I was born in the Netherlands. When I applied for Canadian citizenship the judge impressed on me the importance of civic engagement. That, she said, was the purpose of becoming a Canadian citizen. I took those words to heart, and so I’m running for the Green Party of Canada in the riding of Kitchener-Conestoga.
In 2007 when the Ontario government held a referendum on electoral reform I joined Fair Vote Canada, and I’ve been politically active ever since. I serve on the Executive Board of the Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter, and I was a founding member of the Pirate Party of Canada.
Professionally, I’m a computer consultant, providing technical support and training to large and small corporations. Several clients are social justice organizations, and I’m active in the Free Software community, encouraging the use of software that respects computer users’ freedom. I advocate for copyright reform, transparent government, and freely available Open Data from government and business.
I’ve lived in Elmira for fifteen years with my wife Laurel. Elmira has been the subject of several environmental issues such as the groundwater contamination discovered in 1989, and the construction of a biogas plant. In 2012 I served on the Elmira BioFuel Citizens’ Committee, appealing the Ontario government’s decision to locate the plant in the middle of town.
Laurel and I have one son, Willem, who lives in Toronto and attends University of Toronto.