Just can’t stay away from that public trough
Opinion – By Mike Archer. Wait for it … you’ll be surprised … John Les just got another retirement job. This one pays more than his other two politically controversial retirement jobs combined.
UPDATE 3/12/2014 – According to Black Press Premier Christy Clark just cancelled the deal Susan Anton made to hire John Less, saying she only heard of it when it was announced.
John has not been shy about controversial positions which might be interpreted by some as benefiting himself at taxpayers’ expense.
First we heard about how our developer mayor had managed to get land out of the Agricultural Land Reserve when others couldn’t. Then we watched as Grant Sanborn, Les’ development director, was hung out to dry for Chilliwack’s dodgy manner of taking land out of the ALR and into the hands of developers.
Then, thanks to the Les-Sanborn shenanigans, in order to get approval for non-agricultural land use applications approved by the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), Chilliwack began being forced to jump through extraordinary hoops, even on what it describes as fairly routine applications. Wonder why?
Long after he oversaw the ruination of hundreds, perhaps thousands of acres of pristine forest lands by the gravel industry as Chair of the Fraser Valley Regional District, he tried to gain access to the Fraser River’s gravel for the gravel companies by playing on the fears of the public after last year’s catastrophic Calgary flood.
The next step in Les’ retirement was to sign on as a lobbyist, to represent represent Belkorp Environmental Services, operators of the Cache Creek landfill which will lose business if Vancouver opts to burn its garbage and reduce its carbon footprint. They pay him $40,000 a year to represent their interests with a government of which he used to be a part until he was let out of cabinet during the Les-Sanborn affair.
Then he got a government job as chair of the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board for which we pay him $60,000 a year.
Now, according to NDP critic Shane Simpson, with no apparent candidate search to find him, Les just picked up another retirement job as the chair of a government organization which will report on earthquake preparedness for a cool $140,000 a year.
“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.”
According to Tom Fletcher of Black Press, “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.”
With all that farmland taken out of the ALR, and all that gravel taken out both at the bottom and at tghe top of our Fraser Valley mountains, it just might be appropriate that the guy who will get the blame for the fact we aren’t prepared enough for the earthquake which come up the branch of the San Andras fault which comes right under Sumas Mountain.
Who says theirs no poetry in politics.
For John’s full history at the public trough click here.