A version of this story is available on the Vancouver Observer.
John Les is the new Parliamentary Secretary for HST information. It’s worth an extra $15,000 a year – a little gift from the Premier to John.
Perfect, a snake oil vendor in charge of vending snake oil. Les has an estimable record selling dubious propositions. In fact he was recently investigated for a shady real estate deal he made while Mayor of Chilliwack.
Les wasn’t charged but the municipal official who made Les’ deal possible was – with breach of trust. His case is still before the courts.
Here’s what Special Prosecutor Robin McFee said about John Les, our new Parliamentary Secretary for HST information.
“The RCMP investigated the processes that resulted in the creation of the Rosebank subdivision. The RCMP ascertained that in August of 1997, during his tenure as Mayor, Mr. Les entered into contracts of purchase and sale for three adjoining properties near the intersection of Rosebank Place and Camp River Road. One of these transactions involved the purchase and sale of 6.3 acres of an existing 11.2 acre farm. This farm was included within the Agricultural Land Reserve and therefore subject to the provisions of the ALCA.
“Mr. Les’ development plan, as structured, did not require any application to be made to the Agricultural Land Commission, nor any input from the Agricultural Land Commission. Rather the approval of the subdivision vested with Mr. Grant Sanborn, the municipally appointed Approving Officer.
“When interviewed by the investigators, Mr. Les acknowledged that the goal of the Rosebank subdivision/development plan was to create “nice residential properties in the agricultural zone”. The creation of residential properties in the agricultural zone was contrary to Chilliwack’s Official Community Plan and was also contrary to the intent of the ALCA and Regulations. As such, it can be reasonably said that the Rosebank subdivision should not have been permitted to proceed.
“The Special Prosecutor concluded that the available evidence supports the conclusion that Mr. Sanborn gave Mr. Les preferential treatment in the rezoning and subdivision of these lands.”
Are you as confident as I am that we will now get the straight goods on the HST?