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

BC Ferries confirms Northern Sea Wolf ready for summer season

The plan is to have the Northern Sea Wolf assume the mid-coast service as of May 18

Historic building in Alexis Creek destroyed by fire overnight

“If it hadn’t been a heavy rain last night we could have lost many houses in the area”

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

OP-ED: Striking a balance with the oil tanker moratorium

Dennis Patterson, Senator for Nunavut, on protecting Canada’s environment and economy with Bill C-48

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Most Read