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Recently, I received a note from Shelagh Turner, the dedicated and hard-working Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Kelowna & District Branch.
She wrote, “I wanted to send you a quick note to say thank you for the role you play in supporting the Summer Student jobs program.  We just said goodbye to Meghan, who just returned to school in Calgary.  She assisted us with our reception and admin duties this past summer and was outstanding.  Without the financial assistance of the Service Canada program, we could not have afforded to hire anyone.  Having her doing such an important job in reception gave us the opportunity to get some really critical administrative tasks completed that ultimately support our staff, clients and the community.  Each year we field over 10,000 calls and walk-in inquiries for information, services and support so our reception is a busy place.  Many thanks for the opportunity, from all the staff and board at CMHA Kelowna!”
It’s great to get such positive feedback and to know that federal government programs like Canada Summer Jobs, supported by local employers and you the taxpayer, are working.
Support for youth employment is needed more than ever to help young Canadians develop skills that can be matched with available jobs.
There are several ways the federal government is supporting this objective:
  • training and employment strategies through Human Resources and Social Development Canada and the Youth Employment Strategy;
  • tax savings on amounts paid for tuition and enrolment in post-secondary educational programs.
  • tax relief for apprentices and other workers in regulated occupations who must pay to complete certification examinations;
  • income tax exemption for post-secondary scholarships, fellowships and bursaries received in connection with a student’s enrolment in a program that qualifies for the Education Tax Credit.
  • tax savings on interest paid on loans for post-secondary education received under the Canada Student Loans Act, the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act, or a similar provincial or territorial government law.
  • record increases in social transfer payments to BC, which help support education;
  • the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, which funded more than 500 upgrade and expansion projects at universities and colleges across Canada.
Additionally, the federal government recently invested $50 million over two years to encourage organizations to connect young Canadians with high demand jobs where there is a clear need for workers.
My colleague the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development has launched two Calls for Proposals that will be used to deliver the funding: one for Skills Link, which connects recent post‑secondary graduates with private sector work experience in high demand occupations; and one for Career Focus, which provides youth facing barriers to employment with skills development and private sector work experience in high demand occupations. 
The Calls for Proposals will close October 19th and I invite local organizations to apply.   Information and details on how to apply are available at www.servicecanada.gc.ca.
Additional information on ways your tax dollars support Canada’s youth can be found at www.youth.gc.ca
National Seniors Day
Just a reminder - Canada’s National Seniors Day is taking place on October 1.  The Government of Canada officially established National Seniors Day in 2010 to provide an occasion for all Canadians to celebrate and appreciate seniors. It coincides with the United Nations International Day of Older Persons.
People looking for ideas to celebrate the seniors in their lives, or who wish to learn more about National Seniors Day and/or programs and services for seniors, are encouraged to visit www.seniors.gc.ca.
On a final note, I hope you are all looking forward to the Thanksgiving on October 8th. Perhaps I’ll see some of you down at the Gospel Mission, where my wife Cindy and I will be serving dinner alongside other community volunteers.  In any event, I hope that even in these challenging times, you can find much to be thankful for.
As always if you have any questions regarding this or any other federally-related issue don’t hesitate to contact my office at [email protected] or by calling 250 470-5075.
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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