Budget news and red tape

Budget 2011 will be delivered on Tuesday, March 22nd. It represents the next phase of the Government’s Economic Action Plan, which to date, with the hard work and perseverance of Canadians, has been effective in helping Canada weather the global economic downturn.

It’s important we keep the economic momentum going and I hope the federal budget will be supported by the Opposition so we can continue to focus on building up our economy and creating more jobs.

While in Ottawa this week, I had a good meeting with Joe Sardinha and Glen Lucas from the British Columbia Fruitgrowers Association to discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by the tree fruit industry in the Okanagan. The federal and provincial governments continue to work together to support the tree fruit industry, most recently through a $5 million investment to help the industry develop new marketing opportunities, infrastructure, and further improve orchard pest management. It’s important that we do all we can to support our local orchardists and help them remain competitive in the global marketplace.

I’m also anticipating a meeting at the end of the week with the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, MLAs Letnick, Stewart and Thompson, as well as Mayor Shepherd.

I find these quarterly meetings very valuable and it gives us the opportunity to share issues and ideas and figure out how we can work together to better serve and support the community.

One such area where we have committed to work together involves area cyclists. Cycling is not only a favourite pastime for many families including my own, it’s an important mode of transport for UBCO students on campus who ride their bike to the University year round. Students have some real concerns however regarding their safety enroute to the campus. For that reason, Mayor Shepherd, MLA Letnick, Ministry of Transportation staff and I had a meeting with the students and will be working together with UBCO to increase the safety of the cycling corridor for the students and staff who ride to the campus. As Spring approaches, it’s an important reminder to us all to share the road so cycling can be a safe pursuit.

One last item of interest is our Government’s work to reduce the red tape burden on small and medium-sized businesses.

In January, the Prime Minister launched the Red Tape Reduction Commission with the mandate to hear from small business owners about their major red tape concerns.

The roundtable consultation process has almost concluded and the Commission will soon provide an interim report in the spring, with our final report to Minister Day to come in the fall, but there is still an opportunity to participate.

I encourage local businesses to go to Red Tape Reduction Commission and share your concerns and solutions.

You provided our Finance Minister with some excellent feedback for Budget 2011 and I have no doubt your common sense will help us achieve our goal of reducing red tape.

Next week, March 14th to 20th, I will be back in the riding to meet with constituents, attend local events and to knock on a few doors. Anyone wishing to make an appointment can call my constituency office at 250-470-5075. Alternatively, feel free at anytime to drop me a line at [email protected]. Either way I look forward to hearing from you.

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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