Cullen: all candidates are winners in 2009 BC election

SMITHERS– Win, lose or draw, congratulations are due to all candidates who ran in British Columbia’s 39th general election yesterday, said Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen.

“Five years ago I entered public life and I respect the willingness of all candidates to put their best ideas and efforts forward,” Cullen said from Ottawa today.  “I appreciate what this commitment means.

“It is an incredible dedication of time, energy and resources, and all candidates and their families deserve our thanks.”  Cullen also thanked British Columbians for casting their ballots Tuesday. “Voting is an expression of our hopes for the future of our communities, province, country and world,” he said. 

“It is also a powerful way of signaling to elected representatives that they must live up to the extraordinary trust they were privileged to receive at the ballot box.”

Cullen congratulated MLAs Gary Coons, Robin Austin and John Rustad for retaining their northwest ridings last night, and extended his best wishes to newcomer Doug Donaldson, MLA-elect for the new riding of Stikine.  Cullen noted all four candidates won their ridings with over 50% of the vote.   Cullen said he will continue to work closely with MLAs of all political stripes for the benefit of their shared northwest constituents.   Cullen said that while voters yesterday again rejected the single-transferable-vote as a way of improving proportional representation in the BC legislature, he will continue to work with those who want to see a better voting system for our elections.

Cullen expressed disappointment at the low voter turnout across BC, approximately 51% and a sharp drop from the 58% turnout in 2005.

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Contact: Shelley Browne, 250-877-4142;