John van Dongen
Independent MLA - Abbotsford South
Time in Office: 1995-Present
Date of Birth: Dec. 13, 1949
Marital Status: Engaged
Spouse: Sherri Wacker
Children: Stephen, Peter
Phone: (604) 870-5945
John van Dongen, one of the longest serving MLAs in the B.C. Legislature, has represented Abbotsford voters since 1995.
He was re-elected in 1996, 2001, 2005 and began representing the new riding of Abbotsford-South in the spring of 2009. During that time, he has held a variety of posts, including Solicitor General and Minister of Public Safety, Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.
van Dongen has called Abbotsford home for more than 30 years, and before his election to the Legislative Assembly operated his own successful dairy farm.
van Dongen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of British Columbia. He was actively involved in farm organizations and business for 20 years, serving as the Vice-President of the Board of Directors of Dairyland and as a board member of Agrifoods International Co-operative (Dairyland), BC Dairy Foundation, BC Federation of Dairyman's Association and the Federal Farm Debt Review Board.
The oldest of seven children, van Dongen was born in Canada after his parents emigrated from Holland. He has two adult sons and two grandchildren. He and his partner Sherri enjoy travelling, the outdoors and community involvement.
After a speeding ticket incident in 2009, van Dongen's driver's license was revoked.
On Mar. 26, 2012, van Dongen announced his decision to leave the BC Liberal party and join the BC Conservatives.
In September he decided to leave the Conservatives and sit as an Independent.