Garland was first elected in 1949, when incumbent member Léoda Gauthier moved to represent the new Sudbury riding. He was reelected in every subsequent election until his death in 1964. Garland was appointed Minister of National Revenue in the government of Lester Pearson in 1963, and held that cabinet position when he died.
He was given a state funeral.
The airport in North Bay is named Jack Garland Airport in his memory.