Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Million Dollar Chief - Ron Giesbrecht : Update

The B.C. chief who made close to a million dollars last year in his role as both chief and economic development officer of the First Nation -- said he will not resign. Last week, several members of the band held a press conference calling for Kwikwetlem Chief Ron Giesbrecht to step down after his $914,219 salary was made public under the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, which required all band financial statements to be posted online.
Giesbrecht is responsible for just 82 band members only half of whom live on the reserve, located 30 km west of Vancouver.

Giesbrecht said he has been talking to band members and now has their support to remain chief. "I am pleased to have support of the majority of membership,"
It turns out that the $8 million “economic development” project that delivered Giesbrecht a $800,000 bonus was provincial government money used to “extinguish” a land claim on Burke Mountain.

The B.C. Ministry of Finance said the Kwikwetlem First Nation was paid to “extinguish” future claims on a plot of Crown land that was being sold off by the province. Mr. Giesbrecht collected a 10% bonus amounting to $800,000 thanks to his dual role as the economic development officer for the band.

The chief continues to hide behind a faulty interpretation of a non-disclosure agreement in order to prevent details from being revealed to Kwikwetlem members and taxpayers.

His tax-free income is almost triple that of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Mr. Giesbrecht does not have overwhelming support of the people on the reserve,” Moore said, noting many of them live in poverty and poor housing on the reserve while Giesbrecht lives in the Westwood Plateau neighbourhood of Coquitlam.

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