Hope next MP follows Nathan Cullen’s example

Christian advocacy group ARPA’s director says Cullen always had time for people he disagreed with.

Mark Penninga

Honour.

A dictionary will tell us that the word means “high respect” and “great esteem” or to “fulfill an obligation.”

Citizens are duty-bound to honour our civic leaders, who in turn are obligated to honour the callings of their respective offices.

The word came to my mind after hearing the news on Friday [March 1] that our local Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen has announced he will not be running again in the next election.

Although Cullen and I have diametrically opposed worldviews, I have high respect for this Parliamentarian who, for 15 years, has exemplified what it means to be an elected representative.

In my work as the leader of a national advocacy group I have met many hard-working and devoted politicians. But there are very few who work as hard to listen to their constituents, including those who they know will oppose many of their core beliefs.

We live in the largest riding in B.C., by size. It is also one of the furthest from Ottawa. Cullen used that long commute to write hand-written notes in response to letters from his constituents. And his correspondence was personal, direct, and sincere, avoiding the fluff that parties instruct their MPs to communicate.

When I, or volunteers with our BV ARPA group requested a meeting, I can’t think of a time that he turned us down. He knew that we want to discuss controversial issues like euthanasia or abortion. But he didn’t ignore us, or point to his full schedule as a good reason to not meet.

Minutes before standing up in Question Period the day that the SNC Lavelin scandal broke, he was meeting with a small group of high school students, including two from Ebenezer School, who had travelled to Ottawa, hearing them out about what Parliament can do to protect children from pornography.

Many self-described “progressive” leaders have little desire to even speak with Canadians like myself who respectfully disagree with their definition of progress. Sadly, their parties also increasingly whip their MPs to tow the party line, even on issues of conscience. That is why Cullen’s willingness to meet with us time and again is a breath of fresh air in a political atmosphere where dissent isn’t welcome, ironically even under the banner of tolerance and inclusivity.

Scripture says that everyone is to be subject to their political leaders, “for there is no authority except that which God has established” (Romans 13:1). Understood this way, a MP’s position must be treated with great honour because the source of their authority originates from the highest authority.

On behalf of many other citizens and constituents from Skeena-Bulkley Valley, we sincerely thank Nathan Cullen for his devotion to this nation and hope that his example of representation is matched by our next Member of Parliament.

Mark Penninga is the executive director of the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada, a nonpartisan Christian political advocacy organization. He and his family live in Smithers.

 

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen announces at Riverside Park in Smithers that he is not running in the 2019 federal election. (Chris Gareau photo)

Just Posted

No parole for 12 years for Burns Lake man convicted of second degree murder

Judge said he did not believe Albert Giesbrecht’s claim his gun discharged accidentally

No parole for Giesbrecht until 2031

Justice David Crossin said he did not believe Giesbrecht’s claim his firearm discharged accidentally

Lakes District Community choir performs

The Lakes District Community Choir presented its annual Christmas Concert on Dec.… Continue reading

Happy 100th Birthday Helen

Helen Hiebert celebrated her 100th birthday. On Dec. 6 there was an… Continue reading

Practice makes perfect

Girls hockey players hold a practice in the Tom Forsyth Arena in… Continue reading

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

Most Read