“Maybe it’s just an award for hanging around the longest,” joked NDP Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen when talking about how it felt to be named Parliamentarian of the Year.

Cullen has been representing the Skeena—Bulkley Valley for the last 14 years, after first being elected in 2004.

Over the years he has been voted most knowledgeable and has twice been voted best speaker, a credit he says he owes all to his partner Diana.

“I mostly credit Diana, she is always making sure I talk in a way that people at home understand what the issues of parliament are.”

Joking aside, Cullen says he is honoured to have the respect of his colleagues, praising the vote as one of the few times that MPs look beyond party lines and congratulate one another.

He says the recognition is excellent for shedding light on the issues facing constituents in the riding.

“It remains the greatest privilege of my life outside of having kids and getting married, it’s just a huge thing for me to speak on behalf of people in the Northwest because it is a huge thing when we get attention,” Cullen said.