President’s Message Issue 41

Winter 2001 CSANews Issue 41  |  Posted date : Apr 03, 2007.Back to list

What a ride it's been!!

This is going into my 10th year on the CSA board of directors and, for the past four years, I have had the honour of being president of this great national association. My time here has been remarkable, and I would not have traded a moment of it.

Over the past 10 years, I have watched our association evolve from a fledgling group into a national organization that truly makes a difference in the lives of all Canadian travellers. As you'll read in Paul Jenkins' Government Report, our appearance before the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology was excellent. If the committee accomplishes what it has promised, it will prove to be a momentous way to sign off my career as president.

At the annual general meeting, you will be introduced to your new board of directors. These individuals have made a commitment to the CSA membership to work towards the betterment of all travellers. Although we have accomplished a great deal in the past 10 years, there is still much to be done. We cannot afford to rest on our laurels but, rather, we must continue our work and continue pushing for beneficial change to be implemented at all levels of government. I encourage you to get to know your provincial representative and to become actively involved in the association ­ even if it's something as simple as making a telephone call to your local member of Parliament or member of provincial parliament to voice your opinion, as that is the only way that change will ever be made. Politicians must hear from the voters ­ before decisions are made.

I would like to extend my thanks to the current board of directors. They have made my tenure as president an enjoyable one and I always looked forward to our meetings, knowing that it was going to be a group of associates and, more importantly, new-found friends getting together to discuss business. We've worked hard and accomplished a great deal over the past four years, and I have no doubt that those remaining on the board (of which I will be one, as past president) will continue to guide the new members towards many fresh and invigorating adventures.

A great deal of the success of the Canadian Snowbird Association lies in its relationship with its Alliance Partners ­ particularly, Medipac International. Their business acumen has always been appreciated and we will always be grateful for their expertise and advice. We look forward to a continued solid, long-lasting relationship in the future.

Those of you who have called in to our office in Toronto, Ontario have spoken with some of the finest call centre operators in the country. With just two full-time and one part-time employee taking all the calls, I'm still in awe of their professionalism and courtesy when the going gets tough. Believe me, you've never seen phone lines light up until you've been around our place in early September. Kudos to you all ­ you are truly the best. The senior administration has been great to work with. The financial manager, Gabe Ponikowski is our whiz kid and aided in keeping our association on an even financial keel. Barb Moss, our media/research advisor, has worked hard to get our message out to the public and we have made strides during her short tenure here. Heather Nicolson-Morrison, our executive director, has mixed political knowledge and a wealth of experience with a good sense of humour. I have enjoyed my working relationship with her. All in all, a great team represents and works for you.

I would also like to extend my thanks to all of our members who have either e-mailed or called us to either express a concern or pose a question. I hope that we have been able to provide the answers you're looking for or, at the very least, point you in the right direction so that you can find the answers on your own. Either way, I hope that we have been of some assistance to you.

Now that I am assuming the mantle of past president, I will not be far from association activities. As a former cabinet minister, all things political are still very much in my blood, and I look forward to continuing to advise the association on a number of political issues. Although the phone calls from head office will be fewer, I still look forward to being a large part of the action.

I could not have served the association as I did without the complete support of my wife Joyce. There were too many late nights to count, and too many meals missed in order that I was able to tend to all the necessary day-to-day details of the association. I would like to thank her for being understanding, supportive and always by my side. The staff has nicknamed her, "St. Joyce," and I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to this very remarkable woman.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it has been my honour. Thank you.