One week after a salary scandal divided members of the Kwikwetlem First Nation in Coquitlam, the chief with the $914,000 compensation package has issued a statement.
Kwikwetlem Chief Ron Giesbrecht says he’s been focused on talking to his members over the past week, after news of the story broke.
He says four members have asked him to resign. There are 82 members in the first nation. Giesbrecht says “I am pleased to have support of majority of membership.”
He says he is paid $4,800 per year as chief, one of the lowest-paid in the country. That figure doesn’t include the $80,000 he received in salary as the band’s economic development officer.
$800,000 of Giesbrecht’s salary is an “economic development bonus,” for generating $8 million worth of economic activity. He says he never expected the band’s economic development program to be so successful.
“It means that Kwikwetlem First Nation is in a better position than it has ever been before. As a result we have improved things like our housing, our youth and elder support, our health programs,” says Giesbrecht.
He says the band is setting up a separate economic development company, with an independent board of directors. No word on whether or not Giesbrecht will be involved.
Full statement is below:
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