As the Member of Parliament for the “most beautiful place on Earth,” and one of the country’s most vibrant communities, John Weston returns to his riding almost every weekend when the House is in session. When the House is not in session, he continues to travel throughout the riding’s six coastal communities to meet with constituents and address their issues.
Fiercely dedicated to the people he serves, John has hosted innumerable forums to ensure he’s hearing their views, from small meetings in his three constituency offices; to gatherings in coffee shops, in classrooms, and in large town hall settings.
Working in close collaboration with local leaders, John has been involved in the investment of over $240 million of Federal funds for more than 100 different legacy projects, distributed throughout the many communities of our riding.
As Member of Parliament, John has worked on several projects to promote environmental sustainability, including initiatives to bring job-creating clean technology opportunities to the region. John recognizes the importance of the environment in driving our economy and supports establishing a Green Highway corridor of clean alternative transportation, extending from Whistler, through Vancouver to the Canada/US border, where it would continue along the I-5 through Washington State and beyond to California.
Community leaders from across the riding are in regular contact with John to promote economic development and jobs. Having seen the leadership role John took in hosting Finance Minister Jim Flaherty for a town hall meeting in January 2009, in the early part of the recession, business and labour leaders regularly consult with John to ensure he receives up-to-date, relevant guidance on issues relating to the economy and jobs; he has attended several round table discussions in the mining and forest sectors and liaised closely with the Minister of Natural Resources on several riding-specific initiatives.
John encourages legislative changes to help Canadian families keep more of their hard-earned money and have the financial security to raise their children and plan for the future. John supports this government’s policies to reduce taxes and save for the future, whether this is reducing the GST, establishing the TFSA, providing $1200 per child (under age 6) per year, establishing the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, or introducing the Arts Tax Credit.
Seniors have worked hard to make Canada the wonderful country it is and John believes that their contributions should be valued and recognized. So John supported the Government’s action against Elder Abuse. He also supported raising the age credit amount on two occasions, doubling the pension income credit, introducing pension income-splitting and providing help for low-income seniors.
John leveraged his ability to speak Mandarin and his international relations background to promote our riding’s commercial and cultural interests in the Pacific Rim. Over the past few years, he has met leaders of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and hosted in the riding senior groups of legislators from China and Japan, to promote economic opportunities here.
Leaders in various language communities have worked with John to promote business, investment, tourism, and the attraction of foreign students to our area. The Chinese-language community worked with John to produce the first-ever North Shore Asian New Year Celebration last January; John accompanied Prime Minister Harper on the Prime Minister’s first-ever visits to China, Hong Kong, and Korea; John was the first-ever Government Liaison to the Persian and Iranian Community; and Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney has visited the riding on several occasions, at John’s invitation.
The attraction of business, investment, tourism, and students from abroad have been major themes in John’s work to leverage the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games – 70% of the Games’ sites were in the riding John represents. His January 2010 Town Hall on “Post-Games Legacies” focused on those four themes.
Responding to calls from experienced people in the fishing industry in our riding, John called upon the Prime Minister to act on their concerns which helped bring about the launch of the Cohen Inquiry. At John’s invitation, the Fisheries Committee visited our riding for the first time in over a decade. He also developed an effective citizens’ Fisheries Advisory Group to keep him abreast of relevant developments.
In a rare achievement, particularly for a first-term M.P., John garnered unanimous support in the House for his Private Member’s Bill, which makes it a crime to buy the products for producing crystal meth and ecstasy drugs. Bill C-475 was passed into law on March 25, 2011, the last day of the 40th Parliament, one of only six Private Member’s Bills that were enacted in the recent Parliamentary Session (approx. 400 were presented).
John has helped improve harmony in the House of Commons by initiating the Parliamentary Fitness Initiative, which brings together M.P.’s from all parties with national fitness coaches, in an attempt to promote health and fitness for all Canadians.
Whether in speeches in the House of in less formal comments in Committee, John is fluent in three languages – both of Canada’s Official Languages, in addition to Mandarin. He is also learning to speak Farsi.
Many Cabinet Ministers have accepted John’s invitation to visit our riding to advance their understanding of issues, such as economic development, fisheries, the environment, seniors, and sport & fitness.
John is a passionate advocate for human rights and has spoken on numerous occasions, in the House, at home, and abroad to urge action against oppression.
To help deliver these services to one of the largest ridings in Canada, John has assembled a first-rate team of staff and volunteers.
Personal: John studied International Relations at Harvard and Law at Osgoode Hall; and he has studied languages in Switzerland, Poland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Based in Taiwan for 10 years, his work has taken him throughout the Pacific Rim. He has run successful law firms in Taiwan and Vancouver, and is a member of the bars of B.C. and New York, and of the Law Society of England & Wales. A well-established constitutional lawyer, in 2002 he was a founder of the Canadian Constitution Foundation. With a long background of community service that predates his work as parliamentarian, John chaired Canadian Food for the Hungry International and, in West Vancouver, coached soccer and helped lead Beavers and Cubs.
Family: John and his active family – wife, Donna, and children, Shane, 14; Jake, 12; and Meimei, 11 – enjoy a wide range of sports. Among other things, he ran the Ottawa Marathon in May 2010 and cycled in the inaugural 120-kilometre “Gran Fondo” bike race from Vancouver to Whistler, on September 11, 2010.