TODAY: Nathan Cullen answers your questions on his candidacy for NDP Leader

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Superb, Nathan. Thanks for taking the time. We have just one more question about homelessness and housing prices...



jerrym wrote:
My father lived through the Depression and then fought in WWII. As a result of this he never had a regular job until he was 31. Despite this and despite never earning even the average salary at any time in his life, he owned and sold three houses as he moved from job to job in different cities. I was able to buy a house in Vancouver 25 years ago in Vancouver during an economic downturn with an above average income that is now worth more than $750,000. My two university-age children are highly unlikely to ever own their own house in this city even with well-above average incomes because of current housing prices. Already, many thirtyish professionals are leaving the city because they cannot ever own a home and the latest survey of immigrants states that one third of them are paying more than 50% of their income for housing. Of course, the number of homeless is also mushrooming exponentially. We need a major housing program that addresses homelessness, housing for young adults and immigrants, even for ones with above average incomes. This is not impossible. Afterall, my father's generation, at least from the 1950s until the 1970s were able to find either rental or cooperative housing or achieve home ownership in a country that had relatively little homelessness in a much smaller economy. What is your plan to overcome these generational trends?



Any chance of Pat martin or Romeo Saganash backing you in the future? I noticed that Pat martin is in favour of your joint nomination idea and you would think all the work  you have done for the Aboriginal people in BC would help to get Mr. Saganash on board.

Nathan Cullen Nathan Cullen's picture

Certainly at the heart of our work must be to bring in the national affordable housing strategy that Olivia Chow, Libby Davies and others have worked so many years to build. The rampant speculation that has built up in many markets (and in particular Vancouver and Victoria) is a direct result of permissive and overly lenient financing partly enabled by a lack of regulation and governments wedded to bubble economics. 

Nathan Cullen Nathan Cullen's picture

This has been a great conversation and really enjoyed the forum. I'll be encouraging the other candidates to spend some quality time with Babble. If you want to keep the conversation going please drop by 


Thanks for all the great questions


Good luck Nathan. We'd love to see you around these parts again!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Thanks, Nathan! I wish you the best in this leadership campaign.

kim elliott kim elliott's picture

Thank you Nathan, for taking the time to drop by babble - and for agreeing to kick off this babble Q&A series! It's been great to follow the discussion this afternoon... Good luck with the remainder of the campaign!!  Please drop by anytime :-) 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Thanks for joining us, Nathan. I know babble appreciates it.

For those interested, Brian Topp will be joining us next week on Wednesday, February 22 at 11:30 PST/2:30 EST, giving babblers another chance to interview an NDP leadership candidate.

In the near future Peggy Nash, Paul Dewar and Niki Ashton will also be dropping by, so stay tuned!



Missed him by that much, as Maxwell Smart used to say. 

Too short!  But interesting.


Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Any chance we could have Tom Mulcair?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Nathan Cullen wrote:

Hello Boom Boom

Good and sadly relevant question

Mr. Harper would almost certainly try to "overrule" an NEB rejection of Gateway two things come to mind: the law may not allow him to. Second, the people I've met and the folks I represent won't let that kind of injustice take place

He's put the whole process in disrepute with his bullying and put Canadians into a real state of anger by his attempted bullying. Bad move

I must say Nathan has really risen in my estimation due to this reply - for which I give thanks.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Boom Boom wrote:
Any chance we could have Tom Mulcair?

We have approached all the candidates for leader and invited them to come on babble to answer questions. So, that's up to Mulcair. If you want him to come aboard, email him!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture


Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I should also ad(d), seeing how this thread received almost 1200 views in an hour, and our poor fundraising plea from columnist and board president Duncan Cameron only got 72 in its whole miserable life, if you want to see more of this kind of thing on babble and rabble, please donate or consider becoming a member!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Just took your advice and did so.


Thanks Nathan!


Dear Mr. Cullen,

Instead of having Mr. Harper shake his finger at 1st nations people about mis-spending, there are 1st nations people who have tried over the years to ensure justice at the grass roots level, only to find out we are the only group in Canada with NO JUSTICE SYSTEM.  This would be a perfect time to introduce a Native Ombudsman, to ensure that the grassroots have a place to go, like every other Canadian.

 My grandfather was the original Delgamuukxw vs the Queen, he knew what justice was, and he tried to practice.  He was laughed out of meetings, as Band Council members would say..let the RCMP handle this...or whatever excuse they wanted. 

It did or does not matter, 1st nations people can complain all they want, there have not been any results.  The gov't seems to think the Band Council represents us, thru the AFN.  This is not the case. 

I would like to see other Canadians live this way!



Todrick of Chat...


Nathan Cullen wrote:

NDPP wrote:
Do you still believe in light of the results, that your vote yes for the use of 'R2P' NATO force in Libya was the right one? Are you aware that serious allegations of warcrimes have been made?


I still believe that I voted correctly given the information and the imminent threat from the Libyan regime. My only regret was that we didn't take more time in our deliberations prior to the vote being cast. In future we must seek greater and deeper council before we commit to armed engagements again.



Really, what different information was presented to you and the rest of parliament, that the rest of Canada already knew that the Libya was wrong and illegal?


You and the NDP supported an illegal regime change.


As was obvious then and more so now,  they knoweth not what they do...

Todrick of Chat...

I though there was an anti-imperialist policy here.


On foreign policy you may be correct NDPP, but sheer repetition in that regard could also lead a person to surmise that they might have an inkling after all.  If you take into context the party statement on Syria urging the Harperites to exert pressure on Russia and China to tow the US State Department's line, which at the same time condemned the hesitancy of the UN Security Council to green light the pattern of aggression laid down in the Libyan template, coupled with a statement regarding the Egyptian government clampdown on those erstwhile champions of freedom and democracy, the US funded NDI and the IRI, then we might very well be encountering amateur hour as you suggest, or alternately more kowtowing in full awareness to the Harper government's foreign policy agenda; as if we don't already have our fill of it from the Liberals and Conservatives alike.  Either way it doesn't bode well out here in anti-warmongering ville.  If the NDP actually wanted to make themselves useful, they'd step away from the narrative of the mainstream media more often, and instead keep an ear out from time to time for what progressive activism is saying, which in the case of foreign policy adventurism at least has been more or less where Canadians are in their views.



So Libya, a country whose people once enjoyed a standard of life rated among the highest in the world, according to the UN Human Development Index, is now reduced to a broken, violent, disfunctional shambles.

Canada's  'heavy-lifting' role in smashing it, murdering the head of state, and installing their own NATO-RAT, NTC terrorist regime, included our representatives voting in favour of "armed engagement".

This was done upon the basis of grotesque disinformation propaganda of the regime's 'imminent threat' without 'greater and deeper council,' or sufficient time to reflect upon the consequences.

I am not surprised by the lack of response to the issue of warcrimes, given that it was a Canadian who led this awful campaign.

Nor am I reassured, given that Syria and/or Iran look to be the next victims of this imperial piracy and killing spree, that those who represent me, will 'take more time in our deliberations' and 'seek greater and deeper council before we commit to armed engagements again.'

The only voices that really matter to them at such critical times, are not those of the people who voted for them. The voices that matter are the voices of the real masters, the big boys in Washington, Tel Aviv, London and NATO.

Either way - kowtowing and complicit or naive and unknowing, as has been said, it doesn't bode well. I'll not be voting for any of them anytime soon.


Nor will I. Take more time and seek greater and deeper council eh? Maybe they should try a seance to ascertain the opinion of the innocent Libyan dead, who wound up that way as a result of cowardly NATO aggression. I'm certainly in favour of them taking all the time they want for deliberations and then some, but far away from any decision making offices, where, if we could have our way for once, they could mull things over in company with the other two vicious packs of stooges, the Liberals and the Conservatives.

Wilf Day

Looking at this thread in preparation for Brian Topp, I have a plea: please don't interrupt. Keep your questions to follow-ups. Otherwise it's a zoo. 


I second that, but it's difficult to fit so much into so little time.  Babblers aren't known for their restraint, but that's a good thing (most of the time)!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Looking forward to Brian's comments, I must say. Hope Mulcair does this format soon. No repsonse to my email yet.


Some of us have popped in to these Q&A threads with a comment or two well before and after the show, but my take is that these things require absolutely no interruption while in progress, as they generally speak for themselves.

Wilf Day

I note that no one asked Nathan about proportional representation, because we've all heard him say his first bill as Prime Minister would be to change the voting system.

However, his website policy statement still says "Hold a national referendum on voting reform, asking Canadians if they a) want to change the voting system; and b) which new model they prefer."

I thought that was out of date. However, at a meeting in Toronto March 7 he made it clear that his "first bill" would actually be for a referendum, although he "could be persuaded" to stick to party policy, as also detailed by both Topp and Nash, to run on a PR plank in 2015 and implement it with no referendum.

I thought he had already been persuaded. No. A surprise.


Evan Solomon asked him about this on Power and Politics this morning - as to whether it would be his "first priority" - and I didn't catch the answer, except that he said something about MMP. I almost reached for the rewind button, but there is none... It must be online or will be soon.