The Case For John Van Dongen

By Mike Archer. John van Dongen and I haven’t always seen eye to eye. I haven’t agreed with everything he’s done since 1995 when he started winning elections in Abbotsford-South.

But I have agreed with him on a few important things.

  1. BC Rail – The fact that Mike de Jong and the leadership of the Liberal government forgave the $6 Million legal bills of Dave Basi and Bob Virk after their guilty pleas was an unforgivable action on the part of any politicians who claim to represent the voters and taxpayers of BCJohn’s tenacity and experience fighting for his constituents through the byzantine world of the bureaucracy and justice system of BC have been an example for any politician who claims to represent the people who elected them
  2. A Constituency Man – There are few politicians anywhere who have assembled as effective and hard working a team of constituency contacts and workers than John has in his 30 years in politics.More than any other MLA, John has responded quickly, efficiently and effectively to the concerns of his constituents and has always understood that politics is about serving individual voters in your home riding rather than the dictates of the party bosses who, for the most part could care less about local issues.
  3. Agriculture – John and I have disagreed over agricultural issues from time to time but, if you are a farmer in Abbotsford I can’t think of a person who understands your issues, how to tackle them and get things done, or help you get government off your back more than John van Dongen.As a successful dairy farmer John understands how to build and run an agricultural business. Some of the money he earned from his farm has been spent fighting for his constituents and the average taxpayer of BC in the embarrassment and fiasco BC Rail became.

So it makes me angry when I hear a cocky newcomer like Darryl Plecas, who didn’t even run for the support of the Liberal Riding Association to get his nomination in Abbotsford-South, say things like “I just don’t see John as a threat.”

Nice ego Darryl.

To find out how Darryl Plecas was anointed by Rich Coleman and Mike de Jong over the objections of the local BC Liberal riding association – click here.

Or when I hear Plecas, who has never done anything of significance outside the public sector of community college and university life say that the public debt is important to him.

NDP candidate Lakhvinder Jhaj

NDP candidate Lakhvinder Jhaj

The NDP’s Lakhvinder Jhai is also an experienced small business owner and farmer who has an understanding of how to earn and create money rather than simply spend it.

Like Van Dongen, she has built a business, understands farming from the ground up and has a very real understanding of business. According to the NDP website, Lakhvinder and her husband Amarjit “began as orchardists and then as owners and operators of two convenience stores in Penticton. They later established a grocery store to help fulfill a need for the downtown core of Penticton.”

She sounds like she to has something of substance to offer the farmers, business people and voters of Abbotsford-South.

Here is Plecas talking about the BC provincial debt in the Vancouver Sun:

“if we continue on the same path, look no further than the United States, where … their debt ratio to gross domestic product is 83 per cent – let’s face it, the United States is broke”

Then can Plecas explain why Christy Clark has increased BC’s provincial debt by $11 Billion dollars in her two years as Premier?

Anything but independent BC Liberal Darryl Plecas

Anything but independent BC Liberal Darryl Plecas

Here is Plecas in the Sun trashing Van Dongen for being an independent candidate who had the courage to stand up for his beliefs and stand up to the party system – “He can hardly claim to be a powerful voice as an independent,’ said Plecas.”

The fact is John will be a hell of a lot more powerful than Plecas could ever be in opposition. And we all know the BC Liberals are going to the opposition after May 14.

I trust the people of Abbotsford-South will vote for whoever they want and whoever they think will best represent them in Victoria. If you choose not to vote for John van Dongen don’t make that choice because you think he can’t look after your interests better than a neophyte member of the opposition. Do it because you disagree with what he stands for or what he’s done not because he won’t be able to look after your interest as an independent.

Think of what the word independent means and then think of what you would be voting against …



DEF: Free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority.

To get an idea of just how well the party system which Plecas has so recently decided to worship has served us, watch the trailer for Sean Holman’s new documentary (Whipped) about what the party system has done to BC politics .

To find out more about John van Dongen click here

To find out more about Lakhvinder JhaJ click here.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • I hope to see a rise in the number of independents taking office after May 14th. The current system of one all-powerful group handing the public vault to the opposition, who feed away until forced to hand it back to the first group, well this is no incentive to actually seek office in order to SERVE the public.

    Public servant is just a euphemism for ‘lords and ladies’ who quickly believe it is their right to live pampered lives.

    The much touted words like “servant”, “accountable”, honest, transparent and similar soothing assurances evaporate for most politicians, once they snuggle in to the feathered bed of high office.

    So how does a busy voter discern from all this election rhetoric, one who is the real thing from the raw opportunist?

  • Sandi Lyon says:

    All the constituents of John Van Dongen need to do their research and realize that he is a gem in a world of self serving politicians. I have never met a politician before that cares the way John cares about his constituents He is not afraid to take on the big challenges and does not shirk his duties just because it may not agree with the party lines. We all need to exercise our vote on May 14 to make sure John is reelected as an independent!

  • Eric van Steenis says:

    When you are at the end of your rope battling bureaucracy and ill-conceived regulations, there comes a time when you send a message to your local MLA, expecting never to hear a thing. Can you imagine walking in the door after a hard day and your wife hands you the phone and says “It’s John van Dongen.. for you”… WOW!!! And then he guides you through the morass of legislation until you have the tools in hand with which to stand up and fight!! That, is John van Dongen, hands down #1 in his riding.

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