The colour green

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The best part of my job, and the most important, is working with the various individuals and organizations that are committed to keeping our community great.

One such group is the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.

Last week, Kelowna Chamber CEO Weldon Leblanc took time out of his busy schedule to meet with our Minister of State for Small Business and ministerial policy advisors from the Departments of Finance, Human Resources and Public Safety.

The Chamber wants to ensure that support for the tourism sector, housing and organized crime remain a top priority for our government.

The timing couldn’t have been better as the Department of Finance has just begun its pre-budget consultations for next February’s budget. It’s always good to get your priorities in early.

I met up with the Chamber of Commerce again at their launch of the Go Green Business Challenge last Friday, which encourages local businesses to initiate green practices into their workplace. Thanks to K96.3FM and Kelowna Toyota for their sponsorship.

I applaud the Chamber for their common sense leadership. It recognizes that actions at the local level are the most important as we adapt to the realities of a changing climate.

It’s a message that was echoed this week by the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy that “we must go beyond cutting carbon emissions. We must start adapting our behaviour, our communities, and our economic activity to the emerging reality of climate change.”

That sentiment was also expressed by our Government when Environment Minister Jim Prentice announced a $400 million commitment to international climate with an emphasis on adaptation, clean energy, forests and agriculture.

Like the Chamber, our Government is committed to a balanced common sense approach which is to protect the environment while sustaining the economy. Both will be required in order to ensure a socially sustainable future.

For more information on the Chamber’s Go Green Business Challenge and for a chance to win a one year lease on a 2010 Prius Hybrid car, sponsored by Kelowna Toyota, please visit Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

I also dropped into the Kelowna Fire Museum (corner of Water/Leon) to visit Brian Moore, Executive Director, and his dedicated, hard working volunteers to share the good news that their efforts will be supported with federal funding under the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program. This project will help Kelowna seniors set-up and lead a Kitchen Coffee Shop inside the Kelowna Fire Hall Museum and Education Centre. The Society’s efforts ensure that the proud history of fire-fighting in the Okanagan is accessible to our community, particularly our young people.

Last but not least, a protest was held outside our offices last Saturday on our Government’s tough on crime legislation Bill S-10.

Drug trafficking and drug production is without a doubt the most significant source of illicit money for organized crime in our community and the Region.

It’s the reason the Chamber has ongoing funding for the Organized Crime Task Force high on its priority list. Organized crime can have a serious detrimental effect on the safety and economic security of our community if not addressed.

The protestors, recreational users of marijuana, are concerned that they are being unfairly targeted for what they consider to be a minor offence.

S-10 however, is specifically directed at drug trafficking and large scale producers. We want to ensure that serious drug offenses that involve organized crime, violence, or selling drugs to our youth will result in a mandatory minimum jail sentence.

It’s just another example of this government’s common sense approach to crime.

As we enjoy a beautiful autumn season, it is important to remember to give thanks for all that we have. We live in the greatest country in the world and to be able to call the Okanagan home is a double blessing. I hope that you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving. On Monday I will be down at the Kelowna Gospel Mission serving turkey dinner. The rest of the week I will be working in and around the riding. If you would like to meet or have any federal issues or concerns you would like to discuss please feel free to contact me at your convenience. In all things, give thanks!

Ron Cannan is the MP for Kelowna-Lake Country and can be reached at [email protected] or at his Capri Mall Constituency Office @ 470-5075.

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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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