Giving back

A column by MP Ron Cannan.

 

In 1996, running for municipal council, my campaign signs read, “Don’t ask what your community can do for you, but what you can do for you community.”

Here in the Okanagan, the month of June provides a number of opportunities to do just that.

This weekend, I urge you to join me and members of our community for two events that are taking place to help the community.

The 8th Annual Okanagan Walk for ALS will take place Saturday, June 18th, 2010, at Rhapsody Plaza in Kelowna’s Waterfront Park.  Registration starts at 9:00 am & the Walk at 10:00 am.

ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a devastating neuromuscular condition that robs people of the ability to move, speak and ultimately breathe. On average, patients live only 3-5 years after diagnosis and ALS claims the lives of 2-3 Canadians each day – more than AIDS. There are about 3,000 Canadians living with ALS today and nearly 40 in the Thompson/Okanagan area.   Ross Ruttle was a friend who succumbed to this terrible disease a few years ago.   Many folks will remember Ross as the great baritone who sang the National Anthem for the Rockets games.

The Okanagan Walk for ALS hopes to raise $50,000 for the ALS Society of BC and organizers expect 150-250 walkers including patients, caregivers, their families and interested members of the community.

For more information please contact Gerry McNeill, Walk Coordinator @ okanaganwalk@alsbc.ca 250-764-0120 or 250-870-1638.  Further information is also available at www.alsbc.ca

Also on June 18th, Variety – The Children’s Charity will hold its Boat for Hope event at the Kelowna Yacht Club, 1414 Water Street.  No doubt, as in past years, it will be a fun-filled day on the “high seas” of Okanagan Lake that will provide an unforgettable adventure for special needs children in our community.  Local skippers will be volunteering their time and their boats for a pirate adventure, one of whom is willing to take me aboard!

Every year, Variety receives over 1,300 requests from BC families for financial assistance for medical emergencies, therapies, specialized equipment, drug prescriptions, and out-of-town accommodation, meals and travel costs. Variety also provides grants to children’s organizations for construction, renovations, equipment, and program costs.

Since its inception, Boat for Hope has raised over $1.2 million.

For more information on the event, to donate, or volunteer, please contact event coordinator Tara Kurtz at tara.kurtz@variety.bc.ca or 604.268.3886.

A quick update on what’s been happening in Ottawa – I’m back as a member of both the Standing Committees on International Trade and Government Operations and Estimates.

I’ve re-tabled my Motion to amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (IILA) which would create a personal exemption so that out-of-province Canadians can buy and transport or order a few bottles of wine directly from our fine vintners.  It would go a long way to helping our wine and tourism industries, especially the smaller wineries that don’t produce enough to get their product on the shelves of the liquor control outlets.  The Motion, previously Motion 601, is now Motion 218.

Also, my first speech of the new Parliament was on the 2011 Federal Budget.  I expect the Budget to pass quickly and we will be able to move forward on a number of important initiatives like increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement for some of our most needy seniors.  If you want more details about the Government’s low tax plan for jobs and growth you can go to www.fin.gc.ca .

Finally, it gave me great pleasure to welcome to Ottawa Tricia Chmiel from the riding, who received the Citizenship & Immigration Deputy Minister’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her extraordinary service and commitment to our country.  The award ceremony was part of National Public Service Week which honours Canada’s world-class Public Service.  Congratulations Tricia and to all the hard-working and dedicated public servants who serve our communities.

Thanks to all of you who give back to the community and for allowing me the opportunity to continue to work with you to make Kelowna-Lake Country a great place to call home.

 

Ron Cannan is the MP for Kelowna-Lake Country. If you wish to discuss any federally-related concerns, don’t hesitate to contact him at 470-5075 or ron@cannan.ca .

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