Executive Director's Report Issue 50

Spring 2004 CSANews Issue 50  |  Posted date : May 05, 2007.Back to list

It is indeed a pleasure for me, as your new executive director, to write this first of many columns for CSANews.

With several family members and friends already CSA members, I have followed, with interest, the progress and growth of the Association over the past few years.

Arriving at the CSA with almost 20 years of association management experience behind me, I feel particularly fortunate to join the Association as it moves forward, building on the successes of the past, into a new, fresh decade of service and advocacy for members and all travelling Canadians.

This past November, the Association issued a press release concerning the restrictions on beef products being allowed into the U.S. From this one bulletin, the Association received many media inquiries from across Canada concerning Canadian travellers as well as those wintering in the U.S. Our then President, Ellen White, responded to several requests for both print and on-air radio interviews, all triggered from one simple news release hitting the wire service. On New Year's Eve, I myself was featured on CBC Newsworld, speaking about the currency exchange rate between the Canadian and U.S. dollars, and the effects that it was having on travel. While the journey of 10,000 miles begins with but a single step, these several small events or steps were collectively huge in the highlighting of the Association's name and goals over the winter period.

Tying back to our fall "no beef" press release, the Association was recently contacted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to solicit its help in circulating information to returning travellers on what restrictions currently exist on certain food items coming into Canada. While an important information service to members in itself, even more important was the fact that they (CFIA) contacted us to request assistance in getting the information out to as wide an audience as possible. We received similar calls from Elections Canada over the past few months, inquiring about possible assistance in distributing out-of-country voting information in the event that the federal government called an election during the winter months.

If you have not visited our website recently, I would encourage you to take a few moments to review the many news articles and bulletins that have been posted. Regular "travellers' tips" ­ such as taking medication to the U.S., contact information for income tax and customs inquiries, and our letter to Florida governor Jeb Bush about the unequal property tax treatment of winter residents ­ are all posted (along with his reply). This website will be undergoing a major redevelopment over the summer months ­ in time for next year's winter travel season.

The CSA should be proud of its successes to date, for there are indeed many. I look forward to working with you, the President, the Board of Directors, as well as the Association's staff, as we collectively continue to build on those milestones and strive to improve the rights and privileges of Canadian travellers for many years to come.