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:
- See to it that Huu-ay-aht people are treated fairly and honestly no matter where they live.
- Enrich and enhance the place of our Ha’wiih (hereditary leaders) by resourcing and supporting them in ways and means appropriate to their stature in our community.
- Expand and enhance programs that deliver healthcare, cultural teachings, education and employment opportunities to our People.
- Ensure that the studies exploring the LNG opportunity are done correctly, comprehen-sively, and answer the questions that our Ha’wiih, our People and our Government need in order to make a well-informed decision.
- Guarantee that, if the LNG project were to go ahead, the overall benefits to our Peo-ple are maximized while minimizing the impact on the environment, on our heritage and on our traditional resources.
- Complete a “Made in Huu-ay-aht” long-term tenure that balances economic, cultural and environmental factors for sustainable timber harvest on our lands.
- It has been a great honour to be allowed to serve my community these past six years, and I would like the honour of serving you again.