Cannan: Here’s your chance to design a Canadian coin

The winning designs will be selected by Canadians in an online vote this September.

To celebrate Canada’s upcoming 150th anniversary, the Royal Canadian Mint is inviting Canadians to design the 5-cent, 10-cent, 25-cent, one-dollar and two-dollar coins that will circulate in 2017.

The contest is open until April 30, 2015.

Designs should relate to one of five designs:

Our Wonders (Canada’s beauty, from nature to monuments)

Our Character (Values or principles which define Canadian identity)

Our Achievements (Discoveries, exploration or victories)

Our Passions (From culture to sports, to pastimes)

Canada’s future (this category is reserved for Canadians 12-years of age and under for the 25-cent coin)

The winning design per category will be selected by Canadians in an online vote in September 2015. Each circulation coin denomination will feature one of the winning designs in 2017.

To enter a design and to obtain full contest rules and regulations, visit www.mint.ca/canada150.

Good luck everyone!

Meanwhile, its tax time and if you are looking for tax preparation help, you’re in luck.

As we are getting closer and closer to the income tax filing deadline on April 30, I wanted to remind constituents about the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP).

The CVITP supports volunteer community tax preparation clinics that help eligible individuals who have a modest income and a simple tax situation prepare income tax and benefit returns.

Eligible program beneficiaries include: seniors, students, Aboriginal peoples, newcomers to Canada, recipients of social assistance, and persons with a disability.

Across the country there are 2,000 community organizations representing a team of over 16,000 volunteers providing free tax preparation clinics.  In 2014, CVITP volunteers helped over 600,000 Canadians file their tax returns.

The federal government believes strongly in the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program and is investing an additional $1 million in base funding annually.

These new funds will allow the expanded use of technology, providing additional support and building an even stronger network of free CVITP clinics across the country.

In Kelowna, assistance is provided by the Seniors Outreach Services Society (250 861-6180 or seniorvi@telus.net) and the Okanagan College Accounting Club (ocac.ocbusiness@gmail.com).  For times and dates of clinics and for more information, please go to the CVITP website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/vlntr/clncs/kelowna-bc-eng.html or contact the organizations directly.

Meanwhile, a call for Proposals for the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) has been issued.

The federal government, through the department of Economic and Social Development Canada, is currently accepting funding proposals via the Enabling Accessibility Fund- Community Accessibility stream.

Funding will support local projects which facilitate accessibility through renovation, retrofit and/or construction of facilities where programs and/or services are offered to people with disabilities.

The submission deadline is April 27.

Priority may be given to proposals aimed at recreational spaces for children with disabilities, enhancing access for veterans with disabilities, and enhancing access for seniors with disabilities.

Organizations who wish to submit a proposal should go to www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/disability/eaf/community.shtml for more information.

As always, if you have any questions or comments regarding information provided in my column, please don’t hesitate to contact me at ron@cannan.ca or 250 470-5075. My staff and I are ready to help.