Frank de Jong (born 1955 in Luther Township, northeast of Arthur, Ontario) is a Canadian politician and environmentalist. He joined the Green Party of Ontario in 1987, and became the party's first official leader in 1993. He has also campaigned for federal office as a member of the Green Party of Canada.
De Jong earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1978, and a Bachelor of Education from University of Ottawa in 1979. After graduating, he worked as an elementary school teacher. He developed an interest in environmental concerns during the mid-1980s, and became involved in campaigns to save Ontario's old growth forests. He was also involved in the anti-nuclear, renewable energy and pro-choice movements. De Jong now resides in Toronto with his partner, fiction writer Kelley Aitken.
The Ontario Green Party did not initially have a formal leadership structure, and was run in a very decentralized manner. De Jong and others opposed this approach, and successfully fought to have a formal leadership contest in 1993. De Jong himself entering this contest, and was duly chosen as party leader.
He was challenged for the leadership of the Ontario Green Party by Judy Greenwood-Speers in 2001, but retained his position. Among de Jong's supporters was Jim Harris, who later became leader of the Green Party of Canada and shifted its policies to the right. De Jong, in turn, has supported Harris's leadership of the federal party.
Like Harris, De Jong is an eco-capitalist. On the Ontario Green Party website, de Jong defines his political philosophy as "socially progressive, fiscally conservative, and environmentally aware". (http://www.greenparty.on.ca/welcome/flash/index.shtml#Against). He has long supported conservative economic policies, including a gradual shift from the taxation of incomes to the taxation of natural resources. Recently, he has also spoken against extensive government subsidies and funding for crown corporations.
In 2003, he argued that the province could avoid future brownouts by giving away compact florescent bulbs.
De Jong has campaigned for federal and provincial office several times. His best showing was in the provincial election of 2003, when he ran against sitting Premier Ernie Eves and finished third, ahead of the New Democratic Party candidate. On all other occasions, de Jong has finished well behind candidates of the major parties.
During the 1995 provincial campaign, de Jong cycled on a "leader's tour" from Ottawa to Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor and Niagara Falls before returning northward to Ottawa. Subsequently, he was involved in created riding contact lists throughout the province.
His electoral record is as follows:
- Canadian federal election, 1988, Rosedale, 397 votes (winner: David MacDonald, Progressive Conservative)
- Ontario provincial election, 1990, Ottawa East, 723 votes (winner: Bernard Grandmaitre, Liberal)
- Canadian federal election, 1993, Ottawa--Vanier, 606 votes (winner: Jean-Robert Gauthier, Liberal)
- federal by-election, February 13, 1995, Ottawa-Vanier, 218 votes (winner: Mauril Belanger, Liberal)
- Ontario provincial election, 1995, Nepean, 390 votes (winner: John Baird, Progressive Conservative
- Canadian federal election, 1997, Ottawa Centre, 855 votes (winner: Mac Harb, Liberal)
- Ontario provincial election, 1999, Parkdale--High Park, 501 votes (winner: Gerard Kennedy, Liberal)
- Ontario provincial election, 2003, Dufferin--Peel--Wellington--Grey, 3161 votes (winner: Ernie Eves, Progressive Conservative)