Ratting out

Last week, provincial Conservative membership and constituency association development chair Dean Skoreyko told The Tyee's Andrew Macleod that Blair Lekstrom's decision to resign as a cabinet minister and a Liberal caucus member was an "ass saving move," suggesting the Peace River South MLA was a "rat." But Randy White - who chairs the Conservatives' tactical advisory group - has distanced himself and his party from Mr. Skorekyo's comments. In an interview on Public Eye Radio, Mr. White said, "Well, first of all he's not a spokesperson for the party. That's his opinion. But, certainly, it's not my opinion and it's not the opinion of the people I'm advising."

"When a person leaves a party it's not just an easy decision they make. They're going to disappoint a lot of people. They do it on conviction. And I give him full credit, quite frankly for standing up for what he believes in and making his decision. It's not an easy one. And he's going to spend many sleepless nights for a while wondering if it was the right thing, if he's truly committed to himself and that sort of thing. So I congratulate him," he continued.

As for whether Mr. Lekstrom would be welcome in the Conservatives, Mr. White said, "Of course. The bottom-line is the Conservatives in British Columbia could always use a member of the legislature because they don't have any seats there. And I had always said - and I was thinking about Blair when I said this - that, before the next election, there will be Conservative MLAs in the legislature. That's going to happen because there is a major rift now in the Liberals."

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Media handling structure BC Conservative Party circulated to party personnel by President Wayne McGrath:

"When contacted by the media (as a representative of the BCCP), you should refer them to either myself or our Media Liaison, Dean Skoreyko. Obviously, common sense will prevail. If the question relates to factual information such as Party website address, names of Party Directors, etc., this information should be provided. However, questions regarding Party policy should not be addressed."

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