HST a catalyst, says McGrath

BC Conservative president says the party has more to offer than anger over the HST

Wayne McGrath ... tax issues top the list

Wayne McGrath ... tax issues top the list

While he concedes it doesn’t hurt, Wayne McGrath says it’s going to take more than long-simmering resentment about the imposition of the HST to make his BC Conservative Party an electoral contender in the province.

That’s why, McGrath, the president of the newly-invigorated party, said the party’s upcoming AGM in Nanaimo is so important.

Interviewed during a stopover in Qualicum Beach Tuesday, McGrath said anger over the tax will likely help his party’s fortunes, regardless of the outcome of the HST referendum.

“If it’s a yes vote, then that, in my opinion, would be an indictment against the current Liberal government,” he said. “Even a no vote would likely be very close. People are really upset.”

That anger, he said, has already sparked a remarkable resurgence of the long-sidelined party, but now it’s time to take things one step farther and offer a positive alternative.

“What people want now is some hope,” he said. “They are fed up with the Liberal government and a lot have a fear of the NDP. They want an alternative, a party they can have some hope in. It’s up to us to show them what we stand for.”

The party will have a chance to do just that on Saturday, Sept. 24, when members gather at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo.

Besides bringing in a new board of directors, he said the meeting will provide the party an opportunity to present the province with a set of policies that can provide a positive choice.

Topping the list, he hinted, will likely be taxation issues. The party will also, he said, address other areas of concern at the AGM.

“Health care waiting lists are so long and people see the fiasco with BC Ferries, the billion dollar smart metre program and ICBC rates going up,” he said. “School boards are paying extremely high salaries to not only teaching staff but also administrative staff, and there is a huge number of Crown corporations and agencies that should be reviewed and will be reviewed under a Conservative government.”

Such a government, he conceded, remains a long way off, but the first steps on that road have been taken and the vistas those steps have opened up have been nothing but encouraging.


Just Posted

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased in Parksville

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Map of the site of a proposed 60-unit building project in French Creek. (RDN map)
Legal counsel wants board to award development permit for French Creek project

Issue is on agenda for RDN board meeting on June 22

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Most Read