It looks like Cache Creek mayor John Ranta isn't the only municipal politician thinking about starting up a new provincial party. Public Eye has learned former Vernon mayor Wayne McGrath is chairing a six or seven member steering committee that has been working to bring British Columbia's minor parties together under one moderate "fiscally conservative, socially sensitive" roof (translation: we want to win). The committee, which heads an organization calling itself the B.C. Alternative, has been meeting for the past three months, says an insider. And a number of parties have already expressed interest in the idea.
Those parties include the British Columbia Conservative Party, the Reform Party of British Columbia and the British Columbia Unity Party. In fact, within the next two weeks, the insider says Unity will announce it's canceling its annual general meeting to host the BC Alternative merger talks - not surprising since Mr. McGrath is also the party's deputy leader. That announcement will be made at the legislature and include a number of prominent individuals who will be running for the new, yet-to-be-named party in the next election. A leadership race is expected to follow the merger talks.
Mr. Ranta reportedly has had some discussions with BC Alternative steering committee members but hasn't decided whether he'll jump aboard their band wagon.