Farmland boundary changes improper: ALC
B.C.'s Agricultural Land Commission has concluded that 66 parcels of land in Chilliwack were improperly subdivided within the Agricultural Land Reserve between 1991 and 2009, CBC News has learned.
The Commission announced the conclusion in a report after reviewing boundary adjustments in which the farm land had been turned into new rural residential subdivisions, effectively removing it from province's agricultural land bank.
The finding could play a role in the RCMP investigation involving B.C. Liberal MLA and former Chilliwack mayor John Les.
Les resigned as B.C. solicitor general in March 2008 in the wake of allegations that he and his family benefitted improperly from developers who created subdivisions' in the Chilliwack area, many of which were developed while Les was mayor.
At the centre of the controversy was the Rosebank development, which was built on land where boundaries had been redrawn during Les's mayoral tenure.
A special prosecutor was appointed as part of the investigation into Les's business activities in 1997.
Les was mayor of Chilliwack between 1987 and 1999.
One of the boundary adjustments that the commission has deemed "inconsistent" with existing regulations included land Les allegedly owned through a numbered company, according to the review.
"I am aware of the report," Les told CBC News in Victoria Wednesday. "But until the special prosecutor is finished his work, I am not commenting."
B.C.'s Agricultural Land Commission manages the Agricultural Land Reserve, which was formed to protect farmland in the province.
The Commission states in its report that it is too late to do anything about the developments, but does recommend that Chilliwack rescind a policy of allowing boundary adjustments like many of those that occurred in the city between 1991 and 2009.