Promoting Canada abroad

I see that there is a story doing the rounds again about MP travel.

As a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade, one of the criticisms I’ve heard leveled at MPs by trade representatives and government officials from other countries is that Canadian government officials don’t travel enough.

In fact, in many countries, it’s understood that making the effort to visit and meet with other government officials indicates your country is interested in doing business with their country.

Taking the time to travel to other countries then is an important step in establishing working partnerships between countries.

A good example of this kind of back and forth is the positive experience we just had with Taiwan trade representative Dr. David Ta Wei Lee. As a result of his visit to the Okanagan, our high tech, wine and tourism sectors stand to benefit. Plainly stated, it means more potential business for the Okanagan resulting in more jobs and money spent in the local economy.

It’s true on a national scale as well.

Canada is an exporting nation and robust trade has always been vital to the health of our industries and our economic sustainability.

Based on this, our government has made it a major priority to bring new life to our trade agenda which had virtually come to a standstill under previous governments. In less than four years, we have opened doors to Canadian business by concluding new free trade agreements with Colombia, Peru, Jordan, Panama and the European Free Trade Association states.

At the same time, our government has also launched discussions on economic partnerships with two of the world's largest economies: the European Union and India.

On the cultural front, Minister of Canadian Heritage James Moore announced this week that Canada and India are launching negotiations that will ultimately allow Canadian and Indian film and television producers to pool creative, technical and financial resources to co-produce film and television projects. It’s an initiative that our growing Okanagan film industry will appreciate.

The truth is none of this happens unless we are willing to leave our own borders and go abroad to promote Canada and our regions and show the world what we have to offer. It pays huge dividends for Canadian businesses and communities like our own.

Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation

Every day it is an honour to serve you as the MP for Kelowna-Lake Country. This week I had a the special privilege of attending a very moving ceremony, on behalf of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, which awarded 8 special Canadians with the Minister of Veterans Affair Commendation.

This award, established in 2001 by the Governor General, is bestowed to individuals who have performed commendable service to the Veteran community and/or individuals who represent commendable role models for their fellow Veterans.

Past Commendation recipients from the Okanagan include Bishop Fraser Berry, Reverend Dick Fletcher, Robert Maxwell, Harry Quarton and Bill Tanner.

This year, Kelowna's own Mary Cardiff is one of the recipients. Mary has tirelessly served our community for many years. She is a 60 year member of the Royal Canadian Legion's Ladies Auxiliary and a 26 year member of the Royal Canadian Legion. For twenty-five years, Mary has organized Remembrance Day ceremonies for retirement and home care facilities throughout the Kelowna area. At 80-years-old, Mary is still going strong and continues to ensure that everyone in our community has the opportunity to commemorate our Veterans. She is well-deserving of the Minister’s Commendation Award. Congratulations and Thank You Mary!

As always, if you have any questions or comments on this or any other federally-related matter, don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or at 470-5075.

Ron Cannan is the MP for Kelowna-Lake Country.

More MP Report articles

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.

Previous Stories