Protect women and girls

As a father of three grown daughters, I proudly support the action our Government is taking to end all forms of violence against women and girls, including murdered and missing aboriginal women and girls.

It was our Government that established the special committee on missing and murdered aboriginal women in 2013 and it was our Government, under the strong leadership of the Minister of Status of Women, the Hnonourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, that responded to the committee’s findings in its report Invisible Women: A Call to Action by announcing Canada’s Action Plan to Address Family Violence and Violent Crimes against Aboriginal Women and Girls.  

Our Government has invested millions of dollars in community-based projects which support preventing and ending violence against women and girls, including funding programs and services that support victims, improving community safety by giving law enforcement the tools to fight crimes that target women and girls such as online exploitation and human trafficking, providing matrimonial rights for women on reserve, and strengthening the capacity of the criminal justice system through tougher penalties for violent crimes.

The stark reality is that women and girls continue to face violence and exploitation in their homes, schools, workplaces, online and on the streets.   Statistics show that one in three women in Canada will experience sexual assault at some point in their lives, especially young women between the ages of 15-24.

That is why in May, I was pleased to invite local organizations to participate in a roundtable discussion to discuss ways in which we as a community can work together to end exploitation and violence against women and girls in Kelowna-Lake Country. 

My co-hosts were the Kelowna Women’s Shelter and MP Joy Smith, a long-time advocate for the protection of women and girls. 

The feedback was positive and the work that is being done by local organizations is outstanding.

As my colleague MP Joy Smith noted, “Creating a society in which violence against women is no longer tolerated will take ongoing commitment and continuous dialogue."

And as Karen Mason, Executive Director of the Kelowna Women’s Shelter noted, “Exploitation and violence against women and girls are complex, multi-layered issues which require a collaborative approach if we are going to make inroads to solving them.”

Violence against women and girls is an ongoing challenge in our society requiring cooperation and vigilance by all levels of government, law enforcement, communities and families.  Misleading information and partisan politics has no place here; it is counter-productive and does not reflect the genuine sense of responsibility we all share and want to encourage.

I want to thank those in our community who work so hard to deliver the programs and services that support women and girls, including all those who came out recently to support the Party in Pink Gala fundraiser for the Kelowna Women’s Shelter.  Not only are you helping to change lives, it is because of you that we are making progress.


Ron Cannan is the Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country and welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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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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