While rumblings of an election are getting louder this week, I personally don’t think too many of my constituents are hungry for one.
My colleague Ted Menzies, the Minister of State for Finance, spent the day with me in the riding last week meeting with a group of local seniors and attending a Budget 2011 economic roundtable co-hosted by the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.
We received many useful comments on what to do about the budget, retirement planning and the global recession, but not a word was said about the need for an election.
Most want the government to concentrate on the economy and sound fiscal management so we can confidently move forward and put the current economic downturn behind us.
We should be feeling pretty good about our chances. Despite Opposition party leaders trying to convince voters we are worse off compared to five years ago, here is some good news to consider.
Economist Michael Veall estimates that “real median after-tax income is almost 7.5 per cent higher in 2010 than in 2005, an increase of about 1.5 per cent a year.”
“Using this one indicator, the balance of probability suggests that Mr. Harper is right—Canadians are better off,” he added (Globe and Mail Online, Jan. 25, 2011).
The Canadian Index of Wellbeing seems to agree, showing clear increases in GDP, living standards and community vitality (Globe and Mail, Jan. 21, 2011).
Furthermore, Canada is leading the economic recovery with five consecutive quarters of economic growth, has a financial system again ranked the soundest in the world, and that both the IMF and OECD project that Canada will have among the strongest average growth for the G7 in the years ahead.
Some might say, “OK, but where’s the vision?”
The vision for this country lies with the people—our entrepreneurs, our innovators, our small and medium sized business people and our citizens. In fact, the prime minister has declared 2011 the Year of the Entrepreneur.
As we move into the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, Canada’s entrepreneurs will play an even greater role in securing our fragile economic recovery.
Their actions will stimulate economic growth and job creation if we provide the right economic conditions: A healthy investment climate, a skilled workforce trained at institutions like our own UBCO and Okanagan College, and a federal government that is willing to remove as many barriers to our growth potential as possible by keeping taxes down, cutting unnecessary red tape, getting rid of the deficit and spending within our means.
The 2011 Year of the Entrepreneur designation is not only a call for action, it will serve as a guide for our actions so that talented and resourceful Canadians can succeed and drive the economy forward.
Fundraiser for Caleb
This week I was contacted by Rhea and Ian Taylor asking for help.
Rhea and Ian are planning a Charity Valentines Dance on Saturday, Feb. 12, at Ellison Community Hall, for Caleb Lanz a nine-year-old boy in our community who has a very rare and fatal brain tumour, a condition known as DIPG or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.
The fundraiser will help the family with medical costs, including treatment options outside of B.C.
Rhea and Ian are asking for help from the community, especially businesses, willing to help host the event, and provide items for a silent auction.
To contribute in any way, contact Rhea or Ian at 250-765-3466; firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m heading back to Ottawa next week but don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments on federally-related matters, at email@example.com or by phone at 250-470-5075.
Ron Cannan is the Conservative MP for