Canadians count blessings

It's the holiday season again and the third Christmas since the Liberals formed government. It's time for us Canadians to count our blessings!

Our economy has been resurrected from a national recession in 2015 to dominating the G-7 in economic growth today. On the unemployment front those numbers are the lowest we’ve seen in a decade. The Liberals outstanding economic policies of lowering taxes on the middle class, lowering taxes on small business and taxing Canada’s top 1 percent a little more has contributed positively to a more productive and fair economic position for the country. Even Alberta, hardest hit by the recession(s) is again back on her feet leading Canadian provinces in GDP growth!

The Liberals have accomplished all this while oil is still in a slump! The Liberal’s social accomplishments see us with a new Healthcare Accord, a new National Housing Strategy for the homeless and initiatives to help the provinces with the fentanyl crisis. The new Canada Child Benefit, the biggest social policy announcement since public healthcare, has lifted over 315,000 children out of poverty. We have seen pension increases for single seniors, pay increases for the military and rumour has it there are more exciting things to announce for our proud veterans. 

This year Canada was named the most influential country in the world with our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named the second most influential leader! Reputations that are personified by the fact that Canada leads the most multinational Battle Group in NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence, an effort to counter Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.  On the home front, here in Kelowna our hard working (and cool, former fighter jet pilot) local MP Stephen Fuhr is doing very well. In fact, Kelowna - Lake Country certainly hasn’t seen this much federal attention in decades. We’ve hosted a Federal National Caucus, a Pacific Caucus, and a Federal Pre-Budget consultation and let’s not forget the Royal Visit.

On the local economic front, the recent statistic from the central Okanagan Economic Commission indicate that household incomes have risen, labour force participation and housing starts are up, unemployment is low, more business licences have been approved and record breaking numbers of passenger traffic at Kelowna international continue to bring visitors to the Okanagan. Exactly what Mr. Fuhr campaigned on, bringing vitality, jobs and prosperity to our little corner of Paradise, something Okanagan Oldies (me) haven’t seen in a decade!

So I hope this Christmas is merrier than most, God bless!

Bill Rice

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