The NDP’s star candidate for a northern B.C. riding is apologizing over insensitive comments he made about an Indigenous BC Liberal candidate in neighbouring district.
Nathan Cullen, NDP candidate for Stikine, was caught on a hot mic talking about North Coast candidate Roy Jones Jr.
“He’s not well liked — he’s Haida — in his own community,” Cullen said.
“The guy’s going to get bedrock 20 per cent. Like, his name is Kinkles,” he added, referring to Jones Jr.’s nickname.
I apologize unreservedly for my comments and have done so personally to Roy. I need to, and will, do better.
— Nathan Cullen (@nathancullen) October 17, 2020
The comments, made before an all-candidates debate, were recorded on Zoom.
On Saturday, Cullen took to Twitter to “apologize unreservedly.”
“I need to, and will do better,” he said, adding that he had personally apologized to Jones Jr.
BC Liberal Skeena candidate and Haisla Nation member Ellis Ross called the comments “disgusting.”
DISGUSTING.NDP claim to be indigenous allies and champions of reconciliation but this is the worst I’ve ever heard. Roy Jones jr is a good man and a good friend. The NDP division strategy should not be allowed in our native and non native communities https://t.co/dCk6DohOoh
— Ellis Ross (@ellisbross) October 17, 2020
“NDP claim to be Indigenous allies and champions of reconciliation, but this is the worst I’ve ever heard,” wrote Ross.
“The NDP division strategy should not be allowed in our native and non-native communities.”
It is not the first time Cullen has faced campaign controversy on Indigenous issues.
The former MP was selected as the Stikine candidate over Annita McPhee, an Indigenous woman, despite the NDP’s own equity policy. That policy requires the selection of a candidate from an equity-seeking group when a white, male incumbent over the age of 40 retires.