Former B.C. politician, Indigenous leader, ordered to stand trial on sex charges

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PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — A prominent First Nations leader and former provincial cabinet minister has been ordered to stand trial on all four sex charges against him following a preliminary hearing in Prince George, B.C.

The BC Prosecution Service confirmed the charges against Edward John will go forward after a preliminary hearing wrapped up last week.

John's next appearance is set for March 29 in B.C. Supreme Court to fix a date for trial on four counts of sexual intercourse with a female without consent.

The 71-year-old has pleaded not guilty to allegations related to a single person in the Prince George area that date back to 1974.

John, a lawyer and hereditary chief of the Tl'azt'en Nation, was appointed to the B.C. cabinet and served as minister for children and families in the New Democrat government between November 2000 and June 2001.

He has also played key roles in the First Nations Summit and Assembly of First Nations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press