Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.


The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Charges for bureaucrat but not Les in Chilliwack

A special prosecutor has declined to lay charges against former Solicitor General John Les, but has approved charges against a senior official who worked for Chilliwack when Les was mayor.

Special Prosecutor Robin McFee “concluded that the available evidence does not meet the threshold of a substantial likelihood that Mr. Les would be convicted of the offence of breach of trust by a public officer and concluded that a prosecution should not be initiated against Mr. Les,” said a statement from the province's criminal justice branch.

McFee did, however, approve criminal charges against Grant Sanborn, who was the approving officer for developments in Chilliwack while Les was mayor. He will be charged with three counts of breach of trust by a public officer.

The charges stem from Sanborn's approvals of a subdivision of properties near the intersection of Rosebank Place and Camp River Road--Les, by the way, was the developer and main proponent of that project--and the approval of a development known as the Trails at Longhorn Creek. In the latter, McFee found, Sanborn “acted with an intention to use his office for a purpose other than the public good.”

Sanborn's first appearance in court is scheduled for July 27 in Chilliwack.

Les, who was elected as an MLA in 2001, stepped down as solicitor general in March 2008 when it was revealed the RCMP were investigating whether he "improperly benefited" from dealings with land developers while he was mayor between 1987 and 1999.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus