BC Liberal candidate and former Haisla Chief Ellis Ross, running for re-election in Skeena, on Saturday slammed NDP candidate for Stikine, Nathan Cullen, for insensitive comments about North Coast BC Liberal candidate Roy Jones Jr., who is Haida, before a recent all-candidates meeting.
Cullen said: “He’s not well liked — he’s Haida — in his own community.”
Cullen went on to make fun of his nickname: “The guy’s going to get bedrock 20 per cent. Like, his name is Kinkles.”
Ross said in a statement: “There’s no place in British Columbia for racism. The statements made by Nathan Cullen, which he thought were private, and John Horgan’s subsequent refusal to condemn them are very disturbing.
“[Premier] John Horgan might claim not to see colour but I can assure you that minority groups do see colour. British Columbians are looking for leadership now while John Horgan is hiding.
“John Horgan says all the right words about reconciliation but then fails to deliver. He rejected Annita McPhee as a candidate, breaking his own rules to give his buddy Cullen the nomination. He’s frustrated First Nations who want economic development to lift their people out of poverty, and when Cullen slams another First Nations leader, Horgan avoids all responsibility.
“First Nations leaders are appalled and demanding answers:
- “The BC Chief Treaty Commissioner, says “someone needs to explain why [Nathan Cullen’s] still running for the BC NDP.”
- “The President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council is saying Nathan Cullen “must step down.”
- “The Co-Chair of the First Nations Summit says “no amount of apologizing will fix this.”
“True character is revealed by what you say when no one is looking. The question is what John Horgan will do now that people are listening?”