COQUITLAM, B.C. – A controversial First Nations chief in British Columbia has won re-election despite drawing widespread criticism last year for accepting a nearly $1-million paycheque.
Ron Giesbrecht has won a new mandate to lead the tiny Kwikwetlem (kwee-kwet-lum) First Nation in Coquitlam, which consists of only about 80 members.
The lion’s share of Giesbrecht’s $1 million in pay was a bonus for brokering a land deal with the province as the band’s economic development officer.
Some members of the band were quick to offer public messages of support for their leader, whose payday made him the highest-earning chief in the country.
Giesbrecht has said that while four band members wanted his resignation, he had the support of the majority of the aboriginal community located in Coquitlam.
Giesbrecht’s 30 votes beat out his competitor’s 16 to give him the election victory.