Statement on Leadership

"Now is not the right time," Cullen says in declining federal leadership bid


"Today I announced my decision not to seek the leadership of the federal New Democratic Party.

I have been humbled by the many kind words and expressions of encouragement and support from across the riding and the country in the last six weeks.  I want to thank everyone for their gifts of trust and confidence.  I cannot express how honored I am to be asked to guide our party and our country toward an authentically progressive federal government at this crossroads in Canada’s history.

My decision not to run is based on three factors at this moment in time: what’s best for my young family, what’s best for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, and what’s best for the federal NDP.  The realities of representing a huge rural riding as far away from Ottawa as it is possible to be, while travelling the country during and perhaps beyond a leadership campaign, would not allow me to be the kind of dad I want to be to my two young boys.  Nor would they allow me to finish the work I set out to do alongside my constituents in Skeena, particularly around energy issues.  And these realities mean I could not provide the focus on leadership and growth that our party requires right now.

In closing the door on leadership at this time, I look forward to devoting my full attention to the needs of my constituents and to my two critic roles.  Skeena-Bulkley Valley is Ground Zero for several of the most significant energy and pipeline projects in Canada today.  On the critic fronts, the next six to twelve months are crucial in Democratic Reform as Parliament works to deliver on the demands of Canadians for a change in how we vote.  If we get it right, the work we do now to modernize our outdated system will make 2019 the first time Canadians have ever elected a truly representative government.  The stakes are also high in Environment and Climate Change.  Our endangered planet and Canada’s reluctance to even modestly engage in global solutions make this a time of tremendous challenge, and opportunity.

I look forward to continuing our work together as your Member of Parliament and as critic for Democratic Reform and Environment and Climate Change." 

Thank you again.