After completing a Business Administration Program, John Efford established and ran Efford’s Wholesale, Snow’s Plumbing Ltd., and the Della Lee retail-clothing store.
In 1985, he entered the political arena as the MHA for the District of Port de Grave. While in opposition, he was a critic for the departments of Consumer Affairs, Public Works, Fisheries, Health and Social Services. Upon his re-election in the 1989 provincial election, he was appointed Minister of Social Services. In 1993, he was appointed Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.
Mr. Efford was re-elected as MHA for Port de Grave in 1996 and appointed Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and re-appointed to the same portfolio after the 1999 election.
In May 2001, he resigned from the provincial Cabinet to run for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.
He was elected to the House of Commons in a by-election for riding of Bonavista-Trinity-Conception on May 13, 2002. He was named a member of the Standing Committees on Fisheries and Oceans, Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, and Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development & Natural Resources.
On December 12, 2003, Mr. Efford was appointed Minister of Natural Resources.
Mr. Efford and his wife Madonna have three children, Jackie, John and Joseph Lee, and two grandchildren, John IV, and Jenna.