BC MP Nathan Cullen back home after U.S. tour during election

Many Americans are wrestling with what to do next, now that Donald Trump has been elected president, MP Nathan Cullen reports.

  • Dec. 15, 2016 6:00 a.m.

MP Nathan Cullen was among those honoured by Maclean's magazine in 2016

Many Americans are wrestling with what to do next, now that Donald Trump has been elected president, MP Nathan Cullen reports.

The Skeena-Bulkley Valley representative is back on Canadian soil after a eight-day tour with the US State Department through Washington, D.C., Louisiana, and Ohio.

In Cleveland, Cullen visited both campaign parties where supporters watched the results.

“People were in absolute tears of joy, and tears of sadness,” he said.

Cullen himself said he was shocked with Tuesday night’s results, “simply because one of a dozen things would have disqualified (Trump) in my mind.”

He said it was clear that Trump had channeled a lot of fear and frustration in white America. Some Democrat supporters asked him about how to immigrate to Canada.

“I would laugh, thinking they’re making a joke – they wouldn’t laugh,” he said. “It was a serious conversation.”

Many election waters reported on social media the Canadian Immigration website going down for part of the evening. Cullen said he welcomes Americans seeking refuge north of the border, but encouraged them to wait and see what Trump will do.

“There’s another shoe to drop,” he said.

Cullen was also recently recognized by Maclean’s magazine as Parliament’s best orator of 2016.  A veteran MP, Cullen says he prepares for speeches in the House by mind-mapping what he intends to say, and how. He plots a central topic in the middle of a blank page and connects all the elements he hopes to address. That linear approach ideally produces a compelling speech.

“I don’t want to be too romantic about it, but the same person can ask the exact same question in two tonally different ways, and you’d think that two different things were going on,” he says. “I always want to walk them back a bit and say, ‘I know we’re asking about an oil spill here, but what feeling are we trying to accomplish? Do we want them to say yes? Do we want to embarrass them?’”

Cullen, who has represented the B.C. northwest, a riding larger than the country of Poland, for over 12 years, says it’s his constituents in the northwest who keep him grounded.

“The distance helps in a way,” he says. “I have to work very hard at translating things that are going on here to make sense there. I feel the bubble coming over me when I’m in Ottawa. The echo chamber starts almost immediately, and it disappears almost instantaneously when I’m back home.”

Just Posted

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

BC Budget’s Top 10 promises the North Coast will care about

BC Ferry fare reductions, Indigenous language investments, rent support for seniors

B.C. BUDGET: Fare freeze, free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

Therapy dogs make appearance at B.C. Games

The St. John’s Ambulance therapy dog program launches a pilot project at the 2018 Kamloops B.C. Winter Games

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Sticking the landing at the B.C. Games

Gymnasts talk competition, B.C. Winter Games, and teamwork in Kamloops

$153M in federal cash to fund child care, education training in B.C.

Bilateral agreement will create 1,370 new infant and toddler spaces

A B.C. woman talks her life in the sex trade

A view into the life from one Kelowna prostitute and the issues it can cause for women

Twitter feed prays for — instead of preying on — B.C. MLAs

Non-partisan Christian group wants to support politicians through personalized prayer

Mills Memorial Hospital financing formula released

Regional taxpayers to pay $113.7 million for new facility.

Hundreds march for justice in death of Winnipeg teen

Tina Fontaine was pulled from a river in 2014, her body wrapped in a blanket and weighed down by rocks

Most Read