Today, The Times Colonist's Rob Shaw reported rural agency store owners were "warned by former solicitor general John Les to keep their complaints out of the media or lose any chance of help from the provincial government." In an email sent to those owners in 2007, Mr. Les said, "All this talk and e-mails flying around is not helpful. It will get out to those who are not helpful and a huge fuss will break out and I won't be able to help you. Let's keep this very low profile. One more question in QP or an article in the paper and it's over." But this isn't the first time Mr. Les has reportedly made such statements to a stakeholder group.
In September 2006 letter sent to Premier Gordon Campbell and New Democrat leader Carole James, the then president of the Canadian Association of Home Inspectors (BC) Bill Sutherland accused Mr. Les of verbally abusing him. This, after Mr. Sutherland wrote an earlier letter to Premier Gordon Campbell encouraging the government to regulate home inspections.
Describing the abuse he received, Mr. Sutherland alleged the minister told him, "the association was overreacting and that if we ever wrote to the premier again, he would drop the issue of consumer protection for B.C. homebuyers."
At the time, Mr. Les denied he'd threatened to drop the issue if the home inspectors went to the premier again. "That would be a silly thing to do," he told reporters.