Benjamin Wolfe

Council denies sex offender a business licence

But Benjamin Wolfe said he is finding other means to open his tour guiding and entertainment businesses.

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.”

Wolfe questioned whether the District could deny him a business licence based on that criminal offence. He argued that many people with criminal records still had business licences.

Vicktor then questioned Wolfe’s motives of spending a lot of time at a Memorial Park playground.

“When Mr. Mayor? When? Last year when I was homeless and wanting to commit suicide. That’s when Mr. Mayor,” said Wolfe. “I have not been in this park this year.”

His presentation ended with a short puppet show with Suzy, the head of a mannequin. Wolfe sung Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.

“This is Suzy here,” said Wolfe.

“Hi everybody, hi friends, hi councillors. I’m Suzy, I’m trying to get a business licence here, so I can get some diamonds,” said Suzy.

Responding to the letter of rejection on Tuesday, Wolfe argues that council has it wrong. He said that his business will not put him in contact with minors.

“99.9 per cent of my functions will be for adults,” said Wolfe.

He defended his aggressive behaviour at council as a response to the mayor.

“The mayor was nitpicking me,” said Wolfe. “I was aggressive because the mayor was acting like judge and jury again of my offence that happened five years ago.”

But Wolfe said he has found a loophole.

“I don’t need a business licence. I don’t need to pay taxes. I don’t need to fix the potholes in the road. I’ve found a loophole,” said Wolfe. “I’m a step ahead of these people.”

Wolfe said he will not reveal the complete plan, but said he has found an English to Mandarin translator for his documents.

“The bylaw officer won’t be able to understand the sign I’ve got, and if he tries to fine me, I’ll take him before the judge and they’ll throw it right out,” said Wolfe. “The bureaucrats in city hall can’t do a darned thing against me because I’m abiding by the law.”