Opinion

Cannan: ‘Our government’ will transfer $4.17 billion to B.C. health

Our government is committed to a publicly funded, universally accessible health care system founded on the principles of the Canada Health Act.

In 2011, our government announced a major new investment in health care, and committed to continued growth in health transfers to the provinces and territories.  Our plan has provided record growth to all provinces, and these transfers will continue to grow by six per cent every year for the next three years.

In 2014-15, our government will provide British Columbia with $4.17 billion through the Canada Health Transfer – an all-time high. Not only that, but this is more than $1.3 billion (a 49 per cent increase) than under  previous governments.

These record transfers are providing long-term, stable funding so that our health care system is there when Canadians need it. To ensure health funding for the provinces continues to grow in a sustainable way, transfers will grow in line with the economy starting in 2017 and is guaranteed to increase by at least 3 per cent.

Our government is working with all the provinces and territories to ensure the healthcare system is sustainable and delivering the care that Canadians need. In addition to transfers being at an all-time high, we are also funding nearly 13,000 health researchers across Canada, and investing roughly $1 billion every year for health research.

Through record transfers and significant investments in research and innovation, we are supporting all provinces and territories in delivering the quality of care that Canadians expect.

Helping Small Business—The Business Innovation Access Program

The federal government recently unveiled the Business Innovation Access Program (BIAP).

The BIAP, a Government of Canada pilot program, will provide $20 million in funding to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them access business services or technical assistance at Canada’s learning institutions and publicly-funded research organizations to bring bigger and better innovations to market faster.

The program is delivered by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).

NRC-IRAP’s Industrial Technology Advisors (ITAs) located across Canada, including the hard working and dedicated team operating within the Accelerate Okanagan office in Kelowna, will use their extensive networks and depth of knowledge to connect firms with academic or other research institutions to address and resolve barriers to the development and commercialization of technologies.

For more information on eligibility and to learn if your business can benefit from this innovation funding, I encourage local companies to contact NRC-IRAP at 1-877-994-4727.

Volunteer Week and the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards

National Volunteer Week (April 6-12) is a time to recognize, celebrate and thank Canada’s 13.3 million volunteers.

The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, calls Canada “a smart and caring nation.”

Certainly we need only look to the outstanding volunteer effort that takes place in Kelowna-Lake Country to know that is true.  Our volunteers do more than give of their time; their efforts strengthen our communities and make life in the Okanagan better for many people.

Every year, the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards are bestowed on Canadians to recognize the enormous contributions volunteers, not-for-profit organizations and businesses make to our communities.

Each year a total of 17 awards are given at the regional and national level. Award recipients are recognized at a ceremony and can select an eligible not-for-profit organization to receive a grant of $5,000 (regional award) or $10,000 (national award).

The call for nominations for the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards is open until May 9.

I encourage constituents to learn more about the awards and to consider submitting a nomination today through the Prime Minister’s website.  For more information and to submit a nomination please go to: www.pm.gc.ca/PMVA.

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