Assistance for Veterans & CAF personnel

Despite bone chilling winds our hearts were warmed by the record turnout to our local Remembrance Day ceremonies last week. 

It was a sincere expression of solidarity and support for our Veterans and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel. 

I want to remind local Veterans that if anyone is personally having difficulty accessing services and benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs that I am a phone call away and here to do all I can to help.  You can reach me at 250 470-5075 or by e-mail at [email protected]

Certain opinions expressed in our local media may have left the impression that services and benefits for Veterans are not available or that help is not available locally. 

A full-time dedicated Veterans Service Agent is available at the Service Canada office located at 471 Queensway Ave, Monday to Friday, 8:30am-4pm. 

In addition, a Veterans Affairs case worker or nurse will visit Veterans in their homes if requested.

I remain particularly concerned about the effect misinformation may have on individuals in our community who are suffering from PTSD. 

As our October community suicide prevention workshop revealed, the most difficult and most essential step in healing is to reach out for help.  It is therefore important that individuals and families know support is available.

The Canadian Armed Forces has a solid mental health program in place and Veterans Affairs continues to support Veterans and their families through benefit programs and services, which have been enhanced with close to $4.7 billion in new funding by our government.

Anyone who is having difficulty accessing assistance or information should not hesitate to contact my office.  I want to make sure every Veteran and CAF personnel who lives in Kelowna-Lake Country is getting the support they need.


Infrastructure Funding for Next Phase of John Hindle Drive

On November 10th, I was pleased to join my colleagues from the City of Kelowna and the Province of B.C. to announce $11.6 million in joint infrastructure funding for the final phase of the John Hindle Drive extension project.  When complete, the extension will create alternate access to the UBCO campus, while diverting traffic from Highway 97, Glenmore Road, and Sexsmith Road. Overall, these improvements will increase safety and efficiency for area commuters, pedestrians and cyclists.

Infrastructure funding remains a significant priority for our Government.  Through our $53-billion New Building Canada Plan and the dedicated Gas Tax Fund we are committed to working with the municipalities and provincial governments to support their infrastructure priorities.


Federal Government’s Fiscal Update

Finance Minister Joe Oliver released the annual Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections on November 12th confirming that the Government remains on track for a balanced budget in 2015, with an expected surplus of $1.9 billion.

Canada’s economic record remains solid: the overall federal tax burden is at its lowest level in over 50 years and the Government is well on its way to meeting its commitment to reduce the federal debt to 25 per cent of GDP by 2021.

As a result the government has been able to deliver significant tax benefits to Canadians, including our recently announced family tax benefit plan which will help every Canadian family with children under the age of 18. 

The plan will increase and expand the Universal Child Care Benefit, keep our promise of income splitting for families through the Family Tax Cut, increase the Child Care Expense Deduction limits, and double the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, which will be refundable.

This is positive news for families and positive news for Canadians as we continue to support the creation of more jobs and opportunities for all.


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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