The New Democrat MP says he plans to propose to Parliament that Skeena-Bulkley Valley be changed to “Skeena-Pacific Northwest”.
Cullen said on Facebook that new name would better reflect the history and geography of the region.
He says he arrived at the name after widespread consultations, emails, chats in airports and talks with First Nations leaders.
In a Facebook poll conducted by Cullen at the beginning of the month, “British Columbia-Northwest” beat out “Skeena-Bulkley Valley” 69 percent to 31.
MP Cullen is now asking for further feedback from members of the riding.
“Some folks got pretty passionate this week when I posted on Facebook that I’d be proposing to change the name of our riding to Skeena-Pacific Northwest on the basis of an online poll we did earlier this month and also people telling me for years our current name just doesn’t fit,” he said.
“A number of people didn’t feel properly consulted so we’re asking for further feedback until noon Pacific next Tuesday (December 5).”
Constituents are invited to comment via social media, email, riding offices or 1-888-622-0212.
“Names matter and being able to say where and who we are through our name is important to both those of us living in the riding and also to people outside, many of whom have no clue from our current name where our riding is actually located,” Cullen said.
Cullen said hundreds of people from all corners of Skeena-Bulkley Valley have approached him over the years, saying the current name reflects less than 30% of the people and geography of the 330,000-square kilometre riding.
With that in mind and in view of an invitation from House Leaders for MPs to propose riding name changes, Cullen launched an online poll seeking further constituent guidance.
What is now Skeena-Bulkley Valley began as the riding of New Westminster when BC became the sixth province to join Confederation in 1871. By the 1896 election, the electoral map had been re-drawn and the riding of Burrard was created, turning into Comox-Atlin in 1904, Skeena in 1917 and finally Skeena-Bulkley Valley in 2003.