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Liberal Finance Minister Martin gives John Les send-off

Mayor nominated for Commons seat

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

CHILLIWACK, British Columbia - The federal election campaign of Chilliwack mayor John Les got an early start with the appearance of Liberal Finance Minister Paul Martin at Les' Chilliwack nomination meeting recently. Obviously pleased with the Les candidacy, Martin counseled the Pacific Rim province that more 'quality' candidates are needed in Ottawa in order to give the province a voice in federal affairs.

In a rousing, crowd-pleasing speech Martin confessed he got to know John Les as the head of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities making his case 'more articulately than anybody else' on a taxation matter involving local governments. 'I have been beaten up by John Les,' Martin said of his decision which could save the municipality hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Les who was unopposed for the nomination, was touted as 'a strong voice at the table' by a former candidate who moved the nomination of the Dutch-Canadian politician. As councilor and mayor, Les consistently fared well in elections. The new Liberal Party candidate was raised on a dairy farm owned by his parents who in the 1950s emigrated from the South Holland island of Goeree Overflakkee. Les' predecessor as mayor was John Jansen who entered provincial politics and went on to serve B.C. as Minister of Finance. Insiders expect popular councilor Casey Langbroek, an accountant, to run for mayor when Les resigns.