Townhall meeting open to public

While the halls of Parliament remain quiet until our return at the end of January, much work continues in Ottawa and in our ridings especially as we prepare for Budget 2011.

Prior to this month’s mini cabinet shuffle, the Honourable Ted Menzies, newly-appointed Minister of State for Finance, had agreed to come to Kelowna and participate in a pre-budget townhall meeting. Despite his heavier workload, we are fortunate to be able to say he’s still coming.

Minister Menzies is one of the most personable, down to earth and effective members of our Caucus and it is going to be real pleasure taking him around the riding on the 20th and 21st of this month to meet with you.

First on our agenda is the aforementioned townhall meeting which I will be co-hosting with the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. The objective of the meeting is to get feedback from the local business community, long recognized as the backbone of our economy and our biggest job generator, so that Budget 2011 reflects any support this sector will need to sustain the economic recovery in 2011.

The pre-budget townhall is open to the public and will be held at the Coast Capri Hotel at 1171 Harvey Avenue. Those interested in attending should register by going to Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. The meeting will get started with a meet and greet at 12:30 followed by a few remarks from Minister Menzies and a roundtable discussion until 2:30 pm.

If you cannot attend that meeting, I’m still looking for your input. I value your viewpoint because it has been my experience that what is being felt and experienced at the local level is generally true across the country.

If you have ideas, especially innovative ways to boost the local economy, create more jobs and keep our community humming along, please share them with me at [email protected]. No doubt your ideas will help communities across Canada while helping the federal government sustain the economy recovery, get us back up to full speed and balance the budget by 2015/16.

On a different subject, it’s worth noting that both the new Governor General, His Excellency David Johnston, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have made a point in the new year of focusing on the important contribution of the voluntary sector in Canada.

Here in Kelowna-Lake Country we rely greatly on the dedication of our volunteers as we will again this month when the 2011 International Children’s Winter Games are held here January 26th to 31st at venues across the city including Big White.

To honour these “most valuable players”, the Prime Minister has announced a new volunteer awards program to recognize the outstanding contributions of Canadians who volunteer their time, energy and talents to helping others, as well as local business leaders and individuals from not-for-profit organizations that make a difference in their communities.

The awards will celebrate their enormous contributions and we hope it encourages others to participate and make a difference in their own communities.”

A total of 17 Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards will be presented annually.  Fifteen regional awards will be presented to volunteers, business leaders and individuals from not-for-profit organizations.  There will also be two national awards, one to recognize lifelong achievement and one for a young adult.

Regional award recipients will receive a $5,000 grant for the not-for-profit organization of their choice, while national award recipients will receive $10,000 for their organization of choice.

The first call for nominations will open in April 2011 during National Volunteer Week and the recipients will be announced later in the year.

The creation of the new awards program addresses a commitment made by the Harper Government in the 2010 Speech from the Throne.

As mentioned, I am in the riding until the end of the month. As always, if you wish to meet with me to discuss any federally-related concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me at 470-5075 or at [email protected].

Hope the first month of 2011 and beyond is kind to you all.

Ron Cannan is the MP for Kelowna-Lake Country. 

More MP Report articles

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.

Previous Stories