Good news items

As we head in to the final days of the fall session of Parliament, I’d like to alert you to a “good news” items.

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) have signed a memorandum of understanding to make Canada more prosperous by supporting the growth and competitiveness of Canadian businesses in world markets.

The announcement directly and positively affects the Kelowna BDC office extending for five years the BDC’s working relationship with DFAIT to help our local agriculture, industrial and technology sectors find new market opportunities abroad.

The memorandum of understanding will facilitate the sharing of information about global markets and enable BDC and DFAIT to collaborate more closely on joint marketing initiatives.

BDC clients will benefit with targeted information about leads and international opportunities and will receive more personalized assistance with their overseas business planning and operations.

If you are interested in obtaining more information you can e-mail Trade Commissioner Harvey Ribalkin at [email protected]
It’s good news and just one more way the government is working to help local businesses succeed.

Whether its infrastructure, skills training, housing, arts and culture or our very own passport office, our riding has worked closely with the federal government to obtain some important funding.

With a great track record of cooperation between all three levels of government, our business and education sectors, our entrepreneurs and our support and volunteer agencies, we have a recipe for ongoing success and growth.

More importantly, it’s evidence that our community is hard at work, staying optimistic and keeping the local economy on track.

I encourage you to go to www.cannan.ca to look at the Year in Review and see for yourself.

On another note, another good news announcement this week about funding for Project Literacy Kelowna and its Esteem program created a bit of controversy when it was learned that Project Literacy Kelowna is barely keeping its head above water. While the funding was good news for the Esteem program, which helps young people gain the skills they need to move into the job market, a shortfall in provincial funding has put the organization’s adult literacy programs in jeopardy.

Non-profit organizations like Project Literacy Kelowna provide valuable services to our community but must rely on several different sources for funding including the United Way and private sector support. While the federal government will continue to offer support through program funding, we need to rally as a community to help fill the void left by the shortfall. Anyone considering a fundraiser might think of sponsoring Project Literacy Kelowna. It’s the kind of organization we need here in our community and I encourage anyone who thinks they can help out to do so. Please contact me. I’d love to help you.

This is the last column I’ll be posting before the holidays. I’ll be available to meet with constituents next week and in January. No doubt I’ll see many of you around the riding before we all take some time for Christmas. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you feel there is anything I can do to help. I look forward to hearing from you and working with you in the New Year to continue to make our communities all that they can be. As always, thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you. From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and the best in 2011.

Ron Cannan is the MP for Kelowna-Lake Country.  If any of you have any questions or comments on federally-related matters, please contact Ron at [email protected] or by phone at 470-5075.

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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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