Canadians at work

The latest census results from Statistics Canada confirm our population is growing older.  Canada is quickly becoming a nation faced with a declining labour force just as Canadian seniors require more from health care, pensions, and our income support systems.
It means there are some tough choices ahead, and an even greater need for decisions to be made. 
For that reason, the comprehensive Budget and Economic Plan 2012 puts an emphasis on doing what is necessary to ensure our economic stability.  With our focus squarely on jobs, growth and prosperity, our government is taking the measures required to address an aging population and a shrinking labour force.
To address the growing aging population we have raised the age of eligibility for OAS beginning in 2023 and by doing so have ensured that the program remains stable and available to retiring Canadians, who today live longer, healthier lives than any generation before it.
To address a shrinking labour force, we have put a greater emphasis on the skilled labour class through our immigration system so that our immigration system supports the skills gap we are already facing in many sectors of the economy.
In the same regard, to protect our productivity, we have implemented improvements to the Employment Insurance program to ensure that every Canadian who has the skills and wants to work can find employment.
Despite what you may have heard, these changes are not about forcing people to move or take jobs that have nothing to do with their qualifications.  In other words, Canadians will not be required to take jobs for which they are not suited or which are unreasonable based on their personal circumstances.
In fact, these changes recognize that there are Canadians who are having difficulty finding work at various times during the year, particularly in parts of the country where much of the economy is based on seasonal industries.  Our Government is working to help these Canadians find jobs in their local area, appropriate to their qualifications.  Canadians want to work and the reasonable, common-sense changes to EI will help Canadians get back to work faster.
For those who are unable to find employment, Employment Insurance will continue to be there for them, as it always has been.  
As the Prime Minister said in the House of Commons recently, “We want to make sure people can get jobs when jobs are available, rather than employment insurance. We want to make sure that when jobs are available Canadians get first crack at those jobs, not temporary foreign workers.”
Since the recession, Canada has created more than 750,000 jobs, the best track record in the G8.  Job creation and the availability of a skilled and employable workforce ensures that our economy will remain stable and that we can continue to provide the kinds of benefits, pensions and social supports, especially in retirement, that Canadians depend upon. 
Our ultimate goal is to ensure that Canadians are working. It’s good for the economy, it’s good for employers—and most importantly, it’s good for Canadians and their families.
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

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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