51807
MP-Report

Budget 2015

On April 22 Finance Minister Joe Oliver tabled the 2015 federal budget (budget.gc.ca). This is the 10th budget tabled since I was elected to serve the fine folks of Kelowna-Lake Country and I am pleased to say it contains positive news.

First, it is a balanced budget.

Secondly, Canadians are enjoying the lowest overall federal tax burden in more than half a century.

We have achieved this while transfer payments to the provinces and territories for healthcare, education, and social programs remain at historic highs and all of the jobs lost during the recession have been recovered – along with more than 1.2 million net new jobs.

Budget 2015 notes these achievements and more while delivering additional tax savings and benefits.

100 percent of lower income, single parent, and middle class families with children are benefitting from increased benefits through the expanded Universal Child Care Benefit.  In addition to our new Family Tax Cut and lower personal income tax, it is estimated that a typical two earner family of four is now realizing an extra $6600 in savings.

Seniors living in Kelowna-Lake Country will benefit from Budget 2015 with the reduction in the minimum withdrawal for Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs).

Seniors and persons with disabilities will also appreciate the introduction of the Home Accessibility Tax Credit to help with renovation costs to make homes safer and more accessible.

The national seniors’ organization CARP also praised Budget 2015 for almost doubling the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) from $5,500 to $10,000.

This is a popular program for Canadians at all income levels who actively save for retirement, a new home, or education.  Nearly 11 million Canadians use a TFSA, more than 80% with incomes less than $80,000.

Both seniors and families will welcome the expansion of compassionate care benefits under the EI program from 6 weeks to 6 months to help provide caregiving to loved ones when they need it the most.

Small business owners and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business are giving Budget 2015 an “A” for its plan to reduce the small business tax rate over the next four years. Once fully implemented, our government will have cut small business taxes by almost 50%, helping businesses grow and create jobs.

For those in our tourism sector, more money will be invested to attract US visitors to Canada, including the Okanagan.  Extension of the electronic travel authorization eligibility to low-risk travellers from countries like Mexico will be good news for those who rely on clients from these countries.

And for our hardworking mayors and council, who are responsible for municipal infrastructure, the new, permanent Public Transit Fund, praised by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, along with the Gas Tax Fund and the New Building Canada fund, assures stable, predictable infrastructure funding over the long-term.

Budget 2015 and the ongoing strong fiscal leadership of this government means Kelowna-Lake Country taxpayers can look forward to balanced budgets, low taxes, job creation and Canada’s economic stability for years to come.



More MP Report articles

46461
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.



45352
The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories