Former Tory parliamentarian Reed Elley is on the provincial Conservatives' tactical advisory group, Public Eye has learned. In an interview, Mr. Elley said he was invited to join the group - which is chaired by Randy White - after having taken out a party membership eight months ago. Asked why he has cast his lot with the Conservatives, the ex-Nanaimo-Cowichan MP stated, "I think those of us who have been more conservatives within and have been supportive over the years of the BC Liberal Party have practically grown weary of the way the BC Liberals have been conducting themselves and don't see it as a political home anymore. And we just feel we need to have an alternative that is far more conservative than what the BC Liberals are prepared to give us."
Mr. Elley acknowledged some federal Conservatives have long felt uncomfortable supporting the provincial Liberals. But "there's been a number of things that have happened lately that have been disturbing" - among them the way in which the Campbell administration introduced the harmonized sales tax. "That was sort of the straw that broke the camel's back," he explained.