Benjamin Wolfe at the July 25 District of Hope council meeting.

VIDEO: Council denies man with sex offence record a business licence

Benjamin Wolfe wanted to start an entertainment and tour guiding business.

Benjamin Wolfe will not get his business licence, District of Hope council decided in-camera.

Council outlined three reasons for the denial in a letter to Wolfe.

First, it stated that his sex offence placed him on the British Columbia Registered Sex Offenders List and he only finished his probation in June.

Wolfe had sex with an underage, 17-year-old prostitute in 2013.

Secondly, it said there will be “considerable public apprehension for public safety,” particularly since his businesses will put him in contact with minors.

Lastly, council noted his “aggressive” demeanour during his presentation and “unprofessional business documents.”

“You would not be acceptable as an ambassador of Hope to incoming tourists,” said the letter.

Wolfe presented to council as a delegation at the July 25 meeting, asking for approval for a licence to start two businesses. One would involve tour guiding and the other being a music entertainment business.

Mayor Wilfried Vicktor noted that Wolfe has been given an opportunity to present his case in an in-camera meeting, but he said Wolfe wants it done in a public setting.

His tour guiding business would take tourists from tour buses around town for $5.

“I saw three tour buses the other day. Nobody to greet them. Nobody to tell them where to go,” said Wolfe. “Merchants are basically being denied business because nobody is there to greet them. It is absolute insanity.”

He also wants to start a Las Vegas-style cabaret with the latest karaoke and music equipment, stating that the two empty rooms above the recreation centre could host them.

“I consider myself to be somewhat of a Michael Jackson dancer — a very upbeat, boisterous, enthusiastic, karaoke singer,” said Wolfe.

After his presentation, Mayor Vicktor probed into Wolfe’s criminal record, engendering a boisterous and enthusiastic response.

“You have been engaging in services of an underaged prostitute,” said Vicktor to Wolfe.

Wolfe emphasized that the prostitute was 17-years-old.

“I don’t want the public to think that it is a very young person. She was 17-years-old, the legal age is 18,” said Wolfe. “I have had a clean record for five years, I have no contact with the police. I am a legitimate citizen.

“I made one mistake, Mr. Mayor, and I paid the penalty. But I was told she was of legal age.”

Read the full article in this week’s Standard.

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