CENTRAL OKANAGAN - Sitting amid the boxes and bags in his half-packed up office, former member of Parliament Ron Cannan can’t resist a joke.
“The always said you could run a dog in this riding as a Conservative and it would get elected. Well, I proved them wrong.”
Cannan has until Nov. 18 to vacate his long-time constituency office in the Capri Mall on Highway 97. He must do the same thing in his office on Parliament Hill by next week and has given notice to the landlord of his Ottawa condo.
Even as he packs up the detritus of political office, people are popping their heads in to say hi or having a good long look through the glass window of his office at Cannan, who has become a bit of a curiousity now in the wake of his unexpected defeat by Liberal Stephen Fuhr in the Oct. 19 federal election.
He alludes briefly to the magnitude of the loss, calling it the 'perfect storm' of political circumstances, including the local Liberal-Green alliance, riding redistribution and the Liberal tsunami that swept the country.
"They ran a great campaign, there's not much else to say."
Magnanimous in defeat, Cannan says he met his replacement Fuhr earlier on Monday, inviting him over for chat about what he could expect in his new role which requires him to maintain two offices and two homes in separate cities.
“I showed him around, give him an idea of what he’s inheriting. When I took over (from previous MP Werner Schmidt in 2006) I had no idea.”
Cannan has several things to ponder, including his future in politics and more immediately, his prospects for work and a more normal life back in Kelowna.
“I was advised not to rush into anything, to leave all my options open and to take a break, which is what I’m going to do."
He still holds the nomination as a Conservative in the Kelowna-Lake Country and intends to stay involved but admits he’s now open to challenge during the riding level nomination process that will soon follow the upcoming Conservative leadership review.
“You normally don’t challenge a sitting MP but now it’s an open riding, so we will see what happens."
But before that, he’s planning nothing much at all except to spend more time with his family, who have put up with him being gone half the year for the last decade.
“We had my daughters and grandsons and I got to go to a hockey game and hockey practice and they slept over. I got to do something I haven’t been able to do for a few years."
His time off also includes helping his wife Cindy through upcoming surgery for injuries she sustained in a cycling accident last year.
“One door closes and another one opens. I’m excited about the plans God has for my wife and I and family in the future.”
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