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

Chilliwack prolific offender wanted yet again

B.C.-wide warrant issued for David Allen Geoghegan

One man, two women charged with stolen pickup downtown Chilliwack

None of the three have criminal history in B.C.

Chilliwack-Hope MP says new summer jobs grant application no longer includes ‘values test’

Those with anti-abortion beliefs left out last year because of requirement to respect the Charter

Agassiz Community Gardens hoping to find new home at old McCaffrey school

The society has been looking for a new location since its previous gardens were sold in October

RCMP asking for public input in upper Fraser Valley

Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison and Hope residents can share their thoughts on local policing

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

VIDEO: Giants wrap southern swing with 6-4 win in Spokane

The Lower Mainland-based hockey team defeated the Chiefs Friday night.

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read