Oh Canada: what a great country!

As I write this column, all Members of Parliament, including the Prime Minister, have just wrapped up more than 48 hours of around-the-clock debate on the Canada Post back-to-work legislation.  
Canadians sent a strong message on May 2nd to complete and protect our economic recovery.  That is why we tabled the Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act to ensure resumption and continuation of postal services. 
With no sign of the two sides finding agreement, our Government was concerned about the effect the Canada Post stoppage was having on Canada’s economic recovery and on Canadians.
I heard all kinds of stories from constituents as to how this strike was affecting them: businesses couldn’t ship their goods or receive payment, important personal documents delayed people’s emergency travel and more. 
Ultimately, for all Canadians, including postal workers who were going without pay, our Government acted to protect the public interest and the country’s economy as a whole.
So, with some key legislation passed including the Budget and the Fair and Efficient Criminal Trials Act,  Parliament has recessed for the summer and I am back to work in the riding.
It’s hard to believe that it is already the end of June and Canada Day is almost upon us.  It’s one of the busiest weekends on my schedule and I am looking forward to the opportunity to connect face to face with as many of you as possible at the various activities taking place in the riding.
July 1, I will be up and out at 8 AM to support the Lake Country Rotary Pancake Breakfast and a Root Beer Garden by the Lions. Entertainment includes the Lake Country Big Band, a variety of local talented musicians, games and rides for the kids and demonstrations by the Fire Department.
At 10 AM, I will be at the Rotary Centre for the Arts to welcome 94 new Canadian citizens at the Citizenship Ceremony.
At noon, I’ll be at Prospera Place for the official Canada Day Opening Ceremonies where I’ll be cutting the cake and eating it too!  Hope you’ll come down, defy your diet and have a piece as well.
Speaking of food, the Taste of Canada food fair will give you a few options if barbecued hotdogs are not your style.  The fair will feature over 16 different vendors and foods from around the world.  Lots of choices and ethnic flavours - you can’t get more Canadian than that!
And what could be a better accompaniment to great food than some great music.   A variety of music and entertainment for all ages will go on throughout the day concluding with the 17th Annual Kelowna POPS Orchestra Canada Day Spectacular.  This ever-popular live orchestral concert will end just in time for audience to enjoy the fireworks. 
These are only a few of the more than the 50 free activities taking place on Canada Day which are sure to please festival goers all day long. 
Canada Day – Kelowna is a true community festival.  Many thanks to Festivals Kelowna, Folkfest, the Kelowna Canada Day Concerts Society and all the volunteers who work so hard every year to make this celebration happen.  I hope you’ll find the time to come out and enjoy it.
For up to date information on all Canada Day activities please go to  www.festivalskelowna.com .
As for the rest of the summer, I’ll be working right here in the riding.  If you wish to meet with me or want to send a message, please feel free to contact my office at 470-5075 or [email protected] . I look forward to talking with as many of you as possible.
Happy Canada Day everyone and have a safe summer!

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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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