Lighting People's Hearts on Fire

  • By John Weston
  • 02 Mar, 2016
Leading up to the Conservative National Convention, to be held in Vancouver May 27-29, 2016, I provided the following recommendations. Lighting Canadians’ Hearts on Fire - The Three Main Questions Question #1: What are we doing more effectively to encourage grassroots participation in our Party and in government, by people generally, but especially by our youth? Our post mortem of the election loss must include the challenge for us to accept that the defeat was not just about “anyone but Harper”
Leading up to the Conservative National Convention, to be held in Vancouver May 27-29, 2016, I provided the following recommendations.
Lighting Canadians’ Hearts on Fire - The Three Main Questions
Question #1: What are we doing more effectively to encourage grassroots participation in our Party and in government, by people generally, but especially by our youth?
Our post mortem of the election loss must include the challenge for us to accept that the defeat was not just about “anyone but Harper” but about a broken party model that left many MPs and candidates isolated and virtually powerless.  Without real engagement, in real time across the Party, MPs and our leadership were left dangerously out of touch during both our term in government and during the campaign.
In Government, we heard constantly that the Leader and the PMO were “controlling”, that MP’s were muzzled.  In fact, for most contemporary liberal democratic parties, including ours, the party policy process did not promote cooperation but was rooted in district by district  resolutions or in limited participation by relatively isolated MPs.  This process actively discouraged the kind of collaboration that is commonplace in today’s social media-driven society.  Canadians were left feeling disengaged from the leadership, from their MP’s, and from the decisions that affected them, e.g., Canada’s economic situation.
The nature of “engagement” for individuals in today’s society has changed dramatically while our party structure and processes are rooted in a previous era.  Today technology promotes/demands collaboration and is driving rapid change through “frenemies” and other forms of joint effort.  Those technologies should drive us to live less in our geographic village and more with the villages of similar interest nationally and internationally, while promoting best practices among elected leaders.
The past weaknesses which afflicted Party management included:
old voter technology versus today’s metadata analysis with emphasis on centralized control of information over distributed analysis and action;too isolated a party and government policy process;too driven by message constraints;too limited a use of the valuable resources available at the local party ever and beyond, which magnifies the problem of too few volunteers;little use of best practices shared among MPs and candidates;diminished motivation for MPs/candidates to develop comprehensive networks of stakeholder groups that should be the norm in every riding.
Recommendations that relate to Question #1 are grouped under Appendix #1.
Question #2:  For what values do we stand that distinguish our Party from the other parties?
During my service as MP, my team knew that, to accomplish something beyond the ordinary in public life, we had consistently to acknowledge, articulate, and observe Conservative Party values: Freedom, Responsibility, Equality, Compassion and Integrity.
We accomplished a great deal because we governed ourselves consistently by these values.  Such an explicitly proclaimed set of values can also provide a litmus test against which  the Leader or any person in the Party can measure proposals and decisions.  The Party as a whole can do the same and the response from the public will likely be as positive and productive as it was in our riding (at least, as measured by results during my two terms: engagement with over 50 identified communities; two Private Members’ Bills passed; three more at First Reading; four items from our riding in Budget 2015; Samara Canada’s highest rated website two years running).
In the future, the Conservative Party of Canada must incorporate and portray higher principles and standards of conduct than in the past if we are to succeed in making politics more deserving of the public’s respect and support.  We can best do this by communicating and acting clearly in accordance with the values mentioned above and governing with integrity in every aspect of our polices and responsibilities.  Today in the US, Bernie Sanders is campaigning precisely based on values he has followed for decades.  And this has achieved an incredible degree of success - especially with youth.
While the ability to develop successful strategies and tactics remains at the forefront of our next leaders qualifications, a clear set of values must also be a major ingredient in his or her character.  Such values throughout the Party are increasingly important in this digital, mobile age wherein the leader is likely more absent from than present with team members.
Selecting an overall leader with both these credentials will then enable the Party to exercise the same standards in selecting other leaders and making decisions right down to the grassroots level.
Our challenge is to distinguish our Party from other parties in a clear, positive way by “being” the specified values, rather than just espousing them.
Recommendations that relate to Question #2 are grouped under Appendix #2.
Question #3:  What is our long-term vision for a united, prosperous Canada?
To ensure Canada remains united and prosperous, we need to cling to our Party’s leadership in economic affairs, in which former Prime Minister Harper excelled; promote innovative, effective heath care; enact viable, compassionate policies on drug use; and show we really care about the environment.  In doing so, we must not forget the absolute significance of the “social contract” which stitches together all the incredible varieties of people in this great land.
Foremost among the responsibilities under the “social contract” is the need to provide a long-term vision to bring together Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Canadians.  No longer are Canadians prepared to allow Aboriginal people to be treated as second class citizens.  Failure to deal with this reality risks Canada’s ability to survive as a nation, politically and economically.
Beginning with Stephen Harper’s groundbreaking Residential Schools Apology, we made significant strides but the successes fell short of a long-term vision for the country.  Knowledgeable Canadians recognize that Liberal and Conservative administrations have both failed to articulate what key principles ought consistently to underlie Govenment actions in this relationship. 
While in office each party has “gone along to get along”.  This has been leadership by expediency, resulting in a patchwork of arrangements between the Government of Canada an the over 600 Aboriginal communities that define themselves as First Nations.  In that vacuum, the Supreme Court of Canada has yielded to the temptation to forge law and policy which ought to have remained in the purview of the legislature.
The lack of leadership from Ottawa has invited First Nations leaders to push boundaries in terms of their rights and title while a multitude of lawyers, consultants, accountants, economists, and embedded bureaucrats not only benefited from this confusion but have also helped perpetuate it.
A Government’s primary role in Aboriginal Affairs is to seek principled avenues of managing the long-term relationship; the specific responses should then follow.
Our Government needs to articulate and act in accordance with six key principles which reflect the needs of Aboriginal people and all Canadians; principles so compelling that they will stand the test of time, and the inevitable occasional change in ruling parties.  These principles are: Self-Sufficiency; Certainty; Accountability; Transparency; Equality; and Reconciliation.
Recommendations that relate to Question #3 are grouped under Appendix #3.
Lighting Canadians’ Hearts on Fire - Specific Recommendations
Appendices #1, #2, and #3
What Can Be Done at the Convention?
At the Convention, the Party should consider running a series of small forums seeking answers from delegates to these three big questions.  I would welcome the opportunity to participate, in some capacity.  I am pleased to say that my EDA, West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country, and our EDA President, Roger Garriock, have endorsed the following 19 Recommendations, for consideration at the National Convention.
Appendix #1  Engagement, Democracy, and Empowering MP’s 
Question #1: What are we doing more effectively to encourage grassroots participation in government, especially by our youth?
1.       It is resolved that we add to our National Party Constitution, a new paragraph 10.7: “The Leader of the Conservative Party will serve as party leader for no more than 8 years after being appointed Prime Minister.”
(Note: With thanks to MP Michael Chong for his help in developing this recommendation)
2.       It is resolved that “The Conservative Party adopt a business-oriented approach to the job description for candidates and Conservative MP’s requiring them to formulate a business plan using a consistent framework reflecting community priorities as identified through community consultation AND THAT MP’s and candidates be provided a forum, such as National Caucus, to brief fellow Caucus members on best practices and developments relating to such a business plan.”
3.       Recommend a new policy statement under Section K: “Social Policy” to include a new Section- “Youth”: “It be resolved that the Conservative Party create a strong youth sector and emphasize that young people are welcome to participate in the Party in any way they see fit AND THAT each Conservative MP or Candidate develop a strategy to engage youth in their riding AND THAT the Party support University Campus Clubs and other school initiatives such as HEY (“Helping Every Youth”) Day, and the MP Book Award for Writing.”
4.       Recommend a new policy statement be added under Section 138: “Policy Development Principles” to read: “It be resolved that nomination contests be conducted well in advance in order to provide candidates time for training.”
5.       Recommend a new policy statement be added under Section 138: “that Regional Caucus Chairs be elected by each respective regional caucus.”
6.       Recommend a new policy statement be added under Section A- “Role of Government” to read: “Parliamentary Committees and Question Period”. “It be resolved that the Conservative Party should broadly endorse that the committee system be reviewed and improved to reflect a need for greater productivity, incorporating a study of best practices in relevant jurisdictions AND THAT the head of each Committee should be empowered to work with Committee members to design clear and measurable goals for the Committee to purse AND THAT Committees should be tasked to respond to real questions that need to be answered in the process of implementing laws or policies and that the Conservative Party should broadly endorse the above-mentioned review and incorporate of study of best practices in relevant jurisdictions and that the format should be restructured to encourage more fluid discussion enabling those with specific expertise to lead such discussions.”
7.       Recommend a new policy statement be added to Section A- “Role of Government”: Parliamentary Committees and Question Period. “It be resolved that the Conservative Party include in its next election platform proposals to reform Question Period as outlined in Motion M-517 which called on the House of Commons to:
a. Strengthen the role of the Speaker in enforcing discipline;
b. Increase the amount of time allotted to every question and answer;
c. Examine the convention that allows Ministers to not answer questions put to them;
d. Select half the questioners every day randomly;
e. Dedicate Wednesday as Prime Minister’s Question Day (as is done at Westminster) and;
f.  Dedicate the other days to Ministers in a way that would require each to be present on at least two of four days.”
Lighting Canadians’ Hearts on Fire - Specific Recommendations
Appendices #1, #2, and #3
Appendix #2 Distinguishing Ourselves on a Value Proposition
Question #2:  For what values do we stand that distinguish our Party from the other parties?
8.       It is resolved that the Purpose of our Party is “To Serve all Canadians passionately and effectively, without fear or favour, in accordance with key values, including Freedom, Responsibility, Equality, Compassion and Integrity.”
Appendix #3  Creating a Long-Term, United Vision for Canada
Question #3:  What is our long-term vision for a unified, prosperous Canada?
9.       Recommend Section 80 Aboriginal Affairs Principles and Section 82- “The Legal and Democratic Authority for Aboriginal Self Government” be amended. The new policy statement to read: “It is resolved that the Party govern its actions and words in Aboriginal Affairs by the “SCATER” Principles:
“S” for Self-Sufficiency: the need for Aboriginal persons and all other Canadians to be self-sufficient;
“C” is for Certainty: the need for all Canadians to be able to regulate our conduct with a high degree of predictability in education, city management, governing bodies, and business;
“A” is for Accountability: as in all aspects of Canadian government, in Aboriginal self-government, elected and appointed officials should be accountable to those governed; there should not be a large concentration of power concentrated in a few hands;
"T” is for Transparency: related to Accountability;
“E” is for Equality: as represented, among other places, in our Charter of Rights;
“R” is for Reconciliation: acting on responsibility that Canada owes to Aboriginal people, legally and morally, for past injustices.”
10.     Recommend a new policy statement under Section L- “Aboriginal Affairs” sub-section 84: “Respecting the Canadian Constitutional Framework” be added to read: “It be resolved that  an Aboriginal Community is a highly respected element of Canadian society and is not a Sovereign Entity, Separate Nation or has a status that is not consistent with the peoples of Canada. Canada must respect and acknowledge the culture and traditions of Indigenous people as it must with any other sector that comprises the fabric of Canada where such traditions and cultures enhance equality in a pluralistic society.”
11.     Recommend a new policy statement be added to Section L-“Aboriginal Affairs” sub-section 82- “The Legal and Democratic Authority for Aboriginal Self Government” to read: “It be resolved that the Conservative Party set timelines for treaty negotiations with incentives for all parties to bring closure.”
12.     Recommend a new policy statement to be added to Section 58-“Wellness Promotion” to read: “It be resolved that: a new emphasis be given to encourage our nation to be more active in pre-emptive healthy physical activity AND THAT the Party expand the Parliamentary Fitness Initiative ensuring all Parliamentarians are aware of it; the Party supplement current activities with information sessions tailored to the routines and health issues of people in public office and emphasize the personal responsibility of Canadians in maintaining their personal health; the Party adopt National Health and Fitness Day; that day to be core to Canada’s 150th Anniversary Celebration; and the Party support stricter limits generally in the Canada Food Guide in the amount of sugars that Canadians consume.”
13.     Recommend a new policy statement under Section 58-“Wellness Promotion” to read: “It be resolved that the Party create and/or adopt a National Cycling Strategy that capitalizes on the positive effects of cycling for health, the economy, tourism and the environment AND THAT the design and construction of national transportation infrastructure take into account the incorporation of feasible and cost-effective bike friendly features AND THAT fiscal incentives be incorporated for the purchase and use of bicycles AND THAT National Safety guidelines for motorists and cyclists be established.”
14.     Recommended deletion of Section 47 “Environmental Principles” to be replaced with a proposed new policy statement to read: “That our Environmental Policy is defined by the concept that “The Environment IS the Economy” where such concept defines the metrics of a sustainable future based on continuous and simultaneous improvement in efficiency and productivity. Specifically the measurement of success is based on the continuous growth in our gross domestic product, (Productivity) with simultaneous and continuous reductions in the use of resources, whether those resources are natural, renewable, non-renewable, human or otherwise, (Efficiency).”
Discussion: world-renowned environmental engineer David Bromley, a West Vancouver-based Party supporter, makes the case that Canada’s sector of professionals who owe their livelihood to the environment has grown in size, global influence, and impact on Canada’s economy.  Meanwhile Canadians have developed increasingly effective ways to minimize resources in industrial production.  Canada can steadily work to promote efficiency and productivity; meanwhile, with the right combination of environmental stewardship, our economy and environment should advance together, a move away from the traditional view that one must sacrifice, for the other to make progress.  This approach encourages our Party to stand for conservation in contrast to environmental aspects who would use the environment as a stop agent.
15.     Recommend a new policy statement under Section I-“Environment” to include “Marine Safety and Abandoned Vessels” to read: “It be resolved that the Party emphasizes our commitment to Maritime Safety by implementing an institutional change, to transfer the Coast Guard back to the Minister of Transport; and that the Kitsilano Coast Guard base be re-opened using a cost-effective plan, or create or upgrade a facility that can effectively and efficiently respond to marine safety matters.”
“It be resolved that the Conservative Party stand by its commitment to deal with abandoned and derelict vessels.”
“It be resolved the MP’s and candidates in Pacific and Maritime ridings consult with scientific and technical experts and implement decisions based on independent scientific data.”
16.     It be resolved to amend existing policy Category F-“Economic Development”, item 27 vii. with the addition of a paragraph (c) “It be resolved that the Party promote innovation as a key aspect of Economic Development.”
17.     Recommend a significant amendment to existing policy statement Section 29- “Science, Research and Development” to read: “It be resolved that the Conservative Party say what we are doing and we have done in providing the right balance between freedom for employees, including scientists, to speak publicly and the need for the organization to be truthful, coherent, articulate, and consistent in public statements.”
18.     Recommend a new policy statement under Section M-“Criminal Justice” be added regarding “Legalization of Marijuana” to read: “It be resolved that we move to the ticketing regime thus providing needed change and allowing Canadians more time to observe what jurisdictions experience before moving to full-scale legalization.”
19.     Recommend a new policy statement be added under Section 61- “Pharmaceuticals” to read: “It be resolved that Vanessa’s Law be incorporated into the Conservative Platform AND THAT the Party adopt the terms of Bill C-692 calling for the development and implementation of a comprehensive federal framework to address the proper use of prescription drugs AND THAT the Party support formalization of the designation of the third Saturday in March every year as “National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day” AND THAT the Party formally endorse the continuance of the Conservative Caucus to Combat Substance Abuse.”
20.      Recommend a new policy Section be added under Section J-“Health” to read: “Drug-Addiction” and such statement be added to read: “It be resolved that the Conservative Party create and sustain sound policies to assist people struggling with drug addiction AND THAT the Country benefits when those with resources take time and invest those resources to assist the most vulnerable AND THAT it be resolved that taxpayer’s money be invested to assist people in recovery.”

John Weston Blog

By John Weston 12 Dec, 2017
The story of John Chang hit the news last week, one of many recent cases involving Canadians imprisoned in China, at a time when the Justin Trudeau Government is trying hard to court Beijing for an improved trading relationship. 

CTV reported that Mr. Chang and his wife, owners of a Lulu Island Winery in Richmond, B.C. were arrested in Shanghai in March 2016 while visiting suppliers and agents, accused of under-reporting the value of wine they export to China. Their daughter Amy has done a masterful job of involving senior Canadian officials and the media to focus attention on her parents’ plight.

The incident reminded me of one of my most popular (and useful) articles, a piece called Getting Out of Foreign Jails. I wrote it to address the recurring pattern that arises when situations like Mr. Chen’s occur. Inevitably, the family has never faced such an array of problems before. Its natural tendency is to rely on our own government for help. This reliance typically generates positive short-term results but, to achieve a positive outcome, the family and friends have go go beyond reliance on the home government. The article Careful Strategies are Needed when Helping Canadians Incarcerated Abroad,   ran last year in The Vancouver Sun. Here it is again:
By John Weston 06 Dec, 2017
What did you think about when you got up this morning? I was putting the finishing touches on a new website. You were doing something else. It’s safe to say that neither of us was thinking about abandoned vessels.

But the saga of this problem, its snarling of government processes, the waste it caused, and the environmental damage - called out for change. Here’s what some of us did - and why persistence and good strategy can pay off to change government policy and make things right.

As Member of Parliament, I saw the blight caused by irresponsible people who dumped their boats like parkland litter. They left a trail of pollution, eyesores, harmful waste, and legal liability. Directionless governments floundered to assert or evade responsibility. In one case, a single person acquired and casually abandoned four separate vessels off the coast of Squamish, B.C.

I introduced Private Member’s Bill C-695 in the House of Commons in 2015, reflecting input from a wide variety of people who cared about the health of our seas, tourism, navigational safety, and saving taxpayers’ funds. The issue seemed intractable, cutting across various departments within the Federal and provincial governments, as well as local government jurisdiction. Governments were loath to take responsibility. Abandoned vessels can be costly to remove and give rise to various types of liability. My Bill proposed for the first time that anyone who intentionally abandoned a vessel be subject to a fine or jail term. It attracted support from mariners, local governments, the Transport Minister, the Conservative Party of Canada, and even my Liberal opponent in the last election.

The Bill didn’t pass - it died with the last Federal Government, in June 2015. But the story has a positive outcome. The current Liberal Government contributed formal funding to deal with the problem. It created a program to educate boat owners how responsibly to manage and recycle their vessels, rather than merely abandon them. And in October of this year, it introduced legislation to do exactly what my bill proposed - make persons accountable for their actions. The new Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act will for the first time make it explicitly illegal to abandon boats, while empowering the government to go after the owners of the 600 derelict vessels already polluting the country’s waterways.
If the bill becomes law, Individuals who abandon a boat can face fines up to $300,000 and a six-month jail term, while corporations can be fined as much as $6 million.

People and companies who share my concerns about government and public affairs should take heart. With perseverance, good strategy, and the collaboration of like-minded allies, you can change even the most complicated of government policies.

I hope readers enjoy a 2018 filled with health and happiness and, before that, a wonderful Christmas. Us? Our family will gather in both Ottawa and West Vancouver to celebrate this special season.
By John Weston 04 Dec, 2017
It’s out of fashion to refer to locker room conversations, after Donald Trump equated them with ballads of sexual assault. In spite of Trump’s demeaning, the locker room is still a place where tough questions get posed. And so it was last week when someone asked in the West Vancouver Swimming Pool changing room what counsel I’d give to be a Member of Parliament.

The question was timely as I join other Canadians on the lookout for people who demonstrate good leadership , both in their current experience and in their potential. I’m particularly keen to see good candidates run to succeed me as the Conservative Candidate for the riding I represented from 2008 through 2015, West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country. But more generally I’m committed to encourage good leadership beyond that specific role, whether in politics, business, faith communities, or families.

And in an era when common discourse delights in the disparagement of leaders, why wouldn’t we all join in a commitment to encourage key values that mould good leaders and support good leaders themselves?

What kind of person would I be looking for who aspires to leadership, as M.P. or in any other role? For me, the short answer is that a person going into leadership should know his or her objectives, identify her or his most important values, and take specific steps to fortify those values in anticipation of upcoming storms.

What storms should you anticipate? As a leader in any realm, but particularly in my experience as a West Coast M.P., expect pressure on your marriage and on your role as a parent. Those pressures should be obvious. Your anticipated responsibilities separate you from the ones you love, in space, time, and energy. The problems of juggling these things against a 5000 kilometer commute are clear but those problems may arise in any demanding leadership role.

As Shakespeare wrote, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” In addition to the pressures on one’s close personal relationships come two other more subtle nemeses. Firstly, persons in leadership encounter challenges to character that come with the territory. Greed, anger, lust, pride, envy, gluttony, and sloth - Augustine’s famous “Seven Sins” can each creep into a leader’s life. Anyone seeking leadership would do well to ensure a level of accountability to reliable role models who can confidentially but firmly keep the leader on a high plane. In my own case, I was fortunate to have three tough-minded men of faith act as my “Three Wise Men” to help ensure that integrity prevailed over politics whenever the two conflicted.

The fourth challenge, most subtle of all, is to ensure the aspiring leader accomplishes more for the people he or she serves by carrying out the position than by doing something else. There’s no point in climbing a ladder if it’s placed against the wrong wall. This question is never easy but may be particularly complicated when non-politicians consider seeking public office.

There are no perfect formulas for answering these questions. In searching for a successor to run for the Conservative Party where I live, I’ll be looking for someone who believes in the Party and the Leader. But I’ll also be looking for someone with values that set apart people who aspire to leadership in any walk of life: values such as those canvassed in my book - On! Achieving Excellence in Public Life: Integrity, Responsibility, Courage, Compassion, Freedom, Equality, Fitness, and Resolve. You may have a different list. But I’m willing to bet you’d agree that we Canadians would all benefit if we took steps to cultivate those values in ourselves and in others. And, don’t forget, though you may not recognize it, you are a leader yourself, as you lead your own life and influence your family, community, and country.

John Weston serves on a committee that is actively seeking people with leadership qualities to run for Member of Parliament in 2019. The photo, by the author, is of the statue to world class sprinter, the later Harry Jerome, in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

By John Weston 01 Nov, 2017
I am delighted that Powell River and the Tla’amin Nation have received public recognition of their healthy relationship (“BC Treaty Commission praises Tla’amin Nation relations”, Chris Bolster, Sept 27, 2017; . The story rightly reflects the hard work and goodwill of specific individuals, such as Chief Clint Williams, Mayor Dave Formosa, and former Mayor Stewart Alsgard. As former MP for Powell River, I observed firsthand the healthy relationship between Chief, Mayor, and Regional District and worked closely with them. Among other things, we together precipitated unprecedented amounts of Federal government cooperation and investment in Powell River.

However, it’s a pity that in Indigenous Affairs, things tend to be painted in black-and-white tones. Nuances and middle ground become the victim of polarized thinking. Leaders and media find themselves speaking half-truths that undermine good, long-term results.

So it was in Chief Williams’ stating that, as former MP, I “was blocking the First Nation’s attempts at communicating with the Federal Government”. That is just wrong. In fact, Chief Williams initially brought me into the discussion when a fisheries issue was impeding progress on the Treaty negotiation. As a member of the Fisheries Committee and a consistent supporter of treaty-making in general, I sought and got a resolution to that issue that allowed progress on the Tla’amin Treaty.

In its March 31, 2014 issue, the Powell River Peak covered the townhall discussion in Powell River, when residents and I discussed my concern, that the Treaty states Tla’amin Law will in some situations prevail over Canadian law (“Weston speaks against the treaty,” Dean Unger, . Throughout my career as a lawyer in Indigenous Affairs and as a politician, I have consistently stood up for equality and human rights. We should never allow the law of any community, religious group, or Aboriginal group to prevail over Canadian law. The unity of our country, its peace, order, and good government, and the equal rights of Canadians depend on our being governed by one law, equal for all, regardless of race, colour, or creed. While our Constitution, the Indian Act, and court decisions have led us in other directions, we as Canadians need vigorously to pursue equality whenever we get the chance.

As MP and as Member of the Minister’s Caucus Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, I supported the Treaty, but not the “inequality” provision. I did express these views to the Prime Minister and the Minister. As elaborated in my recent book (On! Achieving Excellence in Leadership; Equality is at the centre of real, long-term reconciliation between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people. For the long-term peace, order, and good government of our country, and for the benefit of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people, we Canadians ought at every turn to promote Equality in treaties, words, and deeds.

The piece ran as a letter to the editor in the Powell River Peak's Oct 4, 2017 edition.
By John Weston 01 Jun, 2017
Thank you for coming.  I’m honored to be your Master of Ceremonies for Bike Day on Parliament Hill today.Ottawa’s renowned hotel, the Chateau Laurier, was built in 1908.  The architects from the Montreal Firm Ross & McFarlane designed it to reflect the grandeur of our Parliament Buildings.  Their work continues to inspire our nation, just as it inspired the design of many other buildings in the city.In this 150th anniversary of Canada’s founding, we’re reminded that we’re building a nation. 
By John Weston 15 Feb, 2017
When an impatient bus driver dumped my daughter in Guelph, he refused to let her get her bag.  She was 16, in a town she didn’t know.  She was supposed to attend a weekend track camp.  She needed her luggage for her short stay but the driver had loaded it in the wrong compartment.  It wasn’t convenient for him to let her retrieve it.  Besides, she was just a little girl and, working for a big company, he thought he could get away with it.  When I complained to the company, no one listened or
By 11 Dec, 2016
Whistler this Christmas - why I call the area I live "The Most Beautiful Place on Earth"!Great Christmas carol selection - for those hosting a party this season - or those just wanting to expand your shower time repertoire:
By 06 Dec, 2016
                                                   Thanks to Robert-Falcon Ouellette, MP for the photo.A Win-Win Tax BillBill S-4, Canada-Taiwan Avoidance of Double Taxation Arrangement (“ADTA”)Remarks for House of Commons Finance CommitteeJohn Weston, Dec 5, 2016IntroductionMr. Chair - It’s a great honor to be here.  I wear three hats in speaking today. Between 2008 and 2015, I served as the MP for West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country.  Secondly, I was based in Taiwan for 10
By 15 Nov, 2016
I was not happy about the decision of the Law Society Credentials Committee.The Committee had assessed my application to move from Non-Practice to Practice Status.   Having been elected as  Member of Parliament for West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea-to-Sky Country, I’d transferred from Practice Status, to save money - around $3500 annually, for membership fees and basic insurance.   With no time to practise law, I was earning no income from the practice.  Why pay several thousand dollars
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