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

Rock slide closes Hwy. 1 south of Ashcroft until Friday afternoon

A rock slide Thursday afternoon near Spences Bridge closed the highway in both directions

Penticton hospital fourth busiest in the region for opioid overdose

The highest was Kelowna General with about 355, followed by Vernon Jubilee 310 and Royal Inland in Kamloops with 180

Okanagan losing battle to preserve wetlands

Political will called for to create and enforce mitigation standards

West Kelowna water info to be included with utility bills

Changes coming for residents include increases to the rates they will pay for water from now on

Interior Health managers voice discontent

Negative comments about work culture aimed at CEO Chris Mazurkewich.

Kelowna’s Ursel to coach host team at Olympics

Bob Ursel is headed to the Olympics with South Korea’s national men’s curling team

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint

Canadian Transportation Agency must take new look at Gabor Lukacs’ complaint against Delta Air Lines

Gas plants verdict coming down today; ex-premier’s top aides to learn fate

Verdict to be delivered on senior staff to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty

Vernon homeless camp decommissioned

Camp off Highway 97 near 48th Avenue knocked down Thursday

OKM player grateful for show of sportsmanship

Emma Parmar, who suffered a knee injury prior to the season, was thankful for an opponent’s gesture.

Penticton organizer caught off-guard on NHL Young Stars comment

Penticton event chair said he cannot confirm or deny anything, just that an event will be held in the city

Kelowna choirs join forces with Vancouver for concert

Together We Breathe will be held at 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 27 at First United Church

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Most Read