Federal Conservative house leader John Reynolds has confirmed the party's caucus will be discussing whether to support the new provincial Conservative initiative at their next meeting, which is scheduled for October 1 and 2. In an interview with Public Eye, Mr. Reynolds, who is currently attending the Republican convention in New York, said, "I know there's people who think it should be there and believe we should have a Conservative party in every province of Canada at the provincial level. And our caucus wants to have a full discussion about that at the end of the month."
Mr. Reynolds said the item had been placed on the agenda following a discussion between himself and Conservative leader Stephen Harper. During an interview with Georgia Straight columnist Bill Tieleman, Mr. Reynolds previously threatened to form a provincial Conservative party because of the close connections between the provincial and federal Liberals.
But when asked whether he personally supported this new initiative, Mr. Reynolds told Public Eye "I'd rather not say right now. I am the house leader for the party. And I have to respect what our caucus decision is going to be. But I'll make my decision in caucus. And we'll come out of it as a caucus - unanimous - with a statement on what position we want to take."
Some Conservatives, though, don't seem to want to wait that long. Today, Okanagan Shushwap MP Darrel Stinson announced he would be backing the new provincial party - something Mr. Reynolds said is entirely understandable.
"Every member in our party is free to do what they want to do. And some of our members have provincial Liberals actively out there supporting federal Liberals in the last election."
Mr. Stinson previously attended Unity's 2003 annual general meeting, along with fellow Canadian Alliance MPs John Cummins and John Duncan. Former Pentincton MP Jim Hart was also in attendance.