First elected to serve as MP in 2008, John was re-elected even more decisively in 2011. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to put Northwestern Ontario’s needs on the map in Ottawa. Now he’s seeking a fresh mandate to fight for hardworking families as part of Tom Mulcair’s NDP team.
As NDP Pensions Critic, John has worked to strengthen this Canada’s system of retirement security. He has advocated expanding the Canada Pension Plan, opposed Stephen Harper’s Old Age Security cuts, and introduced landmark legislation to protect workers’ pensions when employers go bankrupt
On other fronts, the government recently adopt John’s proposal to better protect public transit operators from violence on the job. He introduced a national strategy to address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and he fought to ensure First Nations veterans receive the same benefits as other members of the Canadian Armed Forces. He’s also a well-known voice for a strong Canadian forestry sector.
Before entering politics, John hosted an afternoon radio talk show on CKPR. He also operated Rafferty Communications, a small business producing components for health, training and safety videos. Earlier, John worked as a teacher—and was the first-ever high school principal in Rankin Inlet. He is an alumnus of World University Service Canada (WUSC) and lived abroad for over six years while working as a teacher in Nigeria and a field director in Botswana.
A dedicated community contributor, John has volunteered with Special Olympics Ontario and Voyageur Lion’s Club. He is also a supporter of a number of arts and cultural groups including The Pictograph Gallery in Atikokan and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra.
John holds university degrees in English and Education, as well as a certificate in dispute resolution from Lakehead University and a diploma in broadcasting from Confederation College. He lives in Neebing with his partner Pam and is the proud father of three adult children.