Earthquake appointment draws NDP ire

Former Chilliwack MLA John Les gets second government appointment, to head emergency preparedness project

As B.C. Solicitor General in 2005

VICTORIA – Former Chilliwack MLA John Les will be paid up to $140,000 to chair a province-wide consultation to report by the end of the year on earthquake preparedness.

Attorney General Suzanne Anton announced Tuesday that Les was chosen to chair the consultation, with Henry Renteria, former director of California’s Office of Emergency Services, serving as vice chair.

Les has unique experience as a former mayor of Chilliwack and former solicitor general in charge of the provincial emergency program, Anton said. That experience is why Les will be paid more than Renteria, who will make up to $100,000.

Anton refused to say if any other candidates were interviewed for the job. It is the second appointment for Les since retiring as an MLA before the 2013 election. He is also making up to $60,000 a year to chair the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board, to which he was appointed last November for a three-year term.

Anton said Les will forgo severance pay, an extension of the $101,000 MLA salary given to retiring and defeated MLAs for up to 15 months, because he has other income.

Les is also registered as a lobbyist, representing Belkorp Environmental Services, which operates the Cache Creek landfill. Belkorp is promoting garbage recycling facilities instead of additional incineration proposed by Metro Vancouver as the Cache Creek facility fills up.

NDP critic Shane Simpson said the apparent lack of a candidate search shows the appointment is patronage for a long-time supporter of the B.C. Liberals.

“Here we have this retired politician who has a full pension, already has a $60,000 patronage appointment, is a lobbyist, and now is about to get another $140,000 for some dubious notion he’s an expert about emergency preparedness,” Simpson said. “It truly does make the case that Les is more in this case.”

The Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation calculates that after 12 years as an MLA, Les qualifies for $48,289 a year in MLA pension once he turns 65.

 

Just Posted

VicPD honours seven citizens for their courage and dedication

Civic Service Awards presented at ceremony in Hall of Honour

‘It’s just hair:’ Central Saanich woman chops her locks for Wigs for Kids

Wigs for Kids BC will receive two 12-inch braids from Brentwood Bay resident Liza Glynn

Oak Bay volunteer fair aims to sow seeds of giving time

Oak Bay Volunteer Services hopes to attract the next generation

New orca calf in Salish Sea ‘healthy and active’

Birth cause for celebration but things still dire genetically, expert says

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Second fatal crash occurs in Alberni Valley

Traffic on Highway 4 is being re-routed as investigators are en route

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

VIDEO: Mattress fire at Cowichan Hospital under investigation

The Cowichan District Hospital was locked down on Tuesday afternoon due to… Continue reading

Most Read