In 2011, he was elected MHK for the former constituency of Michael
Cannan's first appointment was chairman of the Civil Service Commission, serving from 2011 to 2014. In 2014 he was appointed chairman of the newly formed Manx Utilities Authority.
In 2016 he was elected MHK for Ayre & Michael, winning the highest number of votes in the two-member constituency.
Cannan narrowly lost a bid for chief minister to Howard Quayle and was appointed treasury minister in October 2016.
His term of office has already been marked by some significant decisions. In October 2017 Cannan wrote off £95m of debts owed by the Manx Utilities Authority; in February 2018 pension freedoms were controversially introduced; and in May 2018 the Isle of Man Government purchased the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for £124.3m.
He has three children with his wife Bella.