William Van Lagen – Candidate Councilor – Ward 2
I was born on July 31, 1974, to Joe and Klasina Van Lagen. I was born and raised in Norwich, living in the same house for the first 21 years of my life. As a member of the Netherlands Reformed Congregation, I attended Rehoboth Christian School from Kindergarten to Grade 8. Then I went on to join Norwich District High School from Grades 9 through 12. On September 29, 1995, I married my wife, Marianne. Since then, we have been blessed with six children, two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, and five grandchildren.
I am the owner operator for the family company that my father, Joe, started in 1975. Both my parents were immigrants from the Netherlands. They started their married life here in Norwich and still live there today.
Over the last 47 years of living in Norwich, I have been a past active member of the Norwich Chamber of Commerce and President for a period of that time. I sat on the board of Rochdale Credit Union as well. One of my proudest accomplishments was graduating from Oxford Count’s 10 Steps to Community Action. I am also a founding member of the Economic Development Committee of the Chamber. I have helped with various local fundraisers including raising money for the Norwich Public Library and the Dr. Russel M. Hall Medical Centre. Most recently, my sons and I engaged in a new program at the beginning of COVID called, HelpYourCommunity.ca, an initiative created to put food on the tables for all those affected by the virus. I like to credit my dedication to community involvement to the late Pat Smith. “She was an inspiration to many in this town and devoted a lot of her time to creating this amazing place we call home.”
In 2005, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, through which I was thankfully spared. “Having cancer teaches you to not take things for granted.”
2) With all the young students at Emily Stowe, Do you support a New High School?
Considering I graduated from Norwich High, I fought to save our school. I also took part in supporting the old high school by protesting in the gallery of the Thames Valley School Board boardroom. I also joined the save our school parade and various events at that time. It was a shame that the people of Norwich were not listened to at that time, and I would love to see our High School back. “Go Knight Go”
3) With hate crimes on the rise in Norwich, do you support a greater police presence in Norwich?
The best police force Norwich ever had was Norwich Community Policing, with officers like Bob Knight, Big Mike and so on. In this regard I would investigate the issue, also keeping in mind affordability. (Considering policing is on of the biggest township expenses). There is also the option of looking into a dedicated OPP officer for Norwich Township.
4) With the increased traffic on HWY 59 through town. Do you support traffic calming measures?
Although I believe HWY 59 is a county issues not a township issue, I do support traffic calming measures such as speed recorders. I believe they are working great in Otterville already.
5) How would you support Merchants (stores and business) in town?
As an owner of a business downtown, I must be careful considering conflict of interest guidelines. It is great to see many businesses updating storefronts and expanding. We must continue to support local businesses, especially in our downtown. A couple areas include cutting red tape and helping promote Norwich Township.
6) Would you support merchants if they opened their establishments on Sunday?
I am committed to supporting all businesses in Norwich township as I have done my whole life. I believe it is up to individual business what they do, especially considering question 7 on the charter of rights and freedoms.
7) Do you support the charter of rights and freedoms (I.e. race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability etc)?
Our charter is a document that all Canadians should respect and read. It is a document I support, and I am encouraged the first line still reads, “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:” This is a document that should not be altered and should be respected by every all people.
Thanks William Van Lagen