It's tax pain

There is a commercial running on TV right now that shows a patient visiting a doctor with a pain in his behind. “It’s tax pain,” the doctor says to the patient. “There’s nothing I can do about it.”

Fortunately for Canadians, our Conservative government has a different diagnosis. Since 2006, our Government has provided tax relief by significantly reducing the tax burden for Canadians. Today, it’s estimated that an average family living in Canada can save as much as $3,000 in income tax.

In the next few days you will be able to go to my website Ron Cannan to access our annual tax guide which outlines the tax breaks that are available to families, individuals, seniors and small business.

The Canada Revenue Agency is also available to answer any of your tax questions and can be reached at Canada Revenue Agency or 1-800-959-8281.

This concerted effort to provide tax relief both at a personal and business level has not only helped us get through the worst of the global recession, it is fiscally sustainable. It also lays the foundation for strong growth in our economy by establishing Canada as a low tax jurisdiction for investment.
Investment is key to any economy. It generates improvements in productivity, leading to wage increases, the creation of new jobs, stronger economic growth and a higher standard of living for Canadians. Now, Canada leads the G-7 with the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment, where just a few years ago we badly trailed some of our key competitors.
As well, our Government’s move, prior to the recession, to use surplus budgets to pay down significant amounts of debt - a record 38 billion - enabled us to tackle the global recession with effective stimulus measures to maintain jobs.

By investing primarily in infrastructure spending, in partnership with the provinces and municipalities, we not only ensured that the stimulus funding was going directly into local infrastructure projects where it was needed, it was an investment in the growth of our local economy.

Attention to our debt also enabled us to take measures to protect those who did lose their jobs in the recession by increasing the number of weeks long term employees could collect EI, by extending programs like Workshare, which many of our local manufacturers depend upon, and by freezing increases in EI payments during the recession.

In the coming weeks, much will be made of the fact that we carry a deficit. It will be characterized by some as a waste of taxpayers’ money. But it is important to consider what our economy would look like had the Government stood by and done nothing.

Our commitment to paying down the debt certainly helped put us in a good position going into the recession just as our commitment to reducing the deficit, one-third in 2011–12, less than one–half of this year’s deficit in 2012–13 and a balanced budget by 2015 - will stand us in good stead.

Speaking of a strong local economy, this week I had the pleasure of touring a local company, SkyTrac Systems, which is one of world’s most trusted providers of satellite communications systems for aircraft operators.
My host was Stephen Fuhr, Vice President of the family owned and operated company. Stephen retired a few years ago after having a very distinguished career as an Air Force Pilot. Skytrac employs over 50 people in our community and has customers on every continent.

Our aviation industry is an important employment cluster for our Okanagan Valley, particularly to graduates from Okanagan College and UBCO, and is the kind of industry that will benefit from our corporate tax cuts. I wish Stephen and his team nothing but continued success.

I’d also like to extend congratulations to Shelley Cook and the John Howard Society on the groundbreaking of another social housing project. This is another great example of a community organization working in partnership with all levels of government to help provide hope for the homeless.

Last but not least, I had the opportunity to sit down with Karen Hawes, the incoming President of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. I look forward to working with Karen and the Chamber to help make our community more prosperous than ever. On behalf of the community, I extend many thanks to outgoing President Wesley Shields for his dedication and commitment to the economic growth of Kelowna.

As always, if you wish to discuss any federally-related concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me at 250 470-5075 or at [email protected]

Ron Cannan is the MP for Kelowna-Lake Country.

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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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