He studied at the Commercial Academy of Quebec.
He entered the business world in 1886 and was a ship-owner and wood merchant. He became president of the Kaine and Bird transport company. He represented the Lake Champlain Transportation Company, and Burleigh and Weeks, a wood-pulp import company in Whitehall, New New York
He was elected the Liberal member for Québec-Ouest in 1904.
He was sworn in as a Minister Without Portfolio in the Gouin cabinet on January 3, 1906, and was re-elected in 1908 and 1912. His seat became vacant when he was named Legislative Councillor for Stadacona on April 23, 1915.
He became Minister Without Portfolio in the Taschereau cabinet on July 9, 1920. He was the last Member to sit in all three Chambers of the Parliament of Quebec: the Legislative Assembly, the Legislative Council and the Executive Council.
(The Legislative Council, formerly the upper house of the provincial parliament, was abolished in 1968, when the Legislative Assembly was renamed the National Assembly)
John Charles Kaine was President of the Saint Patrick"s Literary Institute in Quebec.
He published The Irish Manitoba in Canada (1907). He died in office in Quebec, April 1, 1923, at the age of 68 years and six months. He was buried in Saint Patrick"s Church cemetery, in Sillery, Quebec (part of modern-day Quebec City), on April 4, 1923.
While sitting as a Member of the Assembly, Kaine organized independent Members to form a voting bloc that for a time held the balance of power.