Wednesday, April 16th5.7°C
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Ron Cannan

This week in Parliament

 
As I write this column, it is 1:00 AM or so on Wednesday morning and my colleagues and I are gathering in the House of Commons preparing to vote on C-39, the back to work legislation that will get CP rail moving again. 
 
It’s been quite the week with some big wins and one particular disappointment. 
 
First and foremost, my mind is on our Veterans.  I was reassured to see The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, announce that the Government of Canada will not appeal the Federal Court’s May 1, 2012 decision regarding the offset of Pension Act disability benefits from the Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP).
 
“The men and women who serve and sacrifice in Canada's name need to know that their Government will stand behind them and provide the benefits they need when their service is complete,” said Minister MacKay. “I am pleased to announce our government will discontinue the offset for Long Term Disability benefits.”
 
Since 2006, the Government of Canada has put in place a wide range of programs and benefits to support ill and injured Veterans, military personnel and their families. These complement the Long Term Disability group insurance plan for Canadian Forces (CF) members that is administered under SISIP. This program has done a tremendous amount of good by giving veterans with a long-term disability a benefit equal to 75 per cent of their pre-release salary.
 
Secondly, with the help of my assistant Louise, I have been in discussion with Veterans Affairs to see if there is some way, despite the necessary cutbacks, to retain some local service for Veterans here in Kelowna.  I am confident that we will be able to come up with a better solution than requiring local Veterans to drive to Penticton.  It’s just too far for some of our oldest Veterans to travel.  So, stay tuned, I’m fairly confident we can turn this one around.
 
Speaking of confidence, I was fairly confident that Bill C-311, An Act to amend the 1928 Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, tabled by my colleague MP Dan Albas, was going to pass this week.
 
Based on my motion 601, C-311, will allow Canadians from out of province to buy wine directly from our local vintners in BC and other provinces, a win- win for consumers and vintners alike.
 
C-311, has had all party support from the get go, a testament to the common sense of the legislation and Dan’s hard work.  
 
But, instead of popping a cork to celebrate the victory for consumers and our vintners, the NDP pulled the plug choosing that moment to refuse to allow the bill to complete third reading, the final stage a bill passes before it is sent to the Senate.  Sadly, the NDP have just ended up hurting the industry, especially our smaller vintners, who were really looking forward to the bill’s passage.
 
There is a slim chance that something can be negotiated so that the bill can be put before the House again before it rises for the summer.  If not, the bill won’t pass until the fall.  The decision rests in the hands of the Opposition.
 
All in all, it’s been an interesting week with a few wins and some setbacks.  I’m signing off now to vote on C-39.  By the time you read this, Bill C-39 will have passed: the trains will be rolling again, the growing disruption to the economy will be rectified, and, hopefully, the two sides will be back at the negotiating table signing an agreement they can both live with.
 
 
Ron Cannan is the Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country.  He can be reached at [email protected]  or 250 470-5075.


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About the author...

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.

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 Chamber 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, 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.

He is also a member of the Standing Committee for Government Operations and Estimates.

In previous Parliaments Ron has been a member of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee, the Human Resources and Social Development Committee, 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 Co-chair 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, in particular those vintages not readily available through provincial liquor control outlets.  His motion is now a bill before the House of Commons sponsored by MP Dan Albas, seconded by Ron, which is well on its way to being passed.  Passage of the bill will create awareness and boost sales for some of Canada’s smaller wineries while generating national pride and international recognition of the award winning efforts of Canada’s vintners.
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 Chamber 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, 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.

He is also a member of the Standing Committee for Government Operations and Estimates.

In previous Parliaments Ron has been a member of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee, the Human Resources and Social Development Committee, 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 and daughters Amanda, Ashley and Amy and his grandsons Marcel and Nolan.  His hobbies include music and sports.




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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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