Nathan Cullen: big vision for a small town

For Nathan Cullen, it’s the smaller towns that make up the real backbone of Canada.

  • Mar. 9, 2016 10:00 a.m.

Barbara Latkowski

Caledonia Courier

For Nathan Cullen, it’s the smaller towns that make up the real backbone of Canada.

“Towns like Fort St. James need support. They are the heart and soul of this country and they need attention,” Cullen said.

The 43-year-old MP for Skeena Bulkley Valley continues to be a strong voice for the Northwest and British Columbia in Parliament.

Cullen is currently in the first leg of a riding-wide town hall tour to speak with constituents about their priorities for future federal infrastructure spending.

The MP led a Town hall meeting at the Seniors Centre in Fort St. James on Feb. 29.

The new federal government in Ottawa was elected on a promise to make major investments in towns and communities and as economic development ramps up in the Northwest of B.C., Cullen wants support from the federal government to repair roads and build stronger community infrastructure.

Cullen, thrilled to see his riding receive close to $9.2 million of the $73 million of federal funding, was eager to hear what community members in Fort St. James had to say.

For him, it’s all about making sure that smaller towns like Fort St. James continue to have a voice.

“The infusion of federal funds to help Northwest communities build, upgrade or outright replace community infrastructure will really help to get some of these important projects off the ground,” Cullen said.

“I want to recognise the hard work of municipal governments and staff for their roles in bringing this money to their communities.”

“I feel hopeful that these needs reach reality. The first step is to make a connection. The second step is to work with local municipalities and lastly, is taking community needs to the federal government to get prospects approved,” Cullen says.

Cullen who was born in Toronto, Ontario, now enjoys small town  living with his wife two 5-yr-old twin boys in Smithers, B.C.

“The northwest of B.C. is so beautiful and rich. It’s not the people that make the land, the land makes the people. We are so lucky here. The land is powerful and rich and this is what makes people stronger,” Cullen said.

“It’s important that towns like Fort St. James are heard. I want to see this money spent properly, not from Ottawa, but from the people on the ground.”

Its towns like Fort St. James that matter most according to Cullen.

“This town had great ideas. The people of Fort St. James care about their land and their community. I want to make sure that they continue to be heard.”