An instructor at SFU teaching politics of free trade, Calvert co-authored Pandora's Box: Corporate Power, Free Trade and Canadian Education along with Larry Kuehn. It was followed by Liquid Gold: Energy Privatization in British Columbia in which he argues that government ideology is putting rivers at risk and undermining the viability of BC Hydro.

According to BC Citizens for Public Power: "John Calvert is an Associate Professor in the Health Sciences Faculty at Simon Fraser University where he teaches public policy. He was a member of the 2005 BC Hydro Integrated Electricity Planning Committee, a stakeholder group which spent 18 months reviewing BC's electricity options. From 1995 to 2000, he worked in the BC Government's Crown Corporations Secretariat, where he was involved in policy development for BC's Crown Corporations, including BC Hydro. During the mid-1990s, he was one of two government representatives on the BC Task Force on Electricity Market Reform. John holds a Doctorate from the London School of Economics and a Master's degree from the University of Western Ontario."

[BCBW 2008] "Environment" "Interview"

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Liquid Gold: Energy Privatization in British Columbia