Indigenous leader says B.C. NDP ignored own equity policy nominating Nathan Cullen
VANCOUVER -- An Indigenous woman who sought the NDP's nomination in the Stikine riding has accused the party of ignoring its own equity policy – and she's considering legal action.
“I’m actually thinking about challenging this nomination,” said Annita McPhee, a three-term president of the Tahltan Central Government.
The B.C. NDP appointed Nathan Cullen, a well-know and long-serving former MP, as its candidate for Stikine. McPhee said Cullen did "a lot of really good work" in the riding, but she still takes issue with his nomination.
"He’s a wonderful leader, but the issue at hand right now is that the NDP has ignored their own policy," she said.
Under the B.C. NDP’s mandate, when a riding is vacated by a male MLA, the party must look for a woman or member of an equity-seeking group.
That’s why McPhee, who filed her nomination papers before the election was called, believes she should get the nomination over Cullen.
"I have a lot to offer. The Stikine is my home, I grew up in Telegraph Creek, I have a law degree, a social work degree, I’ve gone to the United Nations,” she argued.
The NDP said McPhee’s application contained invalid signatures.
“The party informed Ms. McPhee of the situation concerning her application and attempted to work with to address the issue,” wrote B.C. NDP president Craig Keating. “While these issues were ultimately resolved this morning, there was simply not enough time to process the application.”
“They talked to a dozen or more people who would have complied with our equity mandate, and none of them were prepared to seek election," said NDP Leader John Horgan at a campaign stop in North Vancouver.
McPhee says she’s a New Democrat at heart, but hesitated when asked if she would vote for them on Oct. 24.