Working together to build a community of hope.
As a father, fortunate husband and a blessed Grandpa, I am very concerned that Kelowna has become the crime capital of Canada. Homelessness has increased substantially over the past 8 years, housing accessibility is more challenging than ever and our community is experiencing a serious infrastructure deficit all while mobility and overall quality of life is declining. Please scroll down and read my 6 point action plan for some innovative ideas that I have discovered in conversation with many Kelowna residents and others from around the world who have offered solutions and positive change to these challenges and more. I welcome your feed back and look forward to working together to build a community of HOPE!
A message from
City of Kelowna is a beautiful place to live, work and play.
My wonderful wife Cindy and our family have lived in Kelowna for over 32 years. However, the pace of change and growth is like never before.
Our infrastructure is falling behind. Crime is the highest in Canada. Our clean water and sewage system are at risk of being overburdened. Traffic issues are mounting. Taxes are increasing. People are working harder and not getting ahead. Their quality of life is slowly eroding. Kelowna is not an inclusive community. You either have lots of money or you are just getting by. Those in the middle are being left out! For many folks, the dream of ever owning their own home is far from a reality. Even finding a decent affordable place to rent for many is a challenge.
We need a serious plan to address our transportation infrastructure deficit. Not everyone can ride a bike or drive to work. Our public transit service may work well for those with a conventional work schedule who live close to the heart of the city, however service is limited or non-existent for those with irregular work hours or who live in the suburbs. For others, public transportation or biking just isn’t feasible. Have you ever tried to take a load of lumber from the hardware store to the job site on your bike or bus? We need better options.
Development is one of the main economic engines driving our local economy. Low vacancy rates, increased pressures of rising interest rates, historic levels of inflation combined with a serious crime and mental health crisis have resulted in a great deal of anxiety, loneliness and hopelessness. However, I am confident that by working together we can build a community of HOPE! Regardless of background or economic status, we all have a common interest and desire to build a better, stronger and safer community.
I am offering my years of political and business experience, innovative ideas, resilient leadership along with a listening ear so the needs and desires of the citizens of Kelowna are better reflected. We can grow and prosper together by building a stronger sense of community in better balance with our natural environment and infrastructure challenges.
Vote Ron Cannan for Council for positive change! The voice of the people!
1. Housing, Transportation and Smart Growth
Despite a recent dip in housing prices, a home in Kelowna is still out of reach for too many.
Kelowna City Council can simultaneously address the housing and climate crisis by rapidly approving new housing near transit, the rail trail corridor and schools, and by saying YES to new childcare spots so Kelowna residents don’t have to commute to the suburbs. However, this takes visionary planning. If elected to Council, I will be happy to work with and encourage my colleagues to move quickly in this direction.
The Key Points:
- Smart responsible growth
- Follow the Official Community Plan (OCP) to build complete and connected neighbourhoods
- Allow staff to approve conforming development permits
- Focus on transit-oriented development
- Explore a light rail line alongside the rail trail
2. Homelessness & Mental Health
In 2018, Mayor and Council launched the Journey Home initiative. The goal was to achieve “functional zero” – a state that describes a situation where homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring – in Kelowna by 2023.
Several hundreds of thousands of dollars was invested in hiring staff, consultants and developing this new plan (even though several housing plans had already been developed by previous Mayors and Councils). The sad reality is that even with all the money, time and energy invested into this plan, homelessness in our community has basically tripled and crime has soared. As future City Counsel, I am committed to reversing this trend and creating easy to implement action plans that will benefit Kelowna’s most marginalized population. The result is a happier, cleaner and safer community where each and every one of us is given the opportunity to thrive.
The Key Points:
- Create a campus of care model where a continuum of community support services, housing options and mental health services are easily accessible to those in need
- Support wrap-around services that provide a comprehensive, holistic, family-driven way to respond to serious mental health or behavioral challenges
- Implement strategies from other countries who have found viable solutions to improve mental health and homelessness such as Finland’s “Housing First” approach
3. Policing, Crime & Safety
The City of Kelowna RCMP is under-resourced and overdrawn. As a result, Kelowna citizens are frustrated and discouraged with the local police force.
There is a lack of accountability for those who commit crimes and reduced confidence in what is now being referred to as our “catch and release” justice system. The sad reality is that as long as the consequences of people’s actions are better than their present circumstances then things won’t change. That is, if someone on the street breaks a window to steal some goods, they might be arrested, taken to a warm or air conditioned place to stay and have a meal which is better than their present living circumstances. Instead of being discouraged to commit a crime, we have the opposite effect because public disciplinary facilities provide a more comfortable standard of living. This has to change!
The Key Points:
- Advocate for more Crown Prosecutors
- Empower by-law officers to address petty crime
- Explore an Okanagan Police Force that is unique to our local community and trained to meet the particular needs of our region
4. Climate Resiliency, Ecosystem Restoration and Food Sustainability
Due to rising greenhouse gas emissions and the resulting changing climate, Kelowna will continue to experience shifting and extreme temperature and precipitation patterns.
Research shows that we will be seeing a greater frequency of intense weather events (storms, heavy precipitation, flood and drought), more days of extreme heat, and changes to our natural ecological systems. Although these are significant challenges, Mayor and Council have an opportunity to minimize the impacts. We know that the economy and the environment are interconnected. It is essential we act now in anticipation of these changes and to mitigate the negative effects as much as possible. I am committed to working with the electoral body of Kelowna to implement proactive and creative solutions that will enhance environmental sustainability and to come up with creative and actionable solutions for the betterment of our community. For example, the Mill Creek Flood Protection Project is a proactive initiative to improve the creek corridor and reduce flooding potential throughout the City, from the Kelowna Airport to Okanagan Lake.
With regards to food sustainability, it is absolutely imperative that we protect our local farmland and encourage agricultural development of our fertile soil. Becoming more self-sustainable and supporting local businesses will lead to a robust and healthy community, better quality food and produce, and economic prosperity.
The Key Points:
- Support flood protection projects – adaptation and mitigation plans
- Create a year-round permanent farmers’ market
- Decrease reliance on foreign-grown produce – economic development for all
5. Fiscal Accountability, Transparency, and Governance
Taxpayers have been told that the ongoing densification of Kelowna would pay its way.
Kelowna is reported to be one of the fastest growing cities in Canada. Housing is in higher demand than ever before and development is taking place at an exponential rate. This means additional revenue to the City in the form of property taxes. Where is all this money going?
Since 2014, property taxes have increased a total of 29%. The total number of city employees has grown to more than 1,030 from 716 employees. We have seen the average home price soar to nearly $1M from $428,000. The facts speak for themselves! We need to hold our partners and elected officials accountable. Fiscal transparency is fundamental in a healthy democratic system. I am committed to acting as a liaison between City Council and the public to ensure accountability, fiscal responsibility and prudent use of your tax dollars.
The Key Points:
- Review our budget and program spending
- Work closely with SD23 to reduce the cost of a new Parkinson Recreation Centre
- Advocate for federal and provincial grants
- Have an open discussion about a Ward system
6. Arts, Culture & Recreation
Arts, culture and recreation are integral to the growth and vibrancy of our community. They key components of quality of life, a balanced lifestyle and urban economic development.
From past experience and research, I have found that arts and cultural employment is one of three key drivers of urban economies—alongside health science/technology and business/education occupations. Public art helps to animate a city!
The Key Points:
- Support public/private partnerships in the arts
- Support new arts and culture endeavours
- Replace the 60 year old Kelowna Community Theatre
MEET YOUR CANDIDATE
In addition to participating in municipal, provincial, and federal politics, Ron is an entrepreneur with a social conscience. Ron is actively self-employed as business consultant with Cannan Consulting Corporation. He has over 30 years of experience helping small businesses thrive in our local community, especially those in the marketing, tourism and wine industries. With decades of experience as a public servant, Ron is highly sought after by government officials for his expertise on operations and public policy development on the municipal, provincial and federal level.
Ron is also an independent broker for Interior Savings Credit Union for their commercial division.
Ron is a Business graduate from NAIT as well as the Rotman School of Management Corporate Directors Board Education Program. Ron has earned the ICD.D designation which represents a lifelong commitment to excellence in the boardroom by creating better boards and businesses. As a certified Board Director, Ron enjoys helping private and publicly traded companies as well as various non-profit organizations maximize their potential and economic growth.
Ron was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Kelowna-Lake Country from 2006 to 2015. He is only 1 of 3 MPs not in cabinet to serve on the Treasury Board Sub-Committee on Government Administration, and as such he became entitled to the title “Honourable” as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada for life.
Ron served a total of 9 years on Kelowna City Council. During this time, he also served as a director for the Central Okanagan Regional District/Hospital District Board, 5 years on the executive of the Okanagan Mainline Municipal Association (including 2 years as President) plus 2 years as Director of UBCM Executive (this is the local government association that lobbies the provincial government).
Election Day is October 15, 2022!
To vote in the election, you must be:
- 18 years of age or older on October 15, 2022;
- a Canadian citizen;
- a resident of BC for at least 6 months before the day you register to vote;
- a resident of the City of Kelowna or a qualified non-resident property elector; and
- not disqualified from voting.
Please Note: Eligible voters may vote at one of the in-person voting opportunities or by mail ballot. Contact the City of Kelowna for more information about voting by mail ballot.
To find out more about voting in local elections and read the Voter’s Guide to Local Elections in BC. The City of Kelowna does not use a voters list. All voters must register at the time of voting.
To find out where to vote, please click here.
- October 5, 2022 is the advanced voting day
- October 15, 2022 is the general voting day
Advanced Voting Opens In…
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This is my 8th political campaign. Each successful campaign takes a significant amount of time, dedication and commitment to connect with the community and gain the trust and confidence of local citizens. It also takes a team of dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes. They selflessly donate their time and talents to assist with door knocking, sign installation, public education and to encourage those in the community to vote.
Adequate financial resources are also required to cover the costs associated with running for office. I am very grateful for your financial contribution of any amount. No amount is too small and anything helps! Please click on the donate button and make a contribution to the campaign so you can help spread the message of HOPE. On October 15, 2022 please remember to vote Ron Cannan for Council for Positive Change!