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.