He was first elected to the Legislature in 2005 as MLA for Juan de Fuca, and has been re-elected four times. He became leader of the BCNDP in 2014.
A husband and father, John and his wife Ellie have two grown sons. John and his siblings were raised in Saanich by his mother, after his father passed away when he was very young. John grew up playing sports and was a natural leader at school, on the basketball court and in the lacrosse box.
As a young man John worked in a BC mill and in a joinery. He earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Trent University in Ontario and Sydney University in Australia. A meeting with Tommy Douglas sparked his interest in social democracy and he went on to work for Members of Parliament in Ottawa.
In 2001, John started a management and research consulting company helping both private and public sector organizations.
A cancer survivor, he is a passionate advocate for health care, public schools and community services for families.