Former OFVGA chair vies for Conservative nomination

Jason Verkaik, owner, operator and president of Carron Farms in the Holland Marsh

Former OFVGA chair Jason Verkaik has thrown his hat into the ring to represent the federal riding of York-Simcoe. Sitting MP Peter Van Loan has announced he’ll be retiring, leaving a vacancy in the Conservative Party of Canada.  The race is now on to nominate a candidate in the riding, for next year’s federal election.


Verkaik has been involved in politics for more than a decade and became president of the York-Simcoe Conservative Association last year. He’s owner, operator and president of Carron Farms in the Holland Marsh, member of the Canadian Horticultural Council and a director on the Ontario Produce Marketing Association board.


“Over the past eight years I’ve been involved in politics as a leader in farm organizations,” he said.


Travelling to Ottawa to provide input on policies before the Senate committee and agriculture committee, he noted that “rather than lobbying, I want to work on the other side, developing policy that’s a lot more practical and efficient.”


Key issues in York-Simcoe include protecting Lake Simcoe by reinstating the Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund, lowering taxes and improving the environment for business and trade. In particular, Verkaik is worried that the federal government is handling NAFTA talks “poorly” and is failing to support both business and agricultural sectors.


“Governments have done a good job of creating awareness of the need to protect farmland,” he said, “but we’ve forgotten about protecting the farmers and the business of farming.”


Verkaik has taken a leave of absence from the York-Simcoe Conservative Association and restructured his farm business to allow him to spend more time on his community activities, and on politics.



If latest news: 
Check if it is latest news (for "Latest News" page)
Publish date: 
Friday, September 21, 2018

Click to leave a comment

For security purposes, please confirm you are not a robot!


Ken Forth awarded honorary doctorate

The University of Guelph conferred an honorary degree on broccoli grower Ken Forth during convocation ceremonies on June 12.  He was cited for his decades of leadership work on the labour file that has taken him to Mexico, the Caribbean and meetings in Europe.

Chris Davison heads to Washington

With more than 25 years of experience in public affairs and communications, Chris Davison is leaving corporate and government affairs in Syngenta’s Guelph, Ontario office to take up a new role in Washington, DC. He is the new head, business sustainability for Syngenta North America.

Crystal Mackay launches Loft32

The former CEO of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity has announced her founding of communications company Loft32 in Guelph, Ontario.

John Jamieson takes on CEO role

The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity has hired John Jamieson as its new president and CEO. Most recently, Jamieson served as deputy minister of agriculture and fisheries, and deputy minister of rural and regional development in Prince Edward Island. He was also a past executive director of the Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture.

Dairy farmer is new PEI ag minister

Bloyce Thompson is adding extra roles to his daily routine of milking Holstein cows. He is Prince Edward Island’s new minister of agriculture and land, justice and public safety and attorney general.