Gord Johns was born and raised on Vancouver Island and has lived in Courtenay-Alberni for over 25 years, raising his family on its west coast, in the territory of the Nuu-chah-nulth people.
Prior to his election to Parliament, Gord was a small eco-business owner, municipal councillor and executive director of the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. He was a fierce advocate for the environment, coached kids sports and volunteered with the West Coast Recreation Society.
He was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Courtenay-Alberni in October 2015 and re-elected in 2019 and 2021. During the 42nd and 43rd Parliaments, he served as the NDP critic for small business and tourism, fisheries and oceans and veterans affairs. His parliamentary motion for a national strategy to combat plastic pollution in aquatic environments (M-151) was unanimously approved in the House of Commons. He also introduced a private members’ bill for a National Cycling Strategy and an amendment to the Income Tax Act (C-264, and C-310 in 2022)) to increase tax credits for volunteer firefighter and search and rescue responders. His motion calling on the government to carry forward annual lapsed spending at the Department of veterans Affairs to the next fiscal year was also approved unanimously by all parties.
Gord has frequently advocated in Parliament for Indigenous rights, including the inherent right to catch and sell fish within First Nations territories. He has spoken more frequently on this issue than any Member of Parliament in the history of Canada. In 2019, the Nuu chah nulth Council of Ha’wiih (hereditary chiefs) gave Gord the name, “ciqh=sii” for his advocacy on its behalf.
Gord is currently the NDP critic for mental health and harm reduction, procurement and the public service and deputy-critic for fisheries and oceans and the Canadian coast guard.
Gord introduced his private members’ bill--—A Health-based Approach to Substance Use Act (C-216) in the 44th Parliament. The Bill aimed to end the epidemic of overdose deaths in Canada caused by toxic street drugs by: decriminalizing possession of drugs for personal use; expunging records of criminal conviction for personal use; providing access to a regulated safer supply of drugs for users; and, expanding the availability of treatment, recovery and prevention programs throughout Canada. The Bill was voted down at second reading but the object of the Bill remains a priority for Gord.
Gord is also fighting in Parliament for these important priorities:
- Environmental protection and climate action;
- Non-market housing, economic development and infrastructure investment in Courtenay-Alberni;
- Indigenous rights and reconciliation;
- Pacific wild salmon habitat restoration, protection and enhancement; and,
- Return to work and disability management.