In the Government Relations area of his practice, John aims to achieve the most for his clients while expending the least resources. His strengths include solid academic and professional credentials, linguistic skills, international experience, a broad network of relationships, experience in government, and work in the non-profit sector.
John’s ability to assist clients in Government Relations includes analysis and strategy to achieve positive outcomes, whether the government is domestic or foreign; local, provincial, federal, or Aboriginal. John’s facility in English, French, and Mandarin parallel his excellent ability to find common ground among various parties that might seem to have dramatically divergent interests.
John’s education and experience in Government Relations include his:
studies at Harvard University, where he received an Honors Degree in Government (1980). His undergraduate thesis was on finding common ground between polarized elements of labor and management in the politics of British Columbia;
volunteer work at Harvard, where he served as President of both the International Students Association and the Canadian Club;
language and culture studies in Switzerland, Poland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan;
law studies at Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.B. ’83);
membership in the Law Society of British Columbia, the New York Bar, and the Law Society of England & Wales;
studies at Harvard Business school (Owner/President Management Diploma ’98);
work in government in two summer intern jobs, in Constitutional Affairs, for his home province, British Columbia, and, as a Federalist, working in the French language for the separatist government of Rene Leveque, in Quebec;
strong business experience from real estate development and from running law firms in Taiwan and Canada;
decade of life and work in Asia (1986-97);
service as one of the first two Canadians at the Canadian Trade office in Taipei, Canada’s informal diplomatic office (1986-7);
work at large national and international law firms and at small entrepreneurial law firms that he created or co-founded;
founding the “world’s smallest law firm”, Weston & Associates. His fledgling firm grew to become Pan Pacific Law Corporation, which at one time encompassed a partnership with Canadian national law firm, Bennett Jones (1989-97). At that time, John operated law offices in Taiwan’s three largest cities and cultivated correspondent relationships with law firms throughout the Pacific Rim. Cases typically involved at least two languages, countries, and types of law;
service as Member of Parliament for one of Canada’s largest, most diverse, and most challenging constituencies, West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country. John was elected twice, in 2008 and 2011, and served in the House of Commons between 2008 and 2015. During those two sessions, out of 308 MP’s and 105 Senators, he was one of only two legislators who got two Private Member’s Bills passed. In that period, only John received unanimous support for two such bills, in both the House of Commons and the Senate. The first dealt with Crystal Meth and Ecstasy (Bill C-475) and the second promoted National Health and Fitness (Bill S-211). John had three other Private Members’ Initiatives underway when Parliament was dissolved for the 2015 election, on Recovery from Substance Abuse, Safe Use of Prescription Drugs, and Abandoned Vessels.
advocacy for over 100 projects in his riding, which benefited from over $280 million in Federal funding;
developing one of the top-rated MP websites in 2013 and 2014;
helping constituents achieve four successes in and around Canadian Federal Budget 2015: rewriting the Registered Retirement Investment Fund (“RRIF”) rules for seniors, obtaining Federal Government investment in the Fisheries Laboratory in West Vancouver, winning support for the Pacific Salmon Foundation, and increasing government financial support for the promotion of tourism.
John maintains homes in both Ottawa and Vancouver, splitting his time between the cities and traveling elsewhere, as clients require. His presence in Canada’s Pacific Rim and Capital Cities provides a distinct advantage to clients who need assistance in Government Relations.
Principles Which Guide John Weston’s Thinking
In his government work, John learned that titles, job descriptions, and apparent departmental lines of responsibility are often overstated in importance. Good ideas effectively formulated, clearly communicated, and broadly supported can often carry the day.
What People Are Saying....
Managing Partner, Tricor Pacific Capital Inc.
“As a lawyer myself , I have been on both sides of the solicitor-client equation. I have been on the Management Committee of a Major Law Firm and a client, as Managing Partner of one of Western Canada’s leading Private Equity Funds. I believe clients want a determined, highly skilled professional advocate with well educated mind. Having seen John in action as my Member of Parliament, I know clients will get the benefit of these qualities with him as their lawyer.”
Former Chief Financial Officer, The Loewen Group
“When I needed someone to navigate through the complex web of government relations in the Pacific Rim, I looked to John to assist the company of which I was a senior officer. Mindful of delivering good value for money, John kept in close touch to ensure his work on our behalf represented our firm’s interests effectively.”
Vice President, Pacific Salmon Foundation
“John Weston was a leading champion for the Pacific Salmon Foundation during his time as a Member of Parliament. He was an effective go-to person in Ottawa for us when we needed to raise Pacific salmon issues with the government. We were able to demonstrably strengthen our relationships in the House of Commons and expand our partnerships with the government thanks to John. He possesses a great combination of strategic thinking, personal affability and “can do” spirit that make working with him a pleasure.”
“When he served as a Member of Parliament, John put together a powerful plan to assist me when I was in a very tough spot in Africa. He worked well with a wide variety of partners, keeping the priorities straight, exercising diplomatic skills, and intelligently communicating messages that made all the difference in assisting me. He has an innate understanding of Government Relations.”
“John was a essential force behind the success of our yearly North Shore Asian New Year Celebration, which attracted over 100 volunteers and close to a thousand of participants each year. He helped us formulate means to realize our objectives, and rallied participation from all levels of government to support our cause of introducing our heritage and culture to the community.
“While working with John, I really admired his vision, integrity, and work ethic to bring the best out of all who worked with him.”
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John is open to accommodating clients in setting the mode of compensation. Fixed fees, contingency agreements, and hourly-rate fees are all possible, depending on the task or project.