The Duty To Remember

Snow has started to fall, the air has turned crisp and poppies have begun to appear on our jackets and coats. Remembrance Day is fast approaching. This is the time of year where we collectively come together to remember the dedication and sacrifice of the men and women of our armed forces and the courage they have shown since the founding of our great nation.

Canada has a long and proud military history and while we have seen the methods of warfare change over time, the bravery of our troops has never been in question. Whether courageously facing battles at Vimy Ridge and Ypres, or undertaking Canada's first peacekeeping mission in the Suez 50 years ago, Canadians have always answered the call against tyranny.

This year, as many of us gather around our monuments of remembrance, whether it be in Lake Country, Lion's Park in Rutland or at City Park, let us contemplate the importance of our act of remembrance. For those of us gathering in City Park, there will be a new cenotaph this year.
This monument is a powerful reminder of what our Veterans accomplished and sacrificed for us all and it is an apt reminder of the commitment of today's exemplary men and women who are willing to sacrifice everything for the liberation and rebuilding of Afghanistan.

In Canada there are only three World War I veterans still living: John Babcock, Lloyd Clement and Percy Dwight Wilson. And although ten percent of our population volunteered for World War II, the list of surviving veterans continues to grow shorter with the passage of time. Soon we will not have the benefit of eye witnesses to the sacrifices made for our freedom in these great conflicts. That is why we must renew our commitment to remember and to share with our children the stories of those who can no longer speak for themselves.

So this year, as with every year, let us remember together the sacrifices of our soldiers who fought in battles past. Let us remember the ongoing sacrifices of our men and women serving in Afghanistan and around the world. And as we join together on November 11th, 2006, let us commit to the act of remembrance so that these heroes of our nation will not soon be forgotten.

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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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