John van Dongen

John van Dongen (born December 13, 1949) is a Canadian politician who formerly served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, representing the riding of Abbotsford South.[1] At one time, van Dongen was one of the longest serving BC Liberal MLAs in the BC Legislature.[citation needed] He was first elected in 1995 in a by-election and was re-elected in 1996, 2001, 2005, and 2009. On March 26, 2012, van Dongen announced he was leaving the BC Liberal Party to sit as the only BC Conservative Party MLA in the legislature. He competed in the May 2013 election running as an independent and lost to Darryl Plecas.

John van Dongen
Member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly
for Abbotsford South
Abbotsford-Clayburn (2001–2009)
Abbotsford (1995–2001)
In office
May 3, 1995 – May 14, 2013
Preceded byHarry de Jong
Succeeded byDarryl Plecas
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries of British Columbia
In office
June 5, 2001 – January 28, 2003
PremierGordon Campbell
Preceded byEd Conroy
Succeeded byStan Hagen
In office
April 3, 2003 – June 16, 2005
Preceded byStan Hagen
Succeeded byPat Bell
Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations
of British Columbia
In office
June 16, 2005 – June 23, 2008
PremierGordon Campbell
Preceded bySindi Hawkins
Succeeded byJoan McIntyre
Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General of British Columbia
In office
April 1, 2008 – April 27, 2009
PremierGordon Campbell
Preceded byJohn Les
Succeeded byRich Coleman
Personal details
Born (1949-12-13) December 13, 1949 (age 73)
Vancouver, British Columbia
Political partyBC Liberals (1995–2012)
BC Conservatives (2012)
Independent (since 2012)

He has been involved in farm organizations and businesses for almost two decades. He was on the board of directors of the B.C. Dairy Foundation, Agrifoods International Co-operative (Dairyland), B.C. Federation of Dairymen's Association and a member of the Farm Debt Review Board. He was also chair of the building and finance committee of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Mission for several years.

On April 24, 2009, van Dongen announced that the BC Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, a department for which he is responsible in the Legislature, had suspended his driver's licence for a period of four months. In an interview with CBC Radio van Dongen said the suspension was a result of his being cited twice in one year for driving in excess of 41 km/h above the posted speed limit. Van Dongen featured prominently in anti-speeding advertising campaigns for the provincial government in recent years.[2] Three days later, van Dongen resigned as Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor-General.[3][4]

After the 2009 provincial election, van Dongen was appointed Party Whip, and continued in his roles as Member of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance and Government Services, and Chair of the Caucus Committee on Government Restructuring. In 2010, he was appointed as the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee to Appoint a Chief Electoral Officer for BC.

On March 26, 2012, van Dongen crossed the floor of the Legislative Assembly to become the first BC Conservative Party Member of the Legislative Assembly.[5] On September 22, 2012, he then announced he was resigning from the BC Conservative Party to sit as an independent.

Election resultsEdit

2013 British Columbia general election: Abbotsford South
Party Candidate Votes %
Liberal Darryl Plecas 9,564 47.74
Independent John van Dongen 5,587 27.89
New Democratic Lakhvinder Jhaj 4,210 21.01
Marijuana Steve Finlay 417 2.08
Excalibur Patricia Smith 256 1.28
Total valid votes 20,032 100.00
Total rejected ballots 202 1.00
Turnout 20,234 55.77
Liberal hold Swing
Source: Elections BC[6]
2009 British Columbia general election: Abbotsford South
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal John van Dongen 9,566 58.47% n/a
  NDP Bonnie Rai 4,197 25.65% n/a
Green Daniel Bryce 1,244 7.61% n/a
Conservative Gurcharan Dhaliwal 1,019 6.23% n/a
  Independent Tim Felger 334 2.04% n/a
Total 16,360 [7] 100.00%


  1. ^ ISBN 0787635618
  2. ^ Vancouver Sun April 25, 2009 "Lead-foot Van Dongen 'fesses up -- a week after his licence was lifted"
  3. ^ Hunter, Justine (April 27, 2009). "B.C. Solicitor-General resigns". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 27, 2009.
  4. ^ Retrieved April 27, 2009.
  5. ^ "John van Dongen joins the BC Conservative Party | British Columbia's Conservatives". Archived from the original on 20 July 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  6. ^ "2013 Provincial General Election Final Voting Results". Elections BC. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  7. ^[bare URL PDF]

External linksEdit