A member of the Green Party of Canada since 2007, James has invested most of his volunteer energies over the past decade helping with local campaigns. He has volunteered with more than a dozen election campaigns. One of these campaigns was his own, when James served as the Green Party of Ontario (GPO) candidate in Ottawa South in 2011, losing to former Premier Dalton McGuinty. James also served as one of the Eastern Ontario representatives on the GPO Provincial Executive (PE) from 2017-2019. His time on PE coincided with the historic 2018 election campaign of Mike Schreiner, MPP for Guelph, the first Green elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
James occasionally makes public presentations on behalf of the Climate Reality Project Canada, having been trained by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore during the 2015 Pan-Am Games summit in Toronto. He invests locally in green energy as a member of both the Ottawa Renewable Energy Cooperative (OREC) and its sister co-op for energy efficiency retrofits, CoEnergy. An active member of Toastmasters International, James has also volunteered with Ecology Ottawa, Ottawa Riverkeeper, Share the Road, Soup Sisters/Broth Brothers, SouthEnd Minor Hockey, and the Ottawa Internationals Soccer Club.
Originally from Manitoba, James earned his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Toronto in 1998, specializing in laser physics. Since then he has worked in hi-tech, moving from Waterloo to Ottawa in 2000, and gradually shifting from R&D to product management. He and his wife have two adult sons.