Supporting victims of crime

This is National Victims of Crime Awareness week and victims and victim-serving organizations, government and non-government agencies, individuals and their families will be participating in events across the country to raise awareness of the issues faced by victims of crime.
On April 28th, Kelowna will be one stop on the tour of the Five with D.R.I.V.E Foundation’s Freedom Walk to raise awareness on behalf of victims in Canada.  The Freedom Walk hopes to raise $500,000 to support the Canadian Crime Victim Foundation (CCVF) and the CCVF Secondary School Scholarship to support students that advocate for victims of crime.   Five men, covering over 4,800 kilometres, 5 provinces from BC to Ontario, and 40 towns and cities in Canada - I encourage everyone to come out and support their efforts.  For more information please go to www.freedomwalk.ca .
Ensuring awareness and creating a culture of support is the key.  As Sue O’Sullivan, Canada’s Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime wrote in the Hill Times this week: “Undoubtedly all parts of the justice continuum are crucial … yet for too long there has been an uneven focus, both in the criminal justice system and in public dialogue, on offender-management issues rather than the direct treatment and rights of victims within the system.”
For some time now our federal government has made the concerns of victims a priority and has remained committed to making meaningful changes to help victims of crime by providing them with the support and tools that they need.
Not only has our government taken steps to ensure that criminals are held fully accountable for their actions but it also has ensured that the safety and security of law-abiding Canadians and victims come first in Canada’s justice system.
That is why the Government has introduced an act to amend the Criminal Code (victim surcharge) that will make convicted offenders more accountable to victims of crime.
The surcharges, which will be used by the government of the province or territory where the crime occurred, will ensure that victim support services receive the funding they require and support those like the dedicated professionals and volunteers in our community who work with victims of crime and their families to help them take a path towards healing. 
Across the country, thousands of people every year seek help from victim services offices. Being a victim of crime can be a life-altering experience and how an individual may chose to move their life forward after being victimized will be unique to the person and the situation.
In Kelowna, services for victims of crime are available from the RCMP, and for victims of abuse, at the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society (COEFS) and the Regional District of Central Okanagan Victim-Witness Services.
If you or your family needs support, help is a phone call away.  You can call the Kelowna RCMP at (250) 762-3300 or the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society at (250) 763-4613.
In addition, Kelowna and Lake Country have community policing centres located at Mission Community Policing Office, 4065 Lakeshore Drive, Kelowna (250) 764-5004, at the Rutland Community Policing Office, 115 McIntosh Road (250) 765-6355, and at 3231 Berry Road, Lake Country (250) 766-2288.
More information on the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society can also be found at www.beyondcrisis.ca.
As always, if you have any questions about these issues or want to share your views about federally-related matters, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at (250) 470-5075 or by e-mail at [email protected].  Information is also available on my website at www.cannan.ca.
We are still accepting nominations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal program.  If you know of someone who has made a significant contribution to our community or country, you can nominate them by completing a Nomination Form at my website www.cannan.ca
Ron Cannan is the Member of Parliament 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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