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Ron Cannan

Renewal of the Building Canada Fund

 
From a jobs and economic perspective, if I had to choose one federal government initiative that has had a significant impact on our riding, it would be local investments made in infrastructure through the Building Canada fund.
 
Before being elected in 2006, I was a city councillor for nine years and it was pretty clear to local governments and residents alike that if we didn’t address aging infrastructure and the need for new infrastructure it would have a negative effect on our ability to grow the local and regional economy. So when the federal government announced the Building Canada fund in 2007, it was a great relief to everyone.
 
Our own riding of Kelowna-Lake Country has received millions of dollars in infrastructure funding for transit, recreational and heritage facilities, multi-use pathways, water and sewer quality and supply, and bridges and roads.  This includes the $77.9 million, four-laning of Highway 97 from Winfield to Oyama, which is scheduled to open this summer.
 
Best of all, in my view, was the way the program was structured: a three-way funding arrangement between the municipal, provincial and federal governments ensuring a bottom-up approach, so the right priorities were identified.
 
All in all, through Building Canada, investments were made to over 43,000 projects to build important public infrastructure across the country and, as a result of these investments, the average age of Canada’s core public infrastructure came down from a peak of 17 years in 2001 to an estimated 14.4 years in 2011. It is now lower than the historical average over the last 50 years.
 
Now in 2013, investments in Canada’s public infrastructure are as important as ever and remain vital to creating jobs, economic growth and providing a better quality of life for families in every city and community across the country.
 
That is why it was very good news to learn that the Government, after listening to municipalities across the country, announced a new Building Canada plan in Budget 2013.
 
The new Building Canada plan will have three main components:
 
Community Improvement Fund - $32.2 billion consisting of an indexed Gas Tax Fund and the increased GST Rebate for Municipalities to build roads, public transit, recreational facilities and other community infrastructure across Canada that will improve the quality of life of Canadian families.
 
New Building Canada Fund - $14 billion in support of major economic infrastructure projects that have a national and regional significance.
 
Renewed P3 Canada Fund - $1.25 billion to continue finding innovative ways to build infrastructure projects faster and provide better value for Canadian taxpayers through public-private partnerships.
 
In addition, over the next 10 years, our Government will invest $6 billion in existing infrastructure funding and $17 billion to build, operate and maintain federal public infrastructure.
 
Overall, the new Building Canada plan includes $70 billion in federal infrastructure funding over 10 years, making it the largest investment in job-creating infrastructure in Canadian history.
 
For Kelowna and Lake Country city councils, knowing that reliable and predictable gas tax and infrastructure funding is in place makes it much easier to determine their capital planning budgets.
 
I look forward to continuing to work with my municipal and provincial counterparts to identify our riding’s infrastructure priorities so that our local and regional economy can continue on a positive growth course. The Okanagan has so much to offer and we want to keep the momentum going.
 
 
Ron Cannan is the Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country and welcomes your feedback at [email protected].  Information on local announcements and federal government programs can be found at www.cannan.ca .


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About the author...

Ron Cannan was first elected as Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country in January, 2006. He was subsequently elected in the 2008 and 2011 federal elections.  He is a member of the Conservative Caucus.

Ron successfully uses his experience and knowledge as a long-time Kelowna City Councillor and Regional Government representative to be an effective and enthusiastic champion for his riding and his constituents.

His greatest satisfaction comes from helping local organizations and citizens obtain the support they require from Ottawa.

He is also dedicated to doing what it takes to ensure that the growing and vibrant communities in his riding continue to thrive and prosper.

He is proud of the partnership and cooperation between federal, provincial and municipal governments which have resulted in significant infrastructure projects including upgrades to Highway 97, expansion of the Kelowna International Airport, a new horticulture strategy for fruit growers, obtaining a full service passport office for Kelowna and addressing critical economic issues such as labour skills shortages.

He works closely with the local Chamber of Commerce and once a year arranges meetings for the Chamber with Cabinet Ministers and senior policy staff in Ottawa to move forward important local issues such as crime prevention and labour skills shortages.

He is also an ardent champion for important community initiatives including homelessness, women’s resources and support of arts and culture.

On Parliament Hill, Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade since 2006 supporting initiatives which will broaden the economic opportunities for local businesses and businesses Canada-wide.

He is also a member of the Standing Committee for Government Operations and Estimates.

In previous Parliaments Ron has been a member of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee, the Human Resources and Social Development Committee, the Scrutiny of Regulations Committee and the Standing Committee for Fisheries and Oceans.

Ron is also involved in a variety of inter-parliamentary organizations: he is Vice Chair of the Canada-US Inter-Parliamentary Group, and Co-chair of the Canada-Taiwan Friendship group.

As Chair of the Conservative Wine Caucus, Ron works with his colleagues across the country to promote the wine regions of Canada.  Ron tabled Motion 218(formerly Motion 601) which supports direct to consumer purchasing of Canadian wine, in particular those vintages not readily available through provincial liquor control outlets.  His motion is now a bill before the House of Commons sponsored by MP Dan Albas, seconded by Ron, which is well on its way to being passed.  Passage of the bill will create awareness and boost sales for some of Canada’s smaller wineries while generating national pride and international recognition of the award winning efforts of Canada’s vintners.
The Honourable Ron Cannan was first elected as Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country in January, 2006. He was subsequently elected in the 2008 and 2011 federal elections.  He is a member of the Conservative Caucus.

On September 13th, 2012 Ron was summoned to be a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and will provide advice to the Government as a member of the Priorities and Planning Sub-Committee on Government Administration.

Ron successfully uses his experience and knowledge as a long-time Kelowna City Councillor and Regional Government representative to be an effective and enthusiastic champion for his riding and his constituents.

His greatest satisfaction comes from helping local organizations and citizens obtain the support they require from Ottawa. 

He is also dedicated to doing what it takes to ensure that the growing and vibrant communities in his riding continue to thrive and prosper.

He is proud of the partnership and cooperation between federal, provincial and municipal governments which have resulted in significant infrastructure projects including upgrades to Highway 97, expansion of the Kelowna International Airport, a new horticulture strategy for fruit growers, obtaining a full service passport office for Kelowna and addressing critical economic issues such as labour skills shortages.

He works closely with the local Chamber of Commerce and once a year arranges meetings for the Chamber with Cabinet Ministers and senior policy staff in Ottawa to move forward important local issues such as crime prevention and labour skills shortages.

He is also an ardent champion for important community initiatives including homelessness, women’s resources and support of arts and culture.

On Parliament Hill, Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade since 2006 supporting initiatives which will broaden the economic opportunities for local businesses and businesses Canada-wide.

He is also a member of the Standing Committee for Government Operations and Estimates.

In previous Parliaments Ron has been a member of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee, the Human Resources and Social Development Committee, the Scrutiny of Regulations Committee and the Standing Committee for Fisheries and Oceans.

Ron is also involved in a variety of inter-parliamentary organizations: he is Vice Chair of the Canada-US Inter-Parliamentary Group, and a member of the Canada-Taiwan Friendship group.

As Chair of the Conservative Wine Caucus, Ron works with his colleagues across the country to promote the wine regions of Canada.  Ron tabled Motion 218 (formerly Motion 601) which supports direct to consumer purchasing of Canadian wine.  His motion became Bill C-311, sponsored by MP Dan Albas, seconded by Ron, which was passed into law on June 28th, 2012. 

Prior to entering politics, Ron developed a diverse business background as a small business owner and had several years experience in marketing and sales management working with corporations including Coca-Cola, Costco and Corus Entertainment.
 

Very active in his community, Ron has been a Director for both the Central Okanagan Regional District and the Central Okanagan Hospital Board. Ron also served on the Okanagan University College Access to Training Advisory Board, the Glenmore Elementary School Parents Advisory Council, and the Kelowna Christian School Fund Raising Committee.  He was co-founder of the Okanagan Volunteer Festival. Currently Ron is a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Kelowna and, along with his wife Cindy, was the honorary Chair of the 2012 Canadian Cancer Society Daffodil Ball.

Ron lives a family-oriented and active lifestyle with his wife Cindy and daughters Amanda, Ashley and Amy and his grandsons Marcel and Nolan.  His hobbies include music and sports.







The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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