John has lived in British Columbia his entire life. He was raised in the Crows Nest Pass, Kamloops and North Vancouver. He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science from the Faculty of Forestry in 1972.
After graduation, John worked in the BC coastal forest industry. He has lived and worked in Duncan, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Ucluelet, Port Clements, Sayward, Courtenay and Campbell River.
John has been involved in many community level volunteer activities; Chair of the Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Recreation Commission, Head of the Logger Sports, and President of the Historical Society which has given him a keen understanding of local priorities and issues in Coastal communities.
John was first elected to the House of Commons in 1993 and has remained committed to serving our region. In 2008, John became Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs and Northern Development. In August 2010, he was appointed Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. In 2011 he continued his appointment as Minister but under the new title of Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development until 2013 when he stepped down.
Throughout his career John has always been, and continues to be, motivated by his commitment to public service and to serve the constituents of Vancouver Island North.