Government Relations Report Issue 71

Summer 2009 CSANews Issue 71  |  Posted date : Jul 21, 2009.Back to list

Since the last edition of CSANews, there have been provincial elections in both British Columbia and Nova Scotia. In British Columbia,Premier Gordon Campbell led the Liberal party to its third consecutive majority government. In Nova Scotia, Conservative Premier Rodney MacDonald's minority government was defeated by the NDP and leader/premier-elect Darrel Dexter. The NDP won a majority government with 31of the legislature's 52 seats, the first time in the province's post-Confederation history that neither the Liberals nor Conservatives will hold power in Nova Scotia.

To ensure that our issues were kept in the political spotlight during these provincial elections, the CSA staff once again produced our popular election handbooks. The handbooks were designed to assist our B.C. and Nova Scotia members when they went to the polls, as well as when they questioned their local candidates. Federal election handbooks are sent to members across Canada (besides being posted on our website). Provincial election handbooks are distributed to members within each province. Not only do these provide great detailed information about where and when to vote, they also provide current information regarding how the respective governments measure up on issues of concern to the association.

The handbooks outline the limitations of the respective province's reimbursement rates for out-of-province medical care, preservation of health coverage for frequent travellers, prescription drug allowances and many other important issues that will help you make a fully informed decision. If you haven't yet come across one, you can find past editions online at our website www.snowbirds.org. They really are great tools and I hope that everyone will take advantage of them the next time there is a federal or provincial/territorial election.

Another great way to stay informed is to tune into our weekly radio spot on AM740 in Toronto. Each Sunday morning, either Chris Bradbury, vice-president of Medipac Communications, or I will be on the air to discuss issues of importance to Canadian travellers. From travel medical insurance, to politics, to helpful hints on how to make the snowbird lifestyle as rewarding as possible, we really do try and cover all of the bases.

For those of you in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), all you have to do is tune into AM740 Sunday mornings at 10:55 a.m. For those of you who don't live in the GTA, you can log in and listen on your computer by going to www.am740.ca and clicking the "on the air" icon for a live feed of the show. If you would prefer to listen a little later, you can do that as well by visiting our website at www.snowbirds.org, where we have a very substantial archive of past shows.

There is a leadership contest going on in Ontario. The Conservative Party is holding their leadership convention on June 27 in Markham, Ontario. I recently had a chance to speak with some of the candidates about the CSA and I am pleased to report that they were well aware of who we are and had a surprisingly good grasp of some of the CSA's most important issues.

I also had a chance to sit down with officials from the office of Ontario's Liberal Municipal Affairs Minister, the Hon. Jim Watson. I will be spending a good deal of time this summer meeting with other members of the legislative assembly of Ontario in an effort to see if we can't get some of those out-of-province medical reimbursement rates nudged up when the assembly reconvenes for the fall session.

You may have heard that former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were recently in Toronto for a joint speaking engagement. You may also have heard that when former Canadian ambassador and former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna asked for their thoughts about the new passport requirements to enter the U.S. by land or sea, neither one of them seemed to have any clue about it at all. I think that maybe I should send them both a complimentary subscription to CSANews!

It was a lighthearted moment, but it is a real wake-up call that we have to be ever vigilant in reminding our American friends just how important it is for both of our countries to keep our borders open for business. To ensure that this important message gets out, we will be spending more time over the summer lobbying some of our U.S. political friends in Washington, D.C.

As Don Gardiner reminded you in the president's column, if you haven't done so already, make sure that you get your passport!

Have a wonderful and safe summer.





Related links
Sunday Showcase