‘Hoisted With Their Own Petard’

“The ‘equity’ rule states if a man retires from an NDP-held seat in the province, that man’s replacement must be a woman or an “equity-seeking” man; for example, a man who is a visible minority, a person with a disability or someone from the LGBTQ community.”

“The B.C. NDP has nominated former MP Nathan Cullen as its candidate for the ‘Stikine’ riding…after ‘Indigenous’ {sic, they mean ‘Aboriginal} leader Annita McPhee put her name forward for the position. 

“The NDP’s ‘equity mandate’ states that when a male MLA retires, he has to be replaced by a member of an ‘equity-seeking’ group, such as a woman or an ‘Indigenous’ person. But none of the 15 ‘equity-seeking’ group members that the party approached wanted to be considered, and McPhee — who is both female and of Tahltan ‘Nation’ — was not among the 15 people, the B.C. NDP wrote in a statement to ‘CBC News’.

“In the aftermath of the 2019 federal NDP nomination in Skeena, Annita McPhee made it clear to many members that she never again wanted to be associated with the NDP. As such she was not approached for our search”, 

Megan Olson, president of the Stikine B.C. NDP Riding Association, said in a statement.

“McPhee rejected the NDP’s statement that she never wanted to be associated with the party.

“I don’t remember saying something like that”,
she said.
“If I did say something like that, it would have been in confidence.”

“Last Tuesday, McPhee declared her desire to run for the B.C. NDP nomination in a ‘Facebook’ post. She submitted her application package for nomination on Friday, but some of the signatures on the package were not valid under the party’s regulations.

“While these issues were ultimately resolved this [Monday] morning, there was simply not enough time to process the application”,

B.C. NDP president Craig Keating said in a statement.

“Keating also said the party approached Cullen — who represented the ‘Skeena-Bulkley Valley’ federal riding from 2004 to 2019 — after all ‘equity-seeking’ group members rejected the nomination offer. Keating did not say when Cullen submitted his application package.

“McPhee said she wasn’t notified until late Sunday evening that there was an error with her application package — two of her nominating members’ signatures were missing.

“We emailed them back right away … and we never heard back from them. And then I read on ‘Twitter’ that I’m disqualified today [Monday]“,
she said.

“McPhee served three terms as the president of the Tahltan Central Government for the Tahltan ‘Nation’. McPhee’s communications manager, Ginger Gosnell-Meyers, said she’s disappointed by the NDP’s decision to nominate Cullen, who should be prevented by the ‘equity mandate’ to seek nomination.

“I’m really sad for all of the exceptional ‘Indigenous’ leaders who will not have an opportunity for public service because someone who has inside connections is given special treatment”,
Gosnell-Meyers said.

“In a written statement to ‘CBC News’, Cullen said he’s confident in public support for him in the ‘Stikine’ riding and cannot speak to the B.C. NDP’s nomination and vetting processes.

“The ‘Stikine’ vacancy was up for grabs after Doug Donaldson announced last Monday he won’t sit for another term.

“NDP Leader John Horgan said the ‘equity mandate’ has served his party well, and promises that ‘equity-seeking’ group members will be nominated to run for the remaining four MLA ridings in B.C.’s northern Interior.

“Four of them will be contested by women from my party, two of which are ‘Indigenous’ women”,
he said.”

‘B.C. NDP nominates former MP for Stikine riding over Indigenous woman, despite equity policy’,
CBC News, Sept.21, 2020

Former NDP MP Nathan Cullen

“The one problem: he’s a straight, white, cisgender male, trying to replace another straight, white, cisgender male. The NDP’s rules explicitly forbid this, except in extraordinary circumstances, and if there’s literally nobody else.”

“The first big story of BC’s early pandemic election is that internal equity rules, like confidence and supply agreements, can be cast aside for a better offer.

“One of the NDP’s star candidates this election is Nathan Cullen, a former NDP MP and federal leadership candidate. But Cullen and the party have an albatross – they broke their own rules to get him.

“In the brief interregnum before the writ was dropped but after incumbent Doug Donaldson said he wouldn’t run again, Cullen released a slick video announcing his intention to seek the NDP candidacy. Most assumed it was a done deal – and a get for the provincial party.

“Polished and well spoken, Cullen is a heavyweight in NDP circles. The one problem: he’s a straight, white, cisgender male, trying to replace another straight, white, cisgender male. The NDP’s rules explicitly forbid this, except in extraordinary circumstances, and if there’s literally nobody else.

“Enter Annita McPhee.

“A three-term President of the Tahltan Central Government, McPhee is the platonic ideal of the kind of candidate the NDP would like to court – and ironically, the equity mandate is supposed to ensure gets a fair shake.

“McPhee also wants the NDP nomination in ‘Stikine’. It quickly became apparent NDP headquarters wanted Cullen, come hell, high water, or their own rules.

“Things got messy. The party said it approached “members of equity-seeking groups” about running, but they all said no – but McPhee wasn’t among them. And then it was because she said some unspecified negative things about the federal NDP last year. And then it was because she hadn’t applied in time, and there were problems with the signatures she had collected – which the party would have helped resolve, of course, but for the lack of time. Rotten luck.

“It’s the kind of thing that happens when you force an election one year early and have a different candidate in mind.

“What’s worse, McPhee wasn’t even given the courtesy of being told she was disqualified – she learned on Twitter.
From a reporter.

“The NDP’s equity mandate isn’t new, and has caused them headaches in almost every election. And while absolutes and quotas are blunt instruments, the stated goal is ensure underrepresented people like McPhee have a chance. If you’re just going to ignore it for a shiny former MP, what’s the point?

“McPhee isn’t making it easy for the NDP. Not only does she refuse to go away – even threatening legal action – she keeps saying all the right things about the Horgan government, and Cullen himself (“a really excellent leader”). The NDP understands and can deal with heretics. But it’s much more difficult when said heresy is politely pointing to their rules while still saying “yay team”. And exponentially more difficult when the heretic in question is an ‘Indigenous’ {sic} woman.

“This misstep hasn’t slipped along unnoticed. It has been publicly condemned by ‘Indigenous’ leaders of various political stripes, including former NDP MP Romeo Saganash, former BC ‘Liberal’ {Party} advisor Wade Grant, and Squamish ‘Nation’ councillor Khelisilem.

“What’s baffling is the NDP are inflicting this wound on themselves in ‘Stikine’, a held and fairly safe riding; Donaldson won the last three elections by 12, 11, and 6 points, respectively.

“The adjacent riding of ‘Skeena’ is more uncertain – and probably, would have been a better target for someone like Cullen. Since 1986, it’s been won by Social Credit, NDP, and BC ‘Liberal’ {Party} candidates. With no NDP incumbent, the party’s equity mandate wouldn’t apply, and Cullen would be in the clear. Still better, the incumbent is a sitting BC ‘Liberal’ – former Haisla chief councillor Ellis Ross.

“Given truth serum, and asked if they could defeat any one opposing MLA, no questions asked, many in the NDP would pick Ross, a calm, narrative-busting ‘Indigenous’ leader difficult to shout down. Cullen’s name recognition would have been useful in Skeena.

“It’s too late for that now – Cullen is locked and loaded, and the party clearly thinks he’s worth the short- and long-term hit. But their treatment of a female ‘Indigenous’ leader won’t go unnoticed.

“For an election that started with questions about honesty and motives, the NDP ignoring its own equity policy is a self-inflicted wound that’s likely to fester.”

–‘From star candidate to albatross’,

Annita McPhee

“An ‘Indigenous’ {sic} leader seeking the provincial NDP nomination in northern B.C. wants the party to stick to its ‘equity’ policy despite what that would mean for a potential star candidate for the riding.

“Annita McPhee, who served three terms as the president of the Tahltan Central Government for the Tahltan ‘Nation’, says she is seeking the nomination for ‘Stikine’, one of the two most northerly ridings in the province, for the next B.C. election.

“Her public announcement on Saturday comes after current ‘Stikine’ MLA Doug Donaldson said he would not seek reelection for the riding, but after former Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen disclosed his plans to claim the nomination…

“A spokesperson for McPhee says if her nomination is vetted and accepted,
then we would expect the equity policy to stand“.

“A statement from NDP president Craig Keating said that the equity policy is not an absolute. 

“In certain instances, despite extensive candidate searches, our regulations permit allowances for other candidates to be considered for nomination”,
the statement said.

“To be an approved candidate for the party, an individual must be a member in good standing, have completed a set level of fundraising, submitted a personal disclosure statement and completed other background checks…

‘Past equity policy issues’
“The B.C. NDP’s equity policy has created friction in the past.

“In 2016, questions were raised about the effectiveness of the policy following the nomination of East Kootenay candidate Gerry Taft. Taft, who was the Mayor of Invermere at the time, won his nomination in the riding of Columbia River-Revelstoke when MLA Norm McDonald retired. Taft, a ‘white’ man with a female partner and young son, did not appear to meet the party’s ‘equity rule’ although he claimed minority status with party approval.

“He later, with some reluctance, disclosed he is bisexual.

“McPhee says her experience will benefit ‘Stikine’, which she says has the second highest percentage of ‘Indigenous’ peoples of all the provincial ridings. Her release listed support from several ‘First Nations’ leaders in the riding.

“It’s an opportune time for an ‘Indigenous’ woman from our {claimed} homelands to represent us in government”,

said Chief Glen Williams from Gitanyow.

“Cullen…was previously hired by the B.C. government to work as a liaison between the province and the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs during the protests over the ‘Coastal GasLink’ pipeline.

“He is the third former federal New Democrat to announce they’re running for the B.C. NDP in the next provincial election…”.”

–‘Indigenous leader seeking B.C. NDP Stikine nomination wants equity policy to nullify star candidate’,
Chad Pawson, CBC News, Sept.20, 2020
(With files from Justin McElroy and Canadian Press)
“The B.C. NDP’s own rules state that when a self-identifying white male MLA over the age of 40 does not run again, then the next candidate for the party must be from an ‘equity-seeking’ group.”

“Annita McPhee has thrown her name into the running for the nomination for the provincial riding of ‘Stikine’, bolstered by the NDP’s own mandate that should make her a shoo-in for the nomination. The B.C. NDP’s ‘Equity Mandate’ states that when a male MLA does not seek re-election — as current MLA Doug Donaldson has announced — the party requires that the next nominee be a member of an ‘equity-seeking’ group, such as an ‘Indigenous’ person or a woman.

“McPhee stated in a release on Saturday that as late as Sept. 17, no members of an equity-seeking group had applied for the nomination. Then Nathan Cullen, former NDP Member of Parliament for ‘Stikine-Bulkley Valley’, seemingly announced on ‘Twitter’ later that same day at 3 p.m. that he was putting his name forward.

“McPhee “is asking that the BC NDP vet her as a potential candidate formally”, the release states. 

“The ‘Stikine’ riding includes the homelands of the ‘Tahltan people’. Stikine also has the second highest percentage of ‘Indigenous’ peoples of all provincial ridings.”

“McPhee — a prominent ‘Indigenous’ advocate who served three terms as president of the Tahltan central government —has the support of several ‘Indigenous’ chiefs from the riding, including Chief Glen Williams from Gitanyow {872 people}; Chief Chastity Daniels from Gitwangak {1,383 people}; Chief Marie Quock from Iskut {790 people}; Chief Rick McLean from Tahltan {1,990 people}, and Hereditary Chief Yobx from Gitsegukla {1,029 people}.”

–‘Nomination for NDP Stikine candidate hits policy snag’,
Lynn Mitges, Vancouver Sun, Sept.20, 2020
“The BC NDP may have an internal problem on its hands. An ‘Indigenous’ {sic, ‘Aboriginal’} advocate who served three terms as president of the Tahltan Central Government, Annita McPhee, has now submitted her paperwork to be the candidate for the NDP in the next provincial election in the northern B.C. riding of Stikine.

“The BC NDP’s own rules state that when a self-identifying white male MLA over the age of 40 does not run again, then the next candidate for the party must be from an ‘equity-seeking’ group. With Doug Donaldson not running again, the policy would dictate that someone from an equity-seeking group should be the candidate.

“Former NDP MP and star candidate Nathan Cullen has announced his plans to seek the nomination. He does not qualify under the existing mandate.

“I didn’t even know there was going to be an opportunity until Doug Donaldson announced his retirement earlier this week. Then Nathan announced and I was surprised”,
McPhee said.
“There hasn’t been an election called yet. I think there is an opportunity for them to implement their policy for me.”

“All political parties are now planning for a potential fall election. Premier John Horgan says he has not yet decided if he will visit the lieutenant governor to ask for an early vote. The next fixed election date is in October 2021.

“The BC NDP has released a statement saying in certain instances, despite extensive candidate searches, the party’s regulations permit allowances for other candidates to be considered for nomination.

“As of Friday night, the party said it had still not received McPhee’s nomination paperwork. A candidate must raise money, be vetted and be a member of the party in order to qualify as a candidate.

“While the riding association executive undertook a search for candidates under the equity mandate, our regulations allow for anyone to submit an application. Any application the party receives undergoes a standard review and vet as quickly as time will allow”,
reads the statement.

“The NDP’s equity mandate has been controversial. Some inside the party believe it provides a better opportunity for more diversity, while others believe it is not the right way to encourage a wide range of candidates that are best suited to win in their riding.

“In 2017, the ‘Vancouver Sun’ reported on Columbia River-Revelstoke candidate Gerry Taft. Taft was married to a woman and identified as bisexual, and therefore qualified for the election. In the same election, Skeena candidate Bruce Bidgood qualified for the policy because of deafness. He said working in a mill for decades led to his deafness.

“I really would like to focus on the policy. I really believe diversity matters in this. It has helped a lot of diverse people become MLAs”,
McPhee said.
“Nathan Cullen was a great (MP). But it’s about doing what it is right and follow the equity mandate. I think I would be a great, strong candidate. I would like to see the NDP follow their policy.”

–‘BC NDP election hopeful calling on party to apply gender mandate, block Nathan Cullen from consideration’,
Richard Zussman, Global News, September 19, 2020
See also:
NDP Nominates ‘Partial-Aboriginal’ Extremist’ (Vancouver Centre) {Aug.27, 2019}:
“Nearly a year before the national inquiry released its report, Ouellette wrote a blistering blog post in which he maintained that the federal government’s residential-schools program was a
program of illegal genocide“.
“And he stated that it was
motivated first and foremost by theft“…”


ERBL inc. Canada News



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