McGrath puts politics aside

Vernon's Wayne McGrath stepping back from B.C. Conservative Party presidential seat

A Vernon resident is stepping back from provincial politics.

Wayne McGrath will not seek another term as president during the B.C. Conservative Party’s annual general meeting in Nanaimo Sept. 24.

“It’s consumed a lot of time and it’s not healthy to have any one person in a position indefinitely,” said McGrath, who has been president for four years.

McGrath, who is a former mayor of Vernon, is pleased with the direction the party has taken in recent years.

“We’re moving forward,” he said.

The number of constituency associations has grown from one to 51 in four years, while there are 2,000 members and policies are being reviewed.

“A lot of the interest has to do with John Cummins coming on as leader,” said McGrath of the former MP who became party leader earlier this year.

“He is a voice of experience and well respected.”

McGrath admits, though, that public opposition to the Liberal government has also helped the Conservatives’ fortunes.

“If the Liberals were doing a good job, there wouldn’t be a chance for any other party,” he said.

“There is also still a fear about the NDP and people are looking for an alternative.”

A provincial election doesn’t legally have to be held until 2013, but there’s speculation Premier Christy Clark will drop the writ this fall. McGrath isn’t sure if that’s the case.

“We will be prepared for an election, we have to be. We’re already recruiting candidates,” he said.

McGrath believes the outcome of the referendum on the harmonized sales tax will determine if there is an election.

“If it’s extinguished, that could be the last nail in the coffin for the Liberals. People are fed up with how it was brought in.”


he said.