Interview: Dan Muys on federal politics, reaching Canada’s potential and coming home

The following is an excerpt of an interview with Dan Muys by Brenda Jefferies for Flamborough Today – a new online publication in Waterdown and Flamborough, which includes the former editor of the Flamborough Review.  Originally published Feb 27, 2024

Everywhere he looks, Dan Muys sees potential. 

The Flamborough MP, on a break last  week from his duties in Ottawa, used the word often as he talked about natural resources, transportation infrastructure and quality of life in the region and country he calls home.

“We have everything the world wants,” he said, pointing to liquified natural gas (LNG), lithium and other minerals required for the production of EV batteries, Bruce Power and a strong nuclear supply chain, a healthy car part manufacturing sector throughout the GTA, and more. 

“Here we are in Canada … who wouldn’t want to be situated next to the world’s largest consumer market, the world’s largest economy? Plus we’ve got smart people in the tech triangle in Waterloo. We’ve got all this potential.”

The Conservative MP says the current government  is “stymying” the realization of all this potential with high taxes, high regulation and an unpredictable regulatory environment. “We haven’t unleashed that potential; we’ve strangled it.”

Copetown roots

Muys, who grew up in Copetown and still lives in the rural area with his wife Tracy, made the jump from the private sector to politics in 2020. He previously worked in marketing and communications in several industries, primarily in agriculture, agri-food and energy. 

While he says it was  never his intention to run for elected office, he has long been involved in politics, starting as a volunteer on Geoff Scott’s (MP for Hamilton-Wentworth) campaign in the 1980s, when he was just a teenager. He has worked on Parliament HIll and at Queen’s Park, and has led campaigns for local MPPs and MPs – including his predecessor, David Sweet.

After some convincing from his wife, Muys decided to run for the seat, knowing it would be a 24/7, 365 days a year job. His motivation is rooted in his own family history and the changes he wants to see to the current state of the county.

“My Omas and Opas came from the Netherlands in the ‘50s after the war from Holland and they built a life for their kids and grandkids,” he said, noting life in Canada has been a dream for many immigrants for generations. “People came to Canada from everywhere around the world with nothing in their pockets. And if you worked hard you could dream big. 

“It didn’t really matter where you were coming from, but  where you were going to.”

Muys says the solid, middle-class life his parents created – his mom was a nurse, his dad was a bricklayer – was also something he and his three brothers were able to strive for. “You could save up, buy a house and start a life.”

However, that dream is no longer attainable, he says. “That’s what drives me, is the fact that people can’t do that anymore. And I hear that every day. You see it here in Flamborough, in  Waterdown.”