04/03/2015 04:30 EDT | Updated 06/03/2015 05:59 EDT

Ron Giesbrecht Re-Elected B.C. First Nations Chief

The highest-earning chief in Canada won re-election, despite widespread criticism.

Kwikwetlem First Nation

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 the Vancouver-area community of 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 First Nation.

Giesbrecht's 30 votes beat out his competitor's 16 to give him the election victory in a vote conducted March 31.



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