Peter was born and raised in the New Westminster-Burnaby area where his family has lived for four generations. After graduating from New Westminster Secondary School, Peter held a number of jobs as a manual labourer and factory worker for local small businesses. After dropping out of school, Peter, as an adult learner, later attended the University of Quebec in Montreal and graduated with a degree in Political Science (International Relations).
Prior to his election to the House of Commons, Peter worked as a Financial Administrator. He is a former Executive Director of the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WIDHH) and, under his leadership; WIDHH won consecutive Canadian Consumers’ Choice Awards for Excellence in Business (2003-2004). He was instrumental in building the British Columbia Disability Employment Network, a consortium of community groups, organizations and non-profit societies dedicated to serving people with disabilities.
A founding member of the Council of Canadians (CoC), Peter rose to become the National Executive Director of the Council, Canada’s largest citizen’s organization.
In New Westminster, Peter co-founded the Save St. Mary’s Hospital Community Coalition that fought tirelessly to save this community hospital.
He is a former volunteer with Emergency Social Services, Royal City Soccer, East Burnaby Minor Baseball, the United Way and the United Church.
He has been both a soccer coach & a basketball coach.
Instrumental in building the British Columbia Disability Employment Network.
Former National Policy Coordinator and Assistant and Acting Federal Secretary of the New Democratic Party of Canada.
Longtime member of the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce and proud member of the Burnaby Board of Trade.
He is fluent in English and French and has a working knowledge in American Sign Language.
Working for You
First elected Member of Parliament for Burnaby-New Westminster in 2004, re-elected in 2006 (by 4,000 votes), in 2008, in 2011 (by 6,000 and 7, 000 votes) and for New Westminster-Burnaby in 2015 (by 8,000 votes).
During his twelve years in Parliament, Peter has worked hard for the people of Burnaby-New Westminster by helping them with federal issues such as employment insurance, pensions, citizenship and immigration. He has held dozens of well-attended local community forums where he listens to people’s concerns and takes action to help. Charlie Smith of the Georgia Straight newspaper has called Peter “one of the region’s hardest working politicians”.
In the previous Parliament, Peter was ranked 6th of 308 MPs on bills, votes, and speeches, in “How’d They Vote?” — a non-partisan website that provides a variety of in-depth information on the operations of the Canadian Parliament.
- Serves as the NDP Finance Critic since February 2018.
- Serves as the Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Finance since February 2018.
- Served as the NDP House Leader from October 2017 to January 2018.
- Served as the Official Opposition House Leader and the NDP House Leader until October 19, 2016.
- Served as NDP Caucus Chair, NDP Critic on Energy & Natural Resources, International Trade, Finance, Industry, Transport, Persons with Disabilities, Gateways Treasury Board, Western Fisheries Critic and the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.
As NDP Transport Critic, Peter lead the successful fight in the House of Commons to stop the infamous SMS transport safety Bill-an attempt to turn safety over to air transport companies themselves-what Peter termed “self-serve safety”.
Peter Julian is Parliament’s most prominent critic on the softwood lumber sellout by the Harper Conservatives that has resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of Canadian jobs in our forest industries, including job losses locally in New Westminster with the closure of three mills. Parliament Hill reporter David Akin called him “the Iron Man” for his determination to stop this agreement between the Harper Conservatives and George Bush.
Peter Julian stood up in Parliament for Canadians as a vocal opponent to the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) that threatened Canada’s sovereignty as a nation through deep integration with the United States and Mexico. His “Stop SPP” Tour took him to more than 30 Canadian cities and galvanized thousands of Canadians in opposition to the SPP. The Standing Committee on International Trade held the first ever public hearings in Parliament on the so-called “Security and Prosperity Partnership” (SPP) of North America thanks to Peter’s efforts in the House of Commons as NDP International Trade Critic.
As Energy Critic, Peter worked on emerging opportunities provided by clean renewable technologies, including job creation. Peter strongly supports research and investment in renewable, alternative, clean energy. They are key to Canada’s environmental and economic future, as we transition into the new clean economy. Peter worked hard with industries, civil society, and experts, to push sustainable energy policies to the forefront in Parliament.
In October 2014, in his capacity as Official Opposition House Leader, Peter co-organized the first ever National Clean Energy Forum in Parliament with his colleagues: MP Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Salaberry-Suroît) former Official Opposition Deputy Critic for Industry and MP François Choquette (Drummer, QC), former Official Opposition Deputy Critic for Environment. The forum consisted of four panels of prominent Canadian and international experts: Renewable Energies, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Industries & Urban Centers, and International Models.
Peter is a strong advocate for disability rights. He particularly focuses the unfair tax treatment of persons with special needs and their disability tax eligibility. His advocacy takes him across the country on extensive tours, visiting communities across Canada, where he provides seminars focused on accessing disability tax credits. Thousands of Canadians have attended his public meetings in more than 100 communities across Canada.
Ever since before he became a Member of Parliament, Peter has been a long-term fighter for holding extractive companies accountable. Peter’s Bill on mining accountability would allow communities abroad to sue mining companies for human right violations and was endorsed by the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers. Peter has been actively engaged on campuses across Canada with civil society and NGOs, working together for Mining Justice.