Government Relations Report Issue 57

Winter 2005 CSANews Issue 57  |  Posted date : May 25, 2007.Back to list

The fall is always a busy political season in Canada. With the federal and provincial legislatures back in session from coast to coast, there is no better time for the CSA to present your concerns to our elected representatives.

The month of October saw CSA president Gerry Brissenden meet with Prince Edward Island Premier The Hon. Pat Binns and Health Minister The Hon. Chester Gillan in Charlottetown. This was a very productive meeting in the premier's office, which allowed the CSA to brief the government on two specific concerns of our members.

Unfortunately, our scheduled meeting with the premier of Nova Scotia was sidetracked when Premier John Hamm announced his retirement after serving as premier for more than six years. Government officials have expressed a strong desire to meet with the CSA once a new leader is chosen and cabinet portfolios are assigned. We look forward to meeting with the new premier of Nova Scotia when he/she is elected in the spring of 2006.

By the time you read this report, the CSA will have met with Ontario Opposition leader John Tory. Mr. Tory (whose parents, I might add, are CSA members) has indicated a strong desire to work with the CSA in urging the Ontario government to fully address the concerns of our members.

As you read in our last issue, one of the key components of our government relations activities is our planned release of a special report updating our 2002 Travellers' Report Card on provincial health care. Our research has been completed and, at the time of this writing, an independent consultant has been retained to review our findings and assign grades to the various provincial and territorial jurisdictions. Copies of the report will be available for our members at the upcoming Extravaganza in Lakeland, Florida on January 17 and 18, 2006.

As you are all well aware, the concerns of travelling Canadians are not restricted to our home and native land. As an international advocacy organization, the CSA is active in bringing the concerns of our membership to the elected representatives in the United States.

This winter, CSA President Gerry Brissenden will be meeting with Florida Governor Jeb Bush to discuss the unequal and unfair property taxes that have been levied against out-of-state owners of property in the United States, most noticeably in Florida. Governor Bush has been a strong CSA supporter since being elected. As many of you will remember, when the Immigration and Naturalization Service decided that they were going to limit Canadians to a 30-day stay in the United States, Governor Bush and the CSA swung into action. With the governor's help and the CSA's visit to Washington, we won and snowbirds are still allowed to visit in the United States for up to 182 days (six months). We look forward to resolving the property tax concern by working with Governor Bush again.