Leader of the Newfoundland and Labrador's NDP
Jim was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He and his wife, Michelle, are proud parents and grandparents of three adult children and two beautiful grandchildren. Their oldest daughter is a teacher with the Conseil Scolaire francophone provincial. Their second daughter is a pediatrician completing her fellowship in gastroenterology in Calgary Children’s Hospital, and their son works with Parks Canada and holds a teaching degree.
Jim taught 32 years in both small, rural and large urban schools before taking leave from 2013-2017 to assume his responsibilities as President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association. He retired from that position and from teaching at the end of July 2017. Nationally, Jim served on the executive council and board of directors of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation until July 2018. Jim was elected as the MHA for St. John’s Centre in 2019 and was re-elected in 2021. He took on the role as Interim Leader of the NL NDP after Alison Coffin stepped down in October of 2021.
Jim maintains a strong commitment to social justice and believes the true measure of a society is best determined by its treatment of its most vulnerable citizens. He is a longtime supporter of several international social justice organizations. He has been a member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul for over 33 years, has served on the executive and as president of the St. Teresa’s Conference, and serves as a member of the conference’s housing committee. He served on the board of directors and finance committee of The Gathering Place, whose mission is to provide barrier-free street level supports for marginalized individuals in the community. While not directly related to social justice, Jim also sat as President of the Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland, a conservation organization dedicated to the preservation of our wild salmon and trout stocks and to the promotion of responsible and sustainable angling.
John C. Maxwell said. “Every person has a longing to be significant; to make a contribution; to be part of something noble and purposeful.” Jim believes it is that longing which underpins the New Democratic Party.