July 02, 2015 - 1:00 PM
KELOWNA - Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna Lake Country, has the weight of history behind him as he looks for a fourth consecutive term this fall.
The former Kelowna city councillor took 56 per cent of the vote in the 2011 federal election, a comfortable margin that far exceeded the Conservative’s record across the country of just under 40 per cent.
But that doesn’t mean he’s given up on campaigning.
“Campaigning is doing my job, from my perspective, and making people feel they have a voice in Ottawa. I was elected in 2006 and I’ve been campaigning ever since,” he says.
Despite the notion that the political epicentre of Canada has shifted west during the Harper years, Cannan says the thrust of his job is ensuring Ottawa’s bureaucrats don’t let the Central Okanagan fall off the radar.
“In Ontario and Ottawa, sometimes they seem to forget what’s west of the Rockies, so my job is to continue to ensure that our voice is heard and to get those federal dollars back into our riding," he says. "That’s been my life and hopefully, I can continue to earn the trust and respect of the constituents of Kelowna Lake Country.”
Like his party, Cannan’s main message is that Canada and the Central Okanagan have benefited greatly from the Conservatives' handling of the economy and will continue to do so if they are re-elected.
“Overall, Canada has weathered the economic downturn of 2008 and come out stronger. The late Jim Flaherty and the Prime Minister had the wisdom to pay down the deficit of $37 billion. We got into that in the depth of the recession and came out of it with a very aggressive infrastructure program which has benefitted Canadians across the country.”
Cannan says there is nothing in the Conservatives’ record he isn’t willing to defend.
“I’m proud of our leadership, proud of our government. We are never going to please everybody, but the fact is, we are the envy of the world. We continue to invest in families and seniors with our latest budget. The challenge is getting the positive news out,” he says.
If nothing else, the October 19 federal election is the first in years where there is a sense the Conservatives may be vulnerable, whether it’s from the resurgent Liberals or the solid polling of the NDP.
He has met both Liberal and NDP candidates from the riding, but he refuses to say which he fears most in a general election.
“I work in a different way. As I said, one of my personal beliefs is about the importance of relationships and how you treat people. I’ve never really been a partisan guy on the attack. My perspective is that it’s my job helping our constituents get the best representation in Ottawa they possibly can and I hope the people of Kelowna Lake Country allow me to continue to deliver that,” he says.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015