Newsmakers of 2015: Conservative party ousted from Kelowna

Ron Cannan’s Oct. 19 loss at the polls may have been one of the biggest upsets in federal politics this city has seen.

Ron Cannan’s Oct. 19 loss at the polls may have been one of the biggest upsets in federal politics this city has seen.

In addition to the simple fact it’s difficult to find anyone with an unkind word about Cannan, he was running in a region that has been voting in Conservative governments of varying stripes since Pierre Trudeau was prime minister.

For many, his continual re-election was viewed as a reality of Kelowna life.

When he lost to Liberal opponent Stephen Fuhr, however, that reality shifted, and it’s something Cannan has been gracious about.

“From going full speed to having no iPad or Blackberry or anything—that was a real shock to the system…but that’s just democracy,” Cannan said.

“It’s been a privilege and an honour to serve this community (in federal politics) for 10 years, and nine years before that on city council. It’s a fantastic community and I look forward to continue being a part of it.”

For those who have been to any community events in the last month or so, it’s clear he means it.

Whether it’s pouring coffee at the Gospel Mission’s annual Christmas dinner or showing up unexpectedly to sit through some of the city’s budget talks, Cannan is still very much a part of this community.

“My wife and I were talking about this last night,” he said.

“I am not going to stop being who I am. I am part of the community. I appreciate the opportunities I’ve been given to give back.”

And, he sees it leading to new career possibilities.

“I was just chatting with the former mayor Walter Gray and his wife, and we were talking about the federal money that’s available for infrastructure and water,” he said.

The aim has been for something to come about that would see a bit of uniformity in the way Kelowna’s water is managed.

Currently, there are five water purveyors in Kelowna, and they provide water to area residents through varying means.

A provincial call for some cohesion among purveyors has yet to be answered, and Cannan is considering entering the fray as a mediator so forward momentum can be gained.

“The ultimate goal is to come up with the best water provider for Kelowna residents,” he said, noting that a master plan has been discussed for some time.

The elephant in the room is governance, and Cannan believes that he can do the consensus building needed to move forward on that point.

“Water is the most valuable resource, and we need to ensure it’s managed as efficiently as possible so we have a good long-term sustainable supply,” he said, adding that most irrigation districts in the region have a good water management reputation.

In addition to new career opportunities, Cannan said he’s looking forward to seeing deals made in previous years pay off, regardless of who’s the MP.

Among the list of projects he’s awaiting are Highway 97’s widening from Edwards Road to Costco, the John Hindle Drive to Highway 97 and  the downtown Kelowna innovation centre.

“I’m passionate about all these things,” he said.

Although Cannan has stepped out of the federal arena of politics, Conservatives still have an Okanagan presence with the re-election of Dan Albas as MP for the new riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.


Just Posted

Kelowna mom concerned with needles found at Knox Mountain Park

Maria Beinarowitz, who has a five-year-old son, said she’s noticed a fair amount at the Kelowna park

UBC Okanagan Heat athletes nominated for awards

28th Annual Athletic Awards Celebration will recognize the star athletes

Updated: Scene cleared after accident near Ellison Lake

An accident near Ellison Lake near Kelowna and Lake Country is causing traffic delays

‘The whole city has changed’: Kelowna woman in New Zealand reacts to mosque attacks

An expatriate and Muslim students at UBC Okanagan deeply affected by white supremacist shooting

Swoop brings in cheap flights from Kelowna to Vegas

This will be the low-cost airlines second flight route out of Kelowna

Penticton resident baffled about welcome mat theft

Security footage shows a woman and her dog taking the mat from the property on March 13

Prescribed burns to start this month in the Okanagan

The Lower Similkameen Indian Band with partners are starting a multi-year burn on Crater Mountain

New highways maintenance contractor begins work April-May

Acciona Infrastructure Maintenance Inc. to service Shuswap, North and South Okanagan

Lack of bus service leaving residents stranded

Ministry’s Health Connections solution visits Salmon Arm just twice per week, once west, once south

B.C. wildfire prevention budget bulked up as dry spring unfolds

Night vision goggles tested for early detection effort

Dozens of B.C. temperature records smashed as spring brings early warmth

Squamish Airport was the hottest spot in all of Canada on Monday

VIDEO: Vancouver police release clip of ‘life-altering’ 2018 assault in search for suspects

The attack happened at about 2 a.m. on Mar. 31, 2018, outside Pierre’s Champagne Lounge in Yaletown

Hackers seek holes in B.C. Hydro power grid, auditor says

System meets standards, but local outages still a concern

Penticton resident baffled about welcome mat theft

Security footage shows a woman and her dog taking the mat from the property on March 13

Most Read