Former Chilliwack MLA John Les

Former Chilliwack MLA John Les

Les joins lobby to block WTE

Former Chilliwack MLA John Les has registered as a lobbyist to oppose incineration in Metro Vancouver.

Within months of leaving office, former Chilliwack MLA John Les has been hired as a professional opponent to Metro Vancouver’s waste-to-energy incinerator plans.

Les registered as a lobbyist for Belkorp Environmental Services last month, an appointment that extends until Aug. 1, 2014. The company owns Wastech Services, which operates the Cache Creek Landfill.

“I was approached by them. Obviously their objectives fall very much in line with what has historically been my position on waste management in the Lower Mainland,” said Les. “The objective is that there would be no waste incineration in the Lower Mainland. I think the residents of the Fraser Valley here share that objective.”

During his time as MLA, Les vehemently opposed the proposed WTE project, citing concerns about emissions from the incinerator damaging the sensitive Fraser Valley airshed.

As a lobbyist, he will continue to advocate for solutions other than incineration.

“There is a requirement to maximize recycling before other options such as incineration. Landfilling should be considered. And if we do a good job of recylcing, then actually the very best fuels for incineration are taken out of the waste stream,” said Les. “We’ll obviously be pointing those things out, and we think there are better and more enlightened options for dealing with waste management, that will likely be much cheaper for the ratepayers.”

The part-time position is “natural” for Les.

“I see this as an ongoing part of my commitment I made to residents a long time ago. Whatever I could do to stop incineration, I would do that,” he said.

Belkorp has a history of recruiting ex-politicos to tug at the Environment Minister’s ear. Former deputy minister to the premier Ken Dobell served as a company lobbyist, while former finance minster Gary Collins served as senior vice-president.

Les’ expected lobbying target is Environment Minister Mary Polak, bus Les would not disclose specifics of his activities on Belkorp’s behalf.

“What I do on behalf of my client is a matter that is between me and my client. I cannot freely discuss all of their affairs and all of the things that happen. But bottom line is, I will do the very best job I can to bring about results,” he said.

Les is considering one more lobbying position, but hasn’t settled on a decision yet.

akonevski@theprogress.com
twitter.com/alinakonevski

Just Posted

Tourism Abbotsford has launched the ‘Let’s Go Do Something’ campaign to encourage visitors to check out all Abbotsford has to offer. (Tourism Abbotsford photo)
Tourism Abbotsford launches ‘Let’s Go Do Something’ campaign

Visitors encouraged to check out all Abbotsford has to offer this summer

A GoFundMe campaign has been started for Heather Jensen of Abbotsford, who is battling an aggressive form of breast cancer.
Online fundraiser started for Abbotsford woman fighting aggressive breast cancer

Heather Jensen is unable to work during her health battle

Temperature records were broken for June 21, 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
Record-breaking heat shimmered across Fraser Valley for second day

Tuesday should be a bit cooler says forecast from Environment Canada

Emil Anderson Maintenance is mowing the shoulder along Lougheed Highway in Agassiz, asking motorists to use extra caution around slow-moving vehicles on Tuesday and Wednesday. (Graphic/Emil Anderson Maintenance)
TRAFFIC: Slow-moving mowers working on Highway 7 shoulders in Agassiz on Tuesday, Wednesday

Mowing takes place Tues., Weds. between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Artists featured in the BLM Social Justice Art Project at UFV are (clockwise from top left): Michelle Msami, Dona Park, Rain Neeposh and Faria Firoz.
Black Lives Matter art exhibit opens at UFV in Abbotsford

Show features the work of four artists and runs until Sept. 15

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Val Litwin is the latest candidate to declare his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership. (Litwin campaign video)
Political newcomer joins contest for B.C. Liberal leadership

Val Litwin a former B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read