Coming Together As A Community

It has been a difficult week for our community. The incident that took place at the Delta Grand Hotel has left many of us shocked and angry. Gang related crimes such as this show just how vulnerable the community can be to organized crime. It is a miracle that no innocent bystanders were hurt.

I had a chance to have lunch with Daniel Bibby, the GM of the Delta Hotel.  Daniel said that he received several e-mails, cards and calls from folks in the community offering their support. I want to thank Daniel and his team for their patience and professionalism through all of this. The Delta Grand is one of the premier tourist locations in the Okanagan and Daniel and his team have done their utmost to ensure that visitors to the Delta feel safe and well taken care of.

I was also in communication with Mayor Shepherd, local government representatives and the Office of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.

Policing of our communities is a shared responsibility between the province and local governments.  The federal government works with the province by maintaining transfer payments to fund the RCMP.    

In 2008, the federal government delivered a one-time boost of $400 million to the RCMP for the hiring of provincial police. The goal was to hire 2,500 more police officers across Canada.

The provinces were given the discretion to disburse the funds as they saw fit and, in B.C., the provincial government chose to use the $53.3 million to make a three-year commitment to establish the Organized Crime Task Force.

I am encouraged to learn that the Province of B.C. under Solicitor-General Shirley Bond has committed to the continued funding of these dedicated resources and will maintain a focus on guns and gangs.   

This is no doubt due to ongoing efforts by the City, local organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, our MLAs Ben, Steve and Norm and the outstanding leadership of Superintendent McKinnon and his team who have kept the necessity of the Organized Crime Task Force front and centre.  

The issue of guns and gangs is a serious concern to our community and I assure you that it will also remain a priority for the federal government.  

By maintaining our funding commitments to the provinces and ensuring that legislation is in place to address organized crime through tough mandatory sentencing, the federal government continues to support police enforcement and their continued efforts to keep our streets and communities safe.  

Supporting MS

I was very excited to hear the recent announcement by my colleague Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq that a clinical trial on Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) will proceed at the Phase I/II level.

When we first heard of the CCSVI treatment I received a number of e-mails and telephone calls about the procedure.  People were understandably anxious to learn when the treatment would be available in Canada.  The recent news that there is enough scientific evidence for Canada to move forward with clinical trials is therefore welcome.

It is too early to know yet how many patients will be recruited and where the study will be conducted. However, more detailed information about the trials and multiple sclerosis research in Canada will be made available through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research website. I encourage anyone with an interest to monitor the CIHR site for updates.

One way the community can help support our local MS Society is by polishing your ride and Cruisin’ the Dub!

Thursday, August 25 is “Cruisin’ for a Cause” day at all A&W outlets. Have an A&W Teen Burger and $1 from each sale will be donated to help end MS.

Leading up to this day, donations to end MS will be received at every A&W location.

Volunteer ambassadors for the MS Society Okanagan Chapter are needed to help promote this event and to help on the day of the event. If you would like to participate, please contact Miriam at [email protected] or leave a message at 250-762-5850.

Hope you all continue to enjoy your summer.


Ron Cannan is MP for Kelowna-Lake Country and can be reached @ 250-470-5075 or [email protected].

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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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