screenwriter and B.C. Green Liberal member Tarah Stafford said that Cullen is also concerned about the dangers posed by oil-tanker traffic on the southern coast, specifically in Burrard Inlet.
“There’s a million barrels of crude oil a month passing underneath the Lions Gate Bridge,” Stafford told the Straight.
Kinder Morgan Inc. plans to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline to transport more Alberta tar-sands oil from its Westridge Terminal in Burnaby to lucrative Asian markets, by tanker.
According to Stafford, the B.C. Green Liberal Caucus cast about 5,000 votes in the B.C. Liberal race. She suggested that the group’s votes in the federal NDP leadership balloting could be much higher because members are sending out calls to contacts across the country.
“We sort of consider ourselves to be like any other group that’s like a lobby group,” Stafford, a mother of three, said. “We’re lobbying on behalf of our children’s future.”