B.C. government rescinds Les earthquake job appointment

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver



A former parliamentary secretary has had an offer to be British Columbia’s earthquake preparedness consultant withdrawn a day after news of the $140,000-a-year job broke.

Premier Christy Clark said in question period the offer made to John Les had been rescinded when BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix brought up the subject.

“I became aware of the details of the contract yesterday afternoon,” Clark told the legislature. “Very clearly, they are not consistent with our commitment as a government to control government spending, to keep government small. So I have agreed with the attorney general that the offer will be withdrawn — has been withdrawn.”

BC NDP labour critic Shane Simpson said he didn’t believe the premier didn’t know.

“Is it believable that this is the first time the premier has heard about this decision to appoint this person who was her parliamentary secretary?” Simpson asked. “I just don’t believe that 140,000-a-year appointments of ex-Liberal politicians happen without somebody in the premier’s office being made aware of it.”

The Vancouver-Hastings MLA said there was no evidence to prove Les was qualified for the job and noted he was also a lobbyist and climate change denier.

Les currently has an appointment with the Farm Industry Review Board, a job the BC NDP said paid him $60,000 annually.



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