Dave was born October 7, 1955 in Chatham, Ontario. He has been the Conservative Member of the Parliament of Canada in the riding of Chatham-Kent—Leamington since 2006.
Dave is the 7th child of 10 siblings born to Dutch parents who immigrated to Canada in the early 1950s. Dave and his wife, Faye, have been married for 40 years and have been blessed with 8 children and 33 grandchildren.
1. How would you describe today’s seniors?
Today’s seniors are a lot more active, they live longer, and, as a result, many are working longer. Opportunities are available today that allow seniors to take up second careers and, ultimately, stay in the workforce longer.
2. When it comes to health choices, what changes have you made over the years?
I can say that over the years one change would be that I’ve incorporated more fruits and vegetables and a little less red meat into my diet, however, I’ve always tried to live my life in moderation. I’ve never been one to go crazy in any area. There’s a Dutch saying, “Act normal, that’s crazy enough,” I guess I learnt that in my younger years and it’s stuck with me.
3. In your opinion how does being a grandfather compare to being a father?
Being a grandfather is a lot more fun. Grandchildren are so exciting and forever showing you things you may have missed as a busy parent. It’s like having a second chance. We all make
mistakes along the way and being a grandparent is an opportunity for you to remind your own children of what’s important and what’s not.
4. What do you see as being the biggest challenge for seniors in Chatham-Kent in the immediate future?
Seniors face numerous challenges as they age…health, mobility and living on fixed incomes, to name a few. The biggest challenge for seniors in Chatham-Kent, as I see it, is the impact that higher utility/electrical bills is having on their monthly budgets. These huge increases are putting undo pressure on their limited financial resources forcing many seniors to adjust their retirement plans and dreams.
5. What was the reason and what age were you when you decided to go into politics?
I was always political. As a boy I always thought about being in politics one day. As life progressed, I got married and, in what seemed like no time at all, found myself a father of 8 children all while running an auto sales business in town. Needless to say, I put my political dreams on hold until my children were mostly grown and then it happened! I was 48 years old when the opportunity arose and doors opened. My father always said, “Life is all about timing.” I was defeated my first try, but succeeded with my second try just after my 50th birthday, and have supportively held the seat ever since.