Celebrating science and technology

I recently had the opportunity to meet Ryan Holmes who is an Okanagan success story in innovation and technology.
Ryan attended Okanagan College (OC) and is now the founder and CEO of the social media management system HootSuite which has over 5 million subscribers and a projected market valuation of $500 million. With around 250 employees and growing, Ryan wants to keep HootSuite here in Canada.  The chances it will happen are good.  Here in the Okanagan innovation is flourishing due to strong leadership by organizations like Okanagan College, UBC–O, Accelerate Okanagan, and investments from the private and government sectors.
Coincidentally, October 12th to 21st is National Science and Technology Week in Canada, providing us with a great opportunity to recognize the achievements of young entrepreneurs like Ryan and the critical role science and technology plays in making Canada a leader in innovation.  Without science and technology there would be no innovation, which is why it is encouraging to know, after a recent assessment of the state of science and technology in Canada, that Canadian S&T is healthy and growing in both output and impact. 
The assessment, conducted by a panel of 18 national and international panelists, revealed that over the past five years, real improvements have occurred in the magnitude and quality of Canadian science and technology. In a survey of over 5,000 leading international scientists, Canada’s scientific research enterprise was ranked fourth highest in the world, after the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany.
As part of a network of international science and technology collaboration that includes the most scientifically advanced countries in the world, Canada is also attracting high-quality researchers from abroad, such that over the past decade there has been a net migration of researchers into the country.
The assessment also showed that Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta are the powerhouses of Canadian science and technology, together accounting for 97 per cent of total Canadian output in terms of research papers. These provinces also have the best performance in patent-related measures and the highest per capita numbers of doctoral students, accounting for more than 90 per cent of doctoral graduates in Canada in 2009.
Our government has been criticized for failing to support science but the truth is we are funding science and technology at record levels - $8 billion in new dollars since 2006  - and its reaping important dividends.
According to the assessment Panel Chair Dr. Eliot Phillipson, “There is much for Canadians to be proud of as Canada’s international reputation is strong, science and technology research is robust across the country, and globally we are considered to have world-leading research infrastructure and programs.”
Supporting local arts and culture
The Kelowna Art Gallery contacted my office recently to let me know about its upcoming Appetizer for Art fundraiser and auction.  The event will be held Saturday, November 3, from 7 to 10 PM at the Kelowna Art Gallery.
Not only will you be able to purchase art but you’ll get to enjoy some of the region’s finest cuisine and spirits.  For more information please go to www.kelownaartgallery.com.
The arts and culture sector in Kelowna-Lake Country provides our community, especially school-aged children, with access to music, art, dance and heritage programs. It also creates jobs and supports our local economy. That is why the federal government, each year, invests in our Kelowna-Lake Country organizations through the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program.  Through donations, as an audience member, or as a volunteer, our arts and culture sector is worthy of our support.
As always if you have any questions or concerns related to the federal government, 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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