Cullen not running for NDP leadership

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen has decided to not run for the NDP leadership

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen has decided to not run for the NDP leadership.

A third-place finisher at his party’s last leadership contest in 2012, which saw Thomas Mulcair chosen to replace the late Jack Layton, Cullen last Friday listed his young family, serving his large, rural riding, and the party’s need for a leader to pour a lot of energy into the job as his reasons for not running.

“It is an inherent challenge, and there is a reason that very few of our prime ministers have ever come out of rural Canada … Part of that reality is when you’re a rural MP, you’re constantly on the road anyway, so adding on the road to on the road becomes challenging,” said Cullen, adding family was the biggest consideration.

A new leader for the federal NDP is scheduled to be chosen in September or October of 2017.

“Jack Layton taught me very well [after] once responding to a question from a reporter [he told me] ‘no never, ever.’ He said ‘Nathan, you don’t know what the future holds,’ ” said Cullen when asked if he ruled out running for leader in the future. “So this is a not now, but not never.”

Cullen is not endorsing anyone for leader yet, but said he will be engaged in the process.

He also said there are no specific policies on things like resource extraction or pipelines that he is looking for in a new leader, other than the position of a crude oil tanker ban on B.C.’s north coast.