Back in the Riding

I was happy to be back in the riding last week for Thanksgiving, to spend time with family, and to serve the annual Thanksgiving dinner at the Kelowna Gospel Mission.  Thanks to all the volunteers, staff, and generous donors we were able to feed more than 800 people. 

I also took the opportunity to meet directly with concerned constituents, make funding announcements in Lake Country and at UBCO, and to welcome both Minister Rempel (Western Economic Diversification) and Minister Clement (Treasury Board) who met with the Kelowna-Lake Country business community.

Last week was also Citizenship Week.  Not only did we swear in over 130 new Canadian citizens at two citizenship ceremonies at the Central School, I was proud to participate in a special ceremony at the Kelowna Brigadier Angle Armoury, where we honoured Lieutenant Michael Stewart McGinty. 

Lieutenant McGinty is the first person to become a Canadian citizen under a new measure of the Citizenship Act, allowing those who serve our country in the Canadian Armed Forces to have their citizenship fast-tracked.

Lieutenant McGinty was seconded from the British Military to our Canadian Forces College as an instructor and he will soon become a member of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves.

As the Prime Minister noted in his statement acknowledging Citizenship Week, it is important to reflect on the many privileges that Canadian citizenship confers, including the responsibility to work hard, abide by Canadian laws, and contribute to the social and economic fabric of our country.

Canadian citizenship is extremely valuable and we can never take for granted how precious and meaningful it is to be a citizen of our free, democratic and diverse country.


The Wellbeing of Canada’s Seniors

Earlier this month, the Global AgeWatch Index 2014 report was released, which monitors the economic and social well-being of older adults worldwide.

This year, Canada’s ranking increased from 5th to 4th out of the 96 countries measured, with Norway, Sweden and Switzerland rounding out the top spots.

As the Canadian seniors’ population continues to grow, the Government of Canada remains committed to improving the well-being and quality of life of older Canadians.  

Since 2006, the Government has continued to support seniors across Canada by providing assistance in areas needed most including: introducing pension income splitting, increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement, investing in the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers and increasing funding to community-based projects for seniors.

Last year alone, our Government provided $2.8 billion in additional tax relief to seniors and pensioners so that more income was available to meet the costs of living; committed $400 million over two years for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors; and increased funding for local programs that protect seniors from elder and financial abuse.

Here at home, the Lake Country Health Planning Society received funding under the New Horizons program to raise awareness of elder abuse.  Through a number of workshops the Society is getting people out and talking about this important issue.  The next workshop will be held Tuesday, October 21st at Okanagan Centre Hall from 7 to 8:30 pm.  Anyone wishing more information can contact the Society at 778-215-5247 or [email protected].

I would also like to remind people about the seniors.gc.ca website which brings together a variety of federal, provincial/territorial and municipal resources about relevant programs and benefits, and the new Information for Caregivers portal.

Through their diversity of skills, knowledge and experience, seniors have made an incredible contribution to building Canada and we are committed to investing in programs that support their continued well-being and participation in our communities.


The Honourable 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

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 Chambers 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, mental health, 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.

In previous parliamentary sessions Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee for Government Operations and Estimates, Veteran’s Affairs, Human Resources and Social Development, 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. He is the proud father of three daughters and grandfather to three grandsons. His hobbies include music and sports.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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