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MP Nathan Cullen adds to discussion surrounding pipeline, proportional representation topics

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
October 29th, 2018

The MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley had educated Nelsonites regarding the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and Proportional Representation during a town hall meeting Friday at the Nelson United Church.

Nathan Cullen, who was hosted by Kootenay Columbia MP Wayne Stetski, explained to the audience his concerns over the environmental process conducted by the National Energy Board. Cullen told the crowd the NEB did not consult fairly with Indigenous people or consider what the increase in tanker traffic would have on the Canada’s coastline.

He reminded those in attendance of the significant costs that the Trudeau government incurred on behalf of Canadians in purchasing the 65-year-old Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion last July. Kinder Morgan made a $1.2 billion profit on the sale, which included $1.5 million in bonuses for their executives. The NDP MP emphasised the fact that newly released documents reveal Kinder Morgan estimated the cost to complete the pipeline at $9.3 billion. The total financial cost to Canadians, if the project goes ahead, would likely exceed $15 billion, including interest, adding as much as 36 per cent to Canada’s deficit.

“We believe that $15 billion could be better spent on alternative energies, or clean drinking water for all Indigenous reserves,” said Cullen. “Prioritizing fossil fuel subsidies that will ultimately jeopardize future generations is disappointing and Canadians deserve far better treatment from their government.”

Cullen also took time to discuss Proportional Representation.

Currently BC is conducting a referendum on whether to change the province’s voting system from the traditional first-past-the-post to proportional representation.

“The NDP has long campaigned to end Canada's outdated, unfair, first-past-the-post voting system and replace it with one that is fair, representative, and proportional, and where every vote is counted equally,” Cullen said.

“Making every vote count is the best way to enshrine true democracy in Canada,” added Stetski, MP for the Kootenay Columbia riding. “We all felt betrayed when the Liberals walked away from their promise to make 2015 the last first-past-the-post Federal election. It’s important that we all do our part to ensure proportional representation is in our future.”

It’s the third time BC has held such referendum in 18 years.

In 2005, the referendum just fell short of the 60 per cent hurdle, reaching 57.7, while in 2009, the pro-rep plummeted to 39 per cent in favour.

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