Who we are
The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) is a 70,000 member national not-for-profit advocacy organization. It is dedicated to actively defending and improving the rights and privileges of Canadian travellers.
In 1992, one thousand and ninety-two dedicated Canadians came together in a show of absolute unity to stage a rally in Lakeland, Florida. Many were seniors living on fixed or limited incomes. Some held property in the United States. Some were simply on vacation. All believed in the Canada Health Act, and the basic right of Canadians to receive the same treatment abroad as Canadians receive at home.
What started as a crusade to find affordable emergency out-of-country travel health coverage has grown into a national organization, dedicated to preserving the rights of all Canadians, the Canada Health Act and our national medicare system.
Speaking as a large and united group!
As individuals, most of us know that we have little chance to effect positive change or to defend our hard-earned rights on our own.
But, as part of a large, democratic group that addresses the issues with a united and powerful voice, we can influence events that affect our lives and all those close to us.
Representing Canadians worldwide, from all provinces and territories, the CSA has proven its willingness and ability to fight for fairness and equality.
Since its inception, the CSA has grown to become the pre-eminent voice of all travelling Canadians in its defence of their rights and privileges.
The CSA has proven itself to be a decisive, results-oriented organization. Its commitment and common sense when dealing with government and industry is reflected in its achievements on behalf of all members and all Canadians.
The CSA actively lobbied governments to adhere to the Canada Health Act when provinces and territories reduced out-of-country coverage, thereby putting upward pressure on insurance prices. When the consultation process proved fruitless, we brought court action to defend our rights.
The CSA appeared before U.S. Congress to prevent U.S. legislation that threatened to reduce from 182 to just 30 days the amount of time Canadians could travel to the U.S. If you are a Canadian citizen who travelled this past year to the U.S. for more than 30 days, you can thank the CSA for its lobbying work in allowing you to travel for up to six months each year in the U.S.
The CSA defended the rights and privileges of travelling Canadians residing in all provinces and territories. Provincial reductions to the duration and reimbursement of health-care coverage and prescription allotment were opposed and important change was effected.
The CSA was instrumental in getting Canadians the right to vote in federal elections while outside of Canada.
The CSA is recognized as a strong, united voice. It has the attention of both government and industry, and needs your voice and your help to continue its work.
Our commitment to the future
The CSA is committed to preserving and protecting the rights of all travelling Canadians.
The portability section of the Canada Health Act will continue to be uppermost on our agenda. We will continue to put pressure on the federal minister of health to enforce the Act, and to ensure that all Canadians enjoy the rights, freedoms and benefits envisioned when the Act was passed into law.
The restrictions placed by provinces and territories on prescription drugs have sparked concerns from many members. We are working with provincial and territorial governments to address the hardship and risk to our health caused by these limitations.
The difficulties members have encountered in crossing borders have been numerous. Canadians are still being turned back at the Canada-U.S. border and have had their winter plans arbitrarily changed. In conjunction with the Department of External Affairs in Ottawa and the U.S. Department of State, we continue to investigate options in reducing limitation on Canada-U.S. travel.
We also continue to lobby provincial and territorial governments with respect to the rule that prevents us from travelling outside our home province or territory, even within Canada, for over 182 days while still retaining our health care privileges.
Please continue to send your comments and concerns either by mail, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we can preserve and protect the rights of travelling Canadians.
Special Action Fund
The special action fund is a vital resource when a threat to the rights and privileges of our members is imminent. Every dollar donated is held in a separate account that is independent of the daily operating budget of the CSA. The special action fund is utilized when the CSA does not have the time to seek donations and must immediately engage in government lobbying and consultation.
In 2002, the CSA appeared before U.S. Congress to fight passage of a bill that would have limited Canadians to a 30 day visit to the U.S. With the assistance of U.S. governors and major travel industry groups, the CSA successfully defeated this restrictive bill. The special action fund was a vital resource to the CSA in ensuring Canadian access to the U.S.
Is the ongoing war against terrorism and its effects on travel in and outside of Canada a concern to you?
Is the limit on the amount of prescription medication you can obtain at one time, despite travelling for an extended period, a concern to you?
Or, if you simply believe that your voice needs to be heard by government, help the CSA fight for your rights when Canadian or U.S. legislation may negatively affect your ability to travel.
We cannot predict the political future for travelling Canadians. We do know that it will be a road of unexpected twists and turns. We can navigate them with the help of the special action fund.