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MP-Report

Good news on the horizon

Here’s a bit of good news; the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s 2013 Better Life Index just ranked Canada third among 36 countries (34 OECD countries plus Brazil and Russia), up from sixth place last year.

The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

Since the Index’s inception, Canada has ranked near or at the top of each measured area, together with Australia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the United States.

The OECD Better Life Index assesses housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance.

Key findings in this year’s index are:

  • Canadians are more satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 82 percent of people saying they have more positive experiences in an average day.
  • In Canada, the average household net-adjusted disposable income is US$28,194 a year, more than the OECD average of US$23,047 a year.
  • More than 72 percent of people aged 15 to 64 in Canada have a paid job, a higher rate than the OECD employment average of 66 percent.
  • People in Canada work 1,702 hours a year, less than most people in other OECD countries, who work an average of 1,776 hours.
  • In Canada, 88 percent of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, well above the OECD average of 74 percent; furthermore, 90 percent of Canadian women have completed high school.
  • The average Canadian student scored 527 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment. This score is higher than the OECD average of 497, making Canada one of the strongest OECD countries in terms of student skills.
  • Life expectancy at birth in Canada is 81 years, one year higher than the OECD average of 80 years.
  • Across Canada, the level of atmospheric PM10—tiny air-pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs—is 16 micrograms per cubic metre, considerably lower than the OECD average of 22 micrograms per cubic metre.
  • 89 percent of Canadians say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, a higher rate than the OECD average of 84 percent.
  • 94 percent of Canadians believe they know someone they could rely on in time of need, higher than the OECD average of 90 percent.

A big part of this national success has to be attributed to the commitment and support provided at the local level by community organizations and volunteers across the country.

In Kelowna-Lake Country, we are blessed with a number of top notch community organizations that work tirelessly to improve the lives of others.

In fact, some of the most important are those that support and are supported by our seniors.

Every day, in thousands of communities across the country, Canadian seniors are making a difference by sharing their diverse skills, knowledge and experiences with others through volunteerism and mentoring.

In honour of their contribution, on May 22, the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), launched the 2013–2014 New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) call for proposals for community-based projects.

Organizations may receive up to $25,000 in grant funding per year on projects that focus on one or more of the following objectives: volunteering, mentoring, expanding awareness of elder abuse, social participation and capital assistance.

Any local organizations that have an idea for a project can to go to seniors.gc.ca to take advantage of this call for proposals. The deadline for applications is July 5, 2013.

NHSP funding is an excellent opportunity for organizations to promote the well-being of seniors by helping them to maintain a high quality of life and continue to be active, participating members of our community.

This year alone, the Government of Canada is providing more than $33 million to support 1,750 community-based projects for seniors across the country.

In fact, since its beginning, the NHSP has funded more than 12,200 projects in hundreds of communities that help foster social participation and inclusion of seniors in communities across Canada.

Participation by seniors in our society is vital to the wellbeing of our communities and it is important to acknowledge the important role they play. Not only do we all benefit from their wisdom and experience, their contribution ensures Canada will continue to earn a top spot on the OECD’s Better Life Index.

 

Ron Cannan is the Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country and welcomes your feedback at [email protected]. Information on local announcements and federal government programs can be found at www.cannan.ca.



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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.



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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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