Local candidates Videos Courtesy of YourTV
JOHN BALAGTAS – PEOPLE’S PARTY OF CANADA
When you meet John you will quickly discover his passion for Canada and The People’s Party. An immigrant from the age of 10, John has embraced our Canadian values wholeheartedly. John graduated from Centennial College after studying Automation and Robotics. At the University of Toronto, John earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology. For the past 12 years John has been a member of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves. In this role he has travelled and worked throughout Canada and abroad.
John is fully behind the People’s Party platform, and is driven to bring it to fruition. His primary focus is on freedom and prosperity for the Canadian people. A resident of the Chatham-Kent Leamington riding, John enjoys meeting with the people of the riding and seeks to understand their concerns about the Federal government.
When John is elected as our Member of Parliment, you can be assured that he will work tirelessly to represent and promote our riding.
DAVE EPP – CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF CANADA
Dave Epp is a third generation Leamington farmer, with a Bachelor of Theology, whose farm grows processing vegetables and cash crops, and describes himself as a common sense conservative.
Dave has been active in agricultural, community and sports organizations his entire life growing up in the Essex Kent area. He is a former single engine pilot, who enjoys fastball, hockey and golf; and loves a good choir. Dave and his wife of 34 years, Charlene, have four daughters.
Dave’s experience has also included being Ontario/Quebec Regional Representative for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank; a member of the Municipal Committee of Adjustment, Ontario Agricultural Commodity Council; Leamington Flyers Hockey Club Board of Directors, as well as having served as Chairman of Agricorp, Ontario Process Vegetable Growers, and Ontario Tomato Research Institute.
KATIE OMSTEAD – LIBERAL PARTY OF CANADA
As the Team Trudeau candidate for Chatham-Kent—Leamington, Katie understands what it takes to create good, well-paying jobs in the community, and wants to ensure that young people have the opportunity to remain in, and return to their communities to work, raise a family, and one day, retire. She is committed to working with Justin Trudeau to further grow our middle class, ensure seniors are treated with dignity, veterans are respected, and community members have access to physical and mental health services.
Born and raised in Chatham-Kent, Katie now resides in Leamington with her husband, Matthew, and their daughter. Katie has deep roots throughout the riding, as her family has been involved in fishing, farming and small business throughout the region for several generations. Katie earned degrees in Political Science and International Development, and completed her Bachelor of Education. As an educator and entrepreneur in the community, Katie spends countless hours leading student clubs, coaching sports teams and mentoring children and youth. This combination of work and volunteer experience has provided Katie with a deep understanding of Chatham-Kent—Leamington’s strengths and hopes.
Katie Omstead has firsthand experience with the challenges that middle class families face, and she understands the issues of Chatham-Kent—Leamington. She lends her voice to these issues by taking action, through positions on a local credit union council, a refugee settlement committee and a rural taskforce. The families of Chatham-Kent—Leamington need a hard-working, trusted voice in government who will be a champion for the entire region. Katie is that voice.
Katie will never stop working hard to build a better future for the families of Chatham-Kent-Leamington.
MARK VERCOUTEREN – GREEN PARTY OF CANADA
Mark Vercouteren grew up in Chatham-Kent working as a farmhand and at his family’s fruit stand in Blenheim. These experiences have instilled in him a deep respect for the role farmers play in bolstering Canada’s communities and economy. He is dedicated to supporting our farmers as they face an increasingly complex global market and the instability being brought about by climate change.
After living in Kitchener for several years, Mark moved back to Chatham-Kent in 2012. He owns a home in the country with his wife of over eleven years, which they share with an old farm cat and a recently arrived litter of rescue kittens.
Mark currently works as a call centre representative, and has also had stints in technical support, retail and teaching. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Mathematics and Physics from the University of Waterloo.
A bookworm and life-long learner, Mark enjoys studying history, current events and politics. When you find him outside work, he will likely be listening to a podcast, cycling, gardening or baking bread from scratch.
Mark is dedicated to the fight against climate change and knows that we have to act now to avoid the worst consequences, from flooding to forest fires to famine. He has run provincially three times for the Green Party of Ontario in Kitchener Centre (2011), Essex (2014) and Chatham-Kent—Leamington (2017), and has run federally for the Green Party of Canada once before in Chatham-Kent—Leamington (2015).
Mark looks forward to meeting with residents over the coming months to discuss ideas for
building a strong, sustainable and compassionate community.
TONY WALSH – NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY
Tony is an investment consultant with a longstanding career in banking and supporting small businesses, not-for-profits and agriculture organizations because he knows that helping locally-based groups results in stronger communities where everyone can thrive.
Tony has been a keen volunteer his whole life, a passion he now cultivates by assisting numerous local organizations – the United Way, YMCA, Kinsmen, Junior Achievement, Canadian Cancer Society, Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, and food banks – to name a few. He understands it makes a difference when governments have the courage to act according to their values.
Tony lives in Chatham with his wife and three young sons. He is fighting to make life more affordable for families and ensure they can continue to access the services we all need.