After 30 years in politics

After 30 years in politics

Chilliwack MLA John Les won’t run for re-election

John Les joins MLAs Barry Penner and Kevin Falcon and won't carry the BC Liberal flag in the next provincial election.

Chilliwack MLA John Les won’t run for re-election in next year’s provincial election.

Les called local media to a press conference Thursday morning at his Chilliwack office where it is expected he will announce details of his decision.

Prior to the press conference Les released the following statement:

“This has been a difficult decision. Since first being elected to public office as an alderman in Chilliwack in 1983, there have been countless rewarding and fulfilling experiences” Les said. “I would particularly like to pay tribute to the two Premiers with whom I have had the pleasure to serve, Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark. Both are incredible people and both have made great contributions to British Columbia.”

Les is currently serving as Parliamentary Secretary to Premier Christy Clark, and since being elected as MLA in 2001 has served as Minister of Small Business and Economic Development and Public Safety and Solicitor General. Les was Mayor of Chilliwack for four terms between 1987 and 1999, having been first elected to City Council in 1983.

Les said leaving politics is bittersweet. He’s looking forward to new challenges and exploring new opportunities. But he’s going to miss all of the dedicated people – fellow MLAs, cabinet ministers, and staff members, who have worked so hard to build a better British Columbia for the last 11 years.

“It was an honour working with such dedicated people over the years. While we didn’t always agree on all issues, there was always a unity of purpose and direction that sustained us,” Les said.

“Most especially, I wish to thank my family for joining me on this extended journey. Political life is demanding and exacting, but it is with amazement I can say I have never lacked for complete support every step of the way. Many thanks are due to my wife Mattie and our six children. As well, my constituency assistant since 2001, Pam White, has provided loyal and dedicated service, for which I am grateful.”

Les also offered his thanks to the people of Chilliwack who have repeatedly placed their confidence in him – whether it was to elect him to city hall or to the provincial legislature.

“I trust I have been able to represent the people of Chilliwack well and hope they will forgive any shortcomings on my part,” Les said. “I am grateful that Chilliwack is a thriving and growing community. Our city is now home to the University of the Fraser Valley, the Pacific Regional Training Center of the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency, and the Justice Institute, all in the Canada Education Park, as well as many new private sector businesses. Our future is on the right track.

And what holds for Chilliwack, Les said, holds for the entire province.

“Our province went from worst to first and is now one of the leading jurisdictions in Canada, a remarkable achievement largely made possible by former Premier Campbell’s focus on economic opportunity and growth as well as investment in schools, universities, hospitals, highways, airports, and ports,” Les added. “Going forward, I am confident that Premier Clark will continue to build on these achievements with her ‘Jobs Agenda’, in particular her focus on LNG and resource development with the huge economic opportunities that can flow from those initiatives.

Les said British Columbia’s economic performance today is remarkably good, particularly in light of a fragile economic environment globally. Les will serve out his term as Chilliwack MLA and will continue to do everything he can to work for a prosperous future for all British Columbians.

“It is more important now than ever to stay the course on our economic plans,” Les said. “I will do everything I can to ensure Premier Clark and the BC Liberal government is re-elected in May 2013. Then, it will be time for me to think about other interesting opportunities I may want to explore.”

The BC Liberals will now be looking for candidates to run in both Chilliwack and Chilliwack-Hope, represented by Barry Penner until he decided to resign from politics altogether.


Just Posted

A CH-149 Cormorant from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron out of CFB Comox on a training exercise in Chilliwack on June 16, 2021. (William Snow photo)
VIDEO: Military search and rescue training in Chilliwack Wednesday

CH-149 Cormorant and CC-115 Buffalo from CFB Comox participated in downed aircraft rescue simulation

Stock photo by LEEROY Agency from Pixabay
Drop-in vaccination clinics slated in Abbotsford for construction workers

Among three sites in Lower Mainland holding no-appointment clinics in June and July

Chilliwack Spartans Swim Club coach Justin Daly.
Chilliwack Spartans swim coach Justin Daly wins Rubber Boot Award

Daly was recognized in a vote by fellow coaches in the BC Swim Coaches Association

Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021 on day 16 of her trial in BC Supreme Court. Labbee was convicted April 12 for the fatal hit-and-run of 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian on Dec. 1, 2016. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Sentencing hearing scheduled for 72-year-old Chilliwack woman found guilty in fatal hit-and-run

Crown will seek jail time for Linnea Labbee who struck and killed 78-year-old woman in 2016

Dr. Keith Carlson, director of Peace and Reconciliation Centre, will be the MC and moderator for the June 23 webinar Islamophobia: Seeking Solutions for Hate. (Submitted photo)
Seminar presented on Islamophobia: Seeking Solutions for Hate

UFV webinar on June 23 features speakers who will draw on lived experience

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Homicide investigators say the disappearance of a 33-year-old Burnaby man is linked to ongoing gang warfare in the Lower Mainland. (IHIT)
Disappearance of Burnaby man no accident, foul play suspected: IHIT

Parminder Paul Rai, 33, is known to police for his connection to drug and gang activity, says Sgt. Frank Jang

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August 2019 about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
Elections BC approves petition application for referendum on Surrey policing transition

Application was filed under Recall and Initiative Act by the widow of a Surrey murder victim

Fiery crash on the Okanagan Connector between two semis. (Facebook)
One dead after fiery Okanagan Connector crash between two semis

DriveBC estimates road won’t be open until 5 p.m.

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

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (Screenshot from Sebastian Sajda YouTube video)
VIDEO: Surrey mayor unceremoniously cuts off 22 speakers during public hearing

Speakers plead with Doug McCallum not to be disconnected but mayor reminds them to stay on topic

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Ridge Meadows RCMP seized drugs, cash and guns from a house on Lougheed Highway and 221 Street. (Special to The News)
RCMP seize drugs, cash and guns from Maple Ridge house

Items were recovered after search warrant executed on Lougheed Highway home June 11

Most Read