PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. — Skeena-Bulkley Valley
New Democrat Nathan Cullen, a five-term member of Parliament, isn’t running in this election. In the last two elections Cullen has taken more than 50 per cent of the vote and that popularity may buoy the New Democrat candidate. During his tenure, Cullen championed environmental causes, Indigenous rights and opposed the Northern Gateway pipeline.
Population: 88,920 (Elections Canada)
Major communities: Terrace, Prince Rupert and Smithers.
The riding: A vast area of mostly wilderness covering a section of the northwest corner of the province bordering Yukon and Alaska. It also includes the islands of Haida Gwaii.
Main challengers: Conservative Claire Rattee, a tattoo artist and co-owner of Kitimat’s first tattoo studio. Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach is running for the New Democrats. Dave Birdi, an economic development officer for the Binche Whut’en First Nation and a former Fort St. James councillor, has been acclaimed to run for the Liberal party. Smithers environmental activist Mike Sawyer is the Green party’s candidate.
Election history: The Skeena riding was redistributed for the 2004 election to include Bulkley Valley and a small section of the Cariboo Chilcotin riding.
Fun fact: The rivers in the riding are known for their prolific salmon runs. The Skeena River holds records for some of the largest salmon ever caught, including one of the largest chinook salmon weighing almost 42 kilograms.
The Canadian Press