Budget 2012

Last Thursday, as Minister Flaherty’s budget speech made clear, a concerted focus on the economy and jobs is paying off for Canada, and our economy has emerged from the global recession much better than other industrialized countries. 
On Friday, at the Manteo Resort, my colleague, the Honourable James Moore was in Kelowna where he spoke at the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce luncheon.  Special thanks to Caroline Grover, Dicky Dack and all the Chamber team for their great work.
As Minister Moore stated, Canada has not only created over 610,000 net new jobs, but the government has reduced the deficit by half in just two years.  We have done so by keeping personal and business taxes low, investing in important economic drivers like our colleges and universities including UBCO and Okanagan College, helping small business weather the recession by making programs such as EI more flexible, and reducing government spending.  We have done so while increasing funding for health and social transfers to the provinces.
This is the reason Forbes magazine ranks Canada as the best place in the world for businesses to grow and create jobs and why independent international observers like the IMF and OECD predict Canada will be at the head of the G-7 pack in economic growth for the years ahead.
On the other side of the coin we know, that despite job gains, Canadians are still looking for work, which is why Budget 2012 keeps the focus on jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity.
Economic Action Plan 2012 lays a strong foundation for continued job creation and economic growth with more support for training, extending the Hiring Credit for Small Business, and providing new opportunities for Canadians to gain access to the labour market.  It also keeps taxes low for small- and medium-sized business, facilitate the responsible development of Canada’s energy and natural resource sectors and locally, will provide funding opportunities to establish community infrastructure partnerships with local governments.
To ensure Canada remains competitive, the Plan also makes major new investments in advanced research, science and technology, and more. These investments will encourage innovation and position Canada to succeed in the knowledge economy of the 21st century.
Watching the situation in many European countries, Canadians know the importance of responsible spending by governments.  That’s why we’re streamlining government operations and ending wasteful spending, to move Canada to balanced budgets over the medium term.
We will do this without raising taxes and without cutting transfers to the provinces for services families rely on like health care and education. 
Looking forward, our Government is also ensuring the sustainability of our retirement income system. 
We are moving government employee and Parliamentarian pension plans more in-line with the private sector.
And we are making adjustments to OAS by making gradual adjustments to the Old Age Security System so that it is secure for generations to come.
These are the broad strokes of Economic Action Plan 2012.  There are many more details in Budget 2012.  If you are interested in learning more about Budget 2012, you can access the full document and associated information at www.budget.gc.ca
While our course of action has its detractors, I’m confident that our ongoing diligence will pay off.  
Canadians are the same resourceful people we have always been and it’s time we stopped negating our strengths and our success and time we recognized and took advantage of all this country has to offer. 
Budget 2012 confirmed that Canada is a great country on top of the world and we intend to keep it that way for today and for generations of Canadians to follow! 
Ron Cannan is the Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country and can be reached at [email protected] or 250 470-5075.

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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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