President’s Message Issue 39

Summer 2001 CSANews Issue 39  |  Posted date : Mar 09, 2007.Back to list

It has always been a strong belief of mine, that those who volunteer their time to further or enhance the work of any cause should be recognized. The Canadian Snowbird Association has been exceptionally fortunate in this regard. We have a number of members who, throughout the year, assist us in our many endeavours and help us continue to present unparalleled events. Whether it is at our shows in Canada or in the United States, we know that we can count on our volunteers for their support.

At the recent board of directors' meeting, a motion was passed to acknowledge these very special people. These honours are going to be called "The President's Awards" and will recognize the individuals who have helped the association to achieve its vision. As I approach the end of my tenure as president, I am pleased that I will participate in the launch of this very special award at the annual general meeting in January 2002.

On May 31, CSA's communications director and secretary Ellen White, executive director Heather Nicolson-Morrison, Medipac President and I enjoyed a full day of meetings at Ontario's legislature. These meetings were very important, as they are going to be used as a 'framework' for meetings with other governments. As you will recall, our new executive director comes from a political background and she and her staff organized the meetings as a political office would. Through her connections, Heather Nicolson-Morrison was able to secure the help of a well-known communications strategist, Karen Bodirsky. Karen assisted us in our preparation for the meetings by providing pre-briefing and presentation training sessions.

We were very fortunate to meet and speak with minister Cam Jackson (Citizenship and Culture with responsibility for Seniors), minister Brenda Elliott (Intergovernmental Affairs), minister Dianne Cunningham (Training, Colleges and Universities with responsibility for Women's Issues), minister Tony Clement (Health), Dr. Bob Christie (deputy minister, Finance) and Ms. Julia Munro (parliamentary assistant, Transportation). In addition to being recognized in the gallery, we were also warmly welcomed by Premier Harris at a private meeting.

These meetings are a precursor to the work we will be doing on our National Report Card. Each minister or representative chosen has an element in his or her portfolio that will impact on our National Report Card. A great deal of preparation was required for these meetings and, as a direct result of the extensive background work, I am very pleased to report that the day was highly successful. It was our goal to meet with these key ministers and their political staff and introduce both our association and ourselves. We are confident that the CSA will now be viewed as a viable resource for information for government officials, and that our cause makes sense. We are now planning to "take our show on the road" and are planning to eventually meet with all provinces that are in non-conformance with the Canada Health Act. The next governments to which we are organizing and strategizing our approach are the governments of British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

I urge you all to carefully read chairman Paul Jenkins' government relations committee report. For your information and input, we are publishing our first "draft" of the Traveller's Bill of Rights and its mission statement, as well as our slate of topics to be used for grading on our National Report Card. This is a major undertaking by your association, and we encourage you to contact us either by e-mail (csawriteus@aol.com) or by snail mail to let us know your opinion.

Member response to our 2001/2002 renewal campaign is going very well ­ we are processing hundreds of applications each day. If you have not yet mailed in your application, please make a point of doing it today. You can send back your renewal form, clip out the application on page 39, or call our office with your credit card number. Your membership card will be mailed to you very shortly and it will entitle you to take advantage of our numerous member benefits.

I hope that your summer is going well and that you are enjoying being home with your friends and family. Remember to take the time to smell the roses, pick the tomatoes, gather the strawberries and harvest the blueberries. This is your time ­ make the most of every moment!