Our vow to Veterans

Each year the faces of our Veterans change.  Those who fought in the wars of the last century grow fewer replaced by younger men and women who have served in more recent arenas of conflict like Afghanistan.  What doesn’t change is our duty to remember.  That is why on Sunday, Remembrance Day, many of us will stand at cenotaphs across the community, poppies on our lapels, to honour the bravery and sacrifice of Canadians who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We honour the fallen even more by ensuring that those who fought alongside them, our living Veterans, are not forgotten either. 
Veterans Week provides us with the opportunity to confirm our commitment to supporting Veterans. Like all Members of Parliament across the country, I meet with Veterans and their families regularly and I am always moved by their stories of bravery and sacrifice.  In return it is my duty to provide them with the assurance that the federal government has in place benefits and programs that will support our Veterans where and when they need it, and at every stage of their lives.
Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) exists in order to repay the debt our nation owes to the men and women who served and constituents have put their faith in us that our Veterans are being treated fairly and with compassion.
Through Veterans Affairs Canada, Canadians support close to 220,000 clients, including war Veterans, modern-day Veterans, RCMP members, and their families, helping with many aspects of their everyday lives.  As the needs of Veterans change, Veterans Affairs Canada continues to improve the way it serves Veterans by operating more quickly, more efficiently, and more simply.
In the past, outdated methods of delivering services have resulted in delays and inefficiencies.  But with the encouragement of Veterans groups we have broken down bureaucratic roadblocks to make programs and benefits better. Under the Veterans Independence Program for instance, Veterans no longer have to wait for payments to cover housekeeping and grounds keeping services like snow removal.  The payments are made up front rather than making Veterans wait for reimbursement.
Veterans will no longer have to submit receipts for health-related medical travel either, making the claim process much quicker, easier and more efficient. And as announced recently, the Government of Canada is delivering increased benefits to Canadian Armed Forces veterans by ending the deduction of veterans’ disability pensions when calculating their Earnings Loss and Canadian Forces Income Support benefits. These are a few examples of our government’s efforts and determination to ensure our Veterans are being cared for.
Canadians can do their part as well by ensuring that our Veterans’ legacy is not forgotten.
Veterans Week and Remembrance Day provides us with the opportunity to pause and reflect on the sacrifice that our men and women in uniform undertake in order to protect stability and peace around the world and here at home.
I hope that each of you will find time in your busy lives to attend one of the Remembrance Day ceremonies held throughout the week at one of our local retirement and home care facilities, or on Sunday at one of our cenotaphs in Lake Country, Kelowna City Park, or at Lion’s Park in Rutland where I will be laying a wreath.
We all have a responsibility to take time to remember and above all, vow never to forget.
If you have any questions regarding federal issues related to Veterans Affairs Canada or the Government of Canada, please contact my office at [email protected] or go to www.veterans.gc.ca.  I will be working from the riding next week until I return to Ottawa November 18th.
The Honourable 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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