CSA Cautiously Optimistic

Posted date : May 17, 2002.Back to list

Toronto, ON - The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA), representing 100,000 long-term travellers across the country, is celebrating now that Deputy Prime Minister John Manley has jumped into the INS proposed visitors visa regulation conflict.

"We're thrilled that Mr. Manley and Mr. Ridge have included the snowbird issue in their discussions," says CSA president, Ellen White. "Mr. Ridge stated that 'his government will deliver a formal notice to Canada, saying that Canadians can still head to the United States for up to six months over the winter.' That's wonderful news... except that we want to see more than a formal notice. We want to see it in the regulation. A formal note is simply paper - not regulation, not legislation, not law."

Informed in mid-April, by a senior government official in the sun belt, that the Canadian Snowbird Association had placed the snowbird issue on the INS radar spurred the association on. For many U.S. chambers of commerce/tourism boards, economic development offices and, in fact, governors' and senators' offices, the Canadian Snowbird Association was the bearer of the INS proposed regulation news and compelled them to take action for the more than 450,000 Canadians who winter in their states.

"We evidently knew about this proposed regulation change before the Americans who would be profoundly affected by it," continues Mrs. White. "We're still receiving calls of support.

We have always told Canadians that crossing an international border is a privilege, not a right. We are not advocating a blanket exemption for all Canadians - that is a ridiculous notion. What we are asking is that once deemed admissible to the United States, the Canadian's length of stay is not decided by an ill-defined regulation."