A whole-hearted klecko, klecko to the Huu-ay-aht people for granting me one more term as a Member of Council for Huu-ay-aht.
I am honoured. It is a privilege to serve my community, and I shall do so to the best of my ability.
A whole-hearted klecko, klecko to the Huu-ay-aht people for granting me one more term as a Member of Council for Huu-ay-aht.
I am honoured. It is a privilege to serve my community, and I shall do so to the best of my ability.
John Alan Jack Consulting
After hearing back from my First Nations’ expert civil servants, it looks as though I’m cleared to enter into business myself as long as it doesn’t conflict with our laws respecting Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest, as well as any confidential information with which I am privy. But as of May 2016, I now offer advice, consulting and speaking on a contract basis. Topics include, but are not limited to :
as it relates to:
Travel, Accommodations, and Other Reimbursements
Please contact me at <john.jack at gmail .com> for more details.
(Thank you, thank you!)
Note – Rates changed as of May, 2018.
I thought I would take the time to give out a bit more information regarding certain parts of my platform. In this document, I’ll talk about my experience and accomplishments in both relationship-building and in economic development. The reason I’m writing about these items is that I was assigned to work on them as a part of my portfolio. Every Councillor, when they are elected, is generally assigned various duties and they usually lead the discussions on those topics with the rest of their colleagues on Huu-ay-aht First Nations Council.
In this letter, I’ll speak to the work being done in these areas, the things we’ve achieved and why I think they’re important. I’ll also write about what I think we need to do in the future to be successful in those areas.
Thanks for reading!
The Huu-ay-aht First Nations owns and operates several businesses: an active forestry company, various commercial fishing licences, a gravel operation, the Pachena Bay Campground and the Restaurant & Store in Bamfield. In this past term of office, we have consolidates them all under an arms-length business wing called the Huu-ay-aht Group of Businesses, and have used corporations and limited partnerships to ensure that our investments are protected from any liabilities. Our business wing is operated at “arms-length” from our government because there often arises a conflict between political interests and business interests. In order to have the best opportunity for a well-run set of businesses, we have a structure that separates business decision-making from much political interference. Council retains overall strategic direction of our businesses, and chooses whether to invest in them or a new business as a part of that, but day-to-day and quarter-to-quarter decisions are made by dedicated business managers and a business-minded board of directors.
When I was re-elected in 2011, our main business of forestry was suffering significant losses. Due in most part to the financial crisis of 2008 in the United States, we were losing upwards of $1.2 million. In the four years I have worked with our business team and have focused on turning this around. I am proud to say that our forestry business has made a significant profit in the past two years with has seen a net payout in the form of stumpage taxes and profit-sharing to the Nation of approximately $1.2 million with more to come. Forestry has been our main driver for revenue, profit and employment opportunities, but we have done more to diversify our options as well.
Our economic development strategic plan has us actively pursuing service, hospitality and tourism opportunities. For instance, we have expanded and enhanced our campground at beautiful Pachena Bay. We have also acquired the Market and Store at the heart of our neighbouring village, Bamfield. From that central location, we have expanded our interests into operating the government wharf in East Bamfield and are actively looking to acquire more property and businesses in Bamfield. Also, I have just received word that our sustainable, run-of-the-river power project just received a water licence which is the vital step before we can begin to build and generate sustainable energy which we can sell for good revenue to BC Hydro.
It is only by building and creating profitable businesses that we can create long-term, sustainable job opportunities for our people. In business, we have to ensure that we are creating value for our main investors – the Huu-ay-aht First Nations itself. We can do this by making our businesses profitable, and ensure that they are expanding in smart and forward-thinking ways to create reliable job opportunities for our people. It is for this reason that I think it will become very important to continue to actively invest money in our business wing in order to create that income and create those job opportunities. If re-elected, I would work with the team to ensure that we continue to diversify our economy so as to not overly depend on forestry for revenue and jobs.
I have also been appointed to be Huu-ay-aht representative to the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD). Alongside the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nation and the Tsawassen First Nation, we are one of the first in the province to have the distinction of being full, voting members of a regional district. Since April 2012, I have represented our interests to the ACRD as well as the larger associations and organizations to which the ACRD belongs.
At the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC), I gave a presentation about our Nation and our experiences to the entire group to great effect and it was well-received. At the next meeting of the AVICC, the group voted to change their constitution to grant full membership to any First Nation eligible to become a member of a regional district. Not only was I an official delegate of the ACRD there, I was also officially a delegate of my own Nation! At the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), the ACRD was central to having the entire group declare that 2013 to be their Year of Reconciliation. I have also given many presentations to local government associations regarding the nature of First Nations and our story in working successfully with the ACRD.
If re-elected, I would like to continue to be the Huu-ay-aht’s representative to the ACRD where I can continue to put forward our interests, create opportunities for sharing and cooperation as well as make connections with a part of the province that we did not before have many opportunities with which to interact. Part of a successful Nation in Treaty is to leverage our newfound connections to create opportunities for partnerships and collaboration which we can turn into concrete economic and political benefit for our people. I hope to do that again.
My name is John Alan Jack. I thought I’d take the time to put together a quick primer on my platform for re-election. These are only short-form, and if you want more information regarding my positions and ideas, please check out my website at <www.johnalanjack.ca> for more information as it is released. Thank you!
I am thirty-three years old. My parents are David McIvor and the late Sandra Gallagher (Jack). My mother was the youngest daughter of Ernest Jack and the late Shirley Jack (Chester). I have two brothers. I’ve been married for over a year to the love of my life, Crystal, and we’re expecting our first child in early October 2015. I have a Bachelor’s Degree with Distinction in Global Studies from what is now Vancouver Island University. I have been a Member of Council for six years, and have just under a decade of experience with the Huu-ay-aht First Nations in staff and government positions.
I believe that the job of a Member of Council is to represent the interests of the whole community as she or he best understands it. Councillors must ensure that the decisions they make are the best quali-ty given available information and a thorough discussion. It is the job of Council to have respectful dis-course involving constructive conflict in order to ensure that harmony outside the Council table is maintained. If disagreements are not expressed at the table, then there is likelihood that the conflict will spill out laterally to great disservice to our Nation. We have to do our jobs right to avoid this from happening.
I believe it is of vital importance that we ensure that our hereditary leaders, the Ha’wiih Council, have the tools they need to meaningfully involve themselves in the direction and decision-making of our government. This past budget, I have put forward and secured a significant increase in funding for the Ha’wiih Council to better reflect their stature in our community. I cannot claim to understand the full nuance of our hereditary leaders’ authorities, responsibilities and protocols, but I can do what I can to ensure they have the resources to rediscover, reassert and restore the greater house of Huu-ay-aht in all our hearts and minds.
Exploration of LNG
Almost a year ago, our government announced an agreement with Steelhead LNG to explore the viability of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Sarita Bay on our treaty lands. Thus far, we have learned and communicated as much as we can about the possible project, and it culminated in a successful vote on moving into the next stage of exploration – feasibility studies. Though I am cautiously supportive of the project, I believe our People have yet to be convinced. As a matter of principle, I am more than willing to walk away from the project if studies prove it is not acceptable from an economic, environmental or cultural standpoint. That being said, however, I believe it is our duty to be just as prepared for the project to move ahead if the studies indicate acceptability.
I commit to ensuring that we have full access to all information we deem relevant to the project. I will work with my colleagues to ensure that we preside over a relationship with Steelhead LNG that fully represents our long-term interests and our values of iisaak, hish-uk tsawak and uu-a-thluk.
I believe that we have a strong corporate and governance structure for our economic development wing. In a little over four years, we have worked together to turn a significant loss into a significant profit for our forestry operation. We have a sound plan to invest heavily in our territory, specifically the areas around Anacla and Bamfield to help create a foundation for tourism and service industry diversification. We have just received word that our run-of-the-river independent power project has been approved to receive a water license, the next step will be to negotiate a standing-offer with BC Hydro. The areas of focus of our economic development operations have been consolidation, training and revenue generation. I will work to continue this approach and pursue investments that will create job-focused value generation so our People have opportunities to make a living on or near our territory.
In my term of office, I have represented the Nation at the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) and I have been appointed to be the Nation’s representative to the joint panel overseeing our exploration of the LNG project. In these roles, I have seen the value that good relationships with our friends and neighbours locally, and with prospective customers and partners in the wider world. Our treaty creates a sense of certainty and stability and that is attractive to prospective business partners. It has become a vital task of Council to forge positive and constructive relationships with all levels of gov-ernment and all aspects of business. I believe that I am particularly suited to help forge those relationships in a way that would significantly expand the prospects of the Nation. I would work with my colleagues to ensure that Huu-ay-aht maintains the positive, progressive and constructive identity it has with the wider world.
I believe the Nation has a strong future based in sound decision-making made in the past decades. We have reclaimed control of our destinies and have thus far created a robust foundation for future success. We do the things we do not to lose who we are, but rather we do those things to become who we should be. And that should continue, in earnest. I would be honoured to be re-elected to Council and I will do my utmost to see our Nation do well now and into the future.
My name is John Alan Jack. I am the eldest son of David McIvor and the late Sandra Jack, the youngest daughter of Ernest Jack and the late Shirley Jack (Chester). I grew up in the Parksville ar-ea, but have lived in Nanoose, Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni too. After graduating from secondary school, I earned a Bachelor’s Degree with Distinction in the field of Global Studies from what is now called Vancouver Island University. Shortly after, I met Crystal and have been together for over seven years, married for over a year, and we are expecting our first child in early October of this year.
My mother made sure we spent time during summer breaks camping at Pachena Bay. At the time, I was introduced to people and concepts that would become central to my identity today. My direct involvement with Huu-ay-aht began while I was in university. I was invited to play a role on our Constitution, Governance, Finance and Enrolment Committees. From there, I worked as a part of the team that informed our people on the treaty and our plans for self-government, and served as an En-rolment Coordinator, an Assistant to Chief & Council, and as a Communications Coordinator.
In 2009, I ran for Council and was fortunate enough to be voted into office. In my first term, I served as chairperson of Finance, Economic Development, Housing, and Communications. I was a part of the team that brought our Nation out from under the yoke of the Indian Act and into self-government and into the dream of greater independence under the Maa-nulth Treaty. On the Effec-tive Date of the Treaty, we instituted laws to replace those of the Indian Act, and I was involved in the creation of each and every one of them. Our laws mandated that we had to hold an election in the same year, and…
In 2011, I had the great fortune of being re-elected. In this term of office, I held the portfolios of Economic Development, and Law & Policy Development. I was also given the honour and responsi-bility of representing our Nation at the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) as one of its first representatives from a First Nation. In addition, I have also been named one of Huu-ay-aht’s dele-gates to the joint governing panel overseeing the exploration of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facili-ty, a task I have taken very seriously.
In the field of economic development, I worked to ensure that our Nation had a reliable source of revenue moving into the future. In 2008, the financial crisis that started in the USA made a mess of BC coastal forestry. I oversaw the team that helped turn it all around for Huu-ay-aht forestry.
In my time, we saw a steady march out of a $1.2 million loss in 2010-11 and into a $3 million profit in 2014-15. In addition, I submitted a motion to our People’s Assembly for sustainable timber harvest on our treaty lands that saw our Nation receive over $1.0 million in stumpage tax and over $200,000 in profit sharing in the past two years. Beyond forestry, we have expanded and improved the Pachena Bay Campground, bought and operated a restaurant and general store in Bamfield, and have invested much in the training of our people who currently work and want to work for our businesses. For Huu-ay-aht to truly rebuild itself, it is just as important for us to unlock the value in our people as it is to unlock the value in our land and resources.
Working with Council, I have helped to achieve a balanced budget ahead of the schedule man-dated by our Financial Administration Act. I had the honour of helping to bring our civil service into the 21st Century by instituting a living wage policy while still maintaining that balanced budget. We took over and expanded our post-secondary funding to include more than university degrees and into much-needed trades training. Through my involvement at the ACRD and the LNG governing panel, I have done everything I could to create meaningful and constructive relationships with outside gov-ernments and businesses. Raising the Huu-ay-aht profile has become a key function of our elected leaders, and I have seen our Nation create a positive, progressive and honest reputation with the world since Treaty.
Planning for the Future
If I am re-elected, I will do my utmost to be part of the team you have selected to lead our community into the future. More specifically, I will work to:
It’s been a long while since I’ve updated, and I apologize for not updating in good time.
Tomorrow, and the day after, my First Nation will be holding our People’s Assembly, which is something like a supercharged Annual General Meeting. In the morning, information sessions will be held about what we’ve done in the past year and what we plan to do in the next year. Part of that will be a vote on whether or not we continue to explore an LNG project with local company Steelhead LNG.
Now, let’s go back in time for a moment.
On 19 September 2014, I attended and gave a presentation to the 6th Annual Northeastern BC Liquefied Natural Gas Summit in Vancouver, BC at SFU. This was a presentation that I gave to a room full of government, business and First Nations representatives.
Here is a link to the audio of that presentation, which I believe outlines Huu-ay-aht’s approach to economic development projects like that of this potential deal with Steelhead: (I must also thank Brandon Thompson of Cloverpoint in Victoria for recording it: ORIGINAL POST HERE)
(Also, I’m currently having difficulty posting the MP3 of this presentation onto my own SoundCloud account, but I will endeavour to continue to try.)
1. [00:00] Introduction and Overview on the Huu-ay-aht First Nations
2. [4:20] Understanding Treaty and Self-Government in the Huu-ay-aht Context
3. [6:50] Huu-ay-aht’s Government Structure [Council, Ha’wiih, People’s Assembly, Tribunal]
4. [9:48] Huu-ay-aht’s Land and Reasons for Our Approach to Economic Development & Own-Source Revenue [I start to talk about LNG here…]
5. [12:30] Three Core Traditonal Values of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations
6. [16:20] Our Values and Their Connection to Triple Sustainability
7. [18:50] Social Sustainability and How Huu-ay-aht Has Pursued It
8. [19:50] Environmental Sustainability and Why It Matters to Huu-ay-aht
9. [21:00] Active Participation and How Huu-ay-aht Does It
10. [21:50] How Business and Crown Governments Should Approach First Nations
11. [22:30] How First Nations Would Best Approach Economic Development
12. [23:30] Final Thoughts on First Nations Strengths and Requirements in Large Projects
I’m not entirely certain how I can post the presentation itself, but I’ll give it a shot…
There we have it,
It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted on my website, but given the temporary nature of Facebook and other social media sites, I figure this was a better place to give an update of this magnitude. To get to the point, I have been asked by Chief-Councillor Jeff Cook, my colleague and elected leader of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations, to attend the BC Trade Mission to China, South Korea and Japan. This all came about due to our good relationship with the Port Alberni Port Authority on the trans-shipment port project. This project, of course, is not without its detractors. At this very early stage in development of the trans-shipment port project, though, I believe that we are in a key position to meaningfully consult with our people since we’ll have first-hand access to real data and information. All this information does not necessarily explain how it came about that Huu-ay-aht was offered a spot on a trade mission to very important Asian markets.
As stated, the Huu-ay-aht First Nations (HFN) have a good relationship with the Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA). I believe it is accurate to say that the regional economy needs some measure of renewal, and PAPA’s CEO Zoran Knezevic put forward the intriguing idea of a trans-shipment port somewhere in Barkley Sound or the Alberni Inlet. In simpler terms, think of this as a transfer station for big shipping companies. Very large container ships travel from Asian ports to places like the Lower Mainland, the Seattle Area, Portland and California. The costs of running these ships is very high, and having a transfer station where these large ships can drop off their cargo can save them several days of travel and potentially quite a bit of money. Once the cargo is dropped off, it would be sorted and loaded on to smaller ships that would then bring it to the aforementioned ports. This would result in job creation at the trans-shipment port itself as well as creating more work for local coastal shipping companies.
We are nowhere near determining whether this is even feasible. This is the starting point of our relationship with PAPA. HFN Council believes the trans-shipment port to be a credible idea with a lot of potential, but one that needs to be vetted with work to determine whether the economics work, whether it’s environmentally sustainable and whether it’s appropriate for HFN and the region as a whole. As I’ve learned from former and celebrated members of the Huu-ay-aht government, I believe that it is always better to be actively involved in the work going on around us than it is for us to react to it late in the day. I was impressed to see Mr. Knezevic of PAPA come through our door to talk to us about the idea so early in development, and we now do what we can to further develop that idea because we think it might work for us and that it could have a very positive impact on the regional economy.
This brings us to the trade mission. The seat that I have in the trade mission was passed on to Huu-ay-aht through its relationship with PAPA due to the efforts in pushing the trans-shipment port prject and now a potential LNG plant. As we should know by now, the Provincial Government very much believes that Liquefied Natural Gas is the economic future of the BC economy. I won’t go into the raft of reasons for or against LNG development, but it is the work done in contemplating the idea that has given us the opportunity to go to Asia.
So, why am I going? There are three main reasons:
The first has to do with our relationship with PAPA and the generally-accepted belief of HFN Council that the trans-shipment port idea is a strong enough economic opportunity for HFN and the region as a whole to merit further investigation. One of my primary objectives in going on this mission is to support economic development opportunities for the region and for the province. Also, this is partly because I think BC has just as many opportunities for work as Alberta and it would be nice that young people (like many HFN citizens) would have job opportunities within BC. The trick, of course, is finding a balance between resource development and environmental sustainability and through our direct involvement in the project, we are in a position to make that determination earlier than ever.
The second reason is political. As a Treaty First Nation in BC, there are many looking to us to succeed or fail — both for various reasons. As a party to the Maa-nulth Final Agreement, the Huu-ay-aht First Nations is self-governing and very much aspires to be self-reliant in an economic sense of the term. In order to be successful in achieving these objectives, we already have many of the tools we need. One thing we need to keep in mind is that in this globalized world, no community is entirely self-reliant without having its standard of living severely reduced. The global economy only works when those who are a part of it understand that we benefit more from sticking to our comparative advantages and trading them on a mostly-open market. Larger and powerful nation-states, let alone First Nations like ours, aspire not to complete independence, but rather mutually-advantageous interdependence. The days of autarky are gone, we now live in a world of globalization. Whether we like it or not, it is up to our leaders to act accordingly. The government of BC is doing that, and I believe that in doing what I can to help advance the cause of trade will help add to the momentum behind what I believe to be one of British Columbia’s economic comparative advantages. In this, it is my hope that provincial leaders and business leaders and thought leaders take notice and think kindly on the Huu-ay-aht First Nations. This, I hope, will lead to opportunities that our Nation would not otherwise have and it is that opportunity where our bright future awaits.
The third reason is economic. I hope to make connections with business interests in Asia that are willing to either buy our goods or invest in our economy. Both of these things will accelerate our economic development and lead to creation of job opportunities for Huu-ay-aht citizens and our regional neighbours as well as a source of revenue for our government to provide continued, improved or expanded services to better our people’s quality of life. In my function as an elected Councillor for the Huu-ay-aht First Nations, I am the Chairman of Economic Development Committee and subsequently the Chairman of our Economic Development Corporation. I sincerely and passionately believe that healing the wounds of residential schools and rebuilding our Nation needs development in all three spheres: political, social and economic.
Normally, economic development is merely enabled by governments in the Western Tradition, but we are not in the same situation as the classical Western nation-states. In fact, we are more like the Asian countries I am about to visit: the so-called Asian Tigers. In that school of economic thought, there is a direct role for government in the economic advancement of its people. In this, we need only look at the statistics. The rise of Japan in the 1960s and 1970s served as an example for countries like South Korea and Singapore. The Chinese, of course, modified this approach to suit their politics and culture, but one cannot argue with the numbers they’ve posted in the past few decades. These countries have gone about developing their economies rationally and successfully; and they’ve done it differently than the standard model espoused by the Western Tradition. I find this fitting and inspiring for someone who has the honour of representing a First Nation community with a cultural heritage that spans the centuries.
Personally, I am excited and a bit anxious. I am hopeful and confident that I am supported by a rational approach to economic development opportunities afforded to us by our lands, resources, people and way of life.
Wish me luck.
“Dear Canada: First Nations don’t want to be wards of the state” by Chief Michael LeBourdais of the Whispering Pines/Clinton Indian Band writing for The Globe and Mail
“Atleo was courageous to meet with Harper as his constituency openly revolts” by Andrew Coyne writing for The National Post
I have more than a bit of older content that I’ve produced over my years online.
While not an exhaustive list, here are some links:
Twitter – My username is an old throwback to my gaming days…
LinkedIn – For those interested in my work identity.
Facebook – Check and see if any of my privacy settings are wonky…
Instagram – Pictures I take with my phone, then filter.
Tumblr – Because sometimes, you want to scroll and scroll and scroll…
Blogger – My older writings, so I had a place to put them.