President's Message Issue 37

Winter 2000 CSANews Issue 37  |  Posted date : Mar 07, 2007.Back to list

When an artist completes a painting or a sculpture, he or she has the luxury of taking a step back to appreciate the work that has gone into the making of the masterpiece. With the Federal Election of just a few weeks back, I understand the feelings of pride that an artist must feel.

When the CSA was formed nine years ago, one of our mandates was to ensure that Canadians travelling abroad could vote in a Federal Election. As taxpayers, we deserved the same rights as other Canadians and we weren't going to take "no" for an answer. In May of 1993, our hard work came to fruition when the Canada Elections Act was amended.

The Canadian Snowbird Association worked very closely with Elections Canada during this last federal election in an effort to reach as many out-of-country Canadians as possible. Your association had to act very quickly on this, as there were a number of steps involved in voting by mail. I'm proud of the number of absentee Canadians who took part in the democratic process on November 27.

In the last issue of CSA News, our Government Report issued a "call to action" by our members to contact local and federal politicians regarding CSA issues. The response has been overwhelming! We have received copies of hundreds of letters sent by our members and I want you to know that each and every one of them helps our work. We are entering serious negotiations with some of the provinces and your support has made our argument that much stronger. If you haven't sent a letter, it's not too late. Please e-mail, post or fax one as soon as possible.

Our success as a lobby group is starting to snowball. Both Manitoba and Alberta have passed new regulations to meet our members needs and our government report is a must read this issue.

For the past three years, the CSA has run smoothly under the watchful eye of our former First Vice President, Carol Robertson. Carol retired from the Board of Directors to take on the role of Executive Director of the Association. After whipping us into shape, she has decided that it is time to accept new challenges...and to again indulge in her passion for travel. I know that I speak for all the members of our board when I wish Carol the very best of luck in all of her future endeavors.

I am pleased to introduce our new Executive Director, Heather Nicolson-Morrison. Heather has a wealth of political experience, having worked at Queen's Park for more than three years. In the very short time that she has been with us, she has already embraced the Government Relations Committee and I look forward to very strong advocacy initiatives in the future.

As you'll see in this issue of CSA News, it's full steam ahead for our Extravaganzas...truly, events that shouldn't be missed. I encourage all of you who are able to attend the Florida event, to come to our Annual General Meeting being held on January 17, 9:00 a.m. at the Lakeland Center.

For those not able to attend an Extravaganza, I'd like to take a moment to talk a bit about the Winter Information Meetings. Each winter, your CSA directors take an active roll in bringing Winter Information Meetings to various points in Florida ­ this year, we're pleased to be able to add Ft. Lauderdale to our tour. These meetings go back to the very roots of the CSA ­ the sharing of information. For myself, it's an invaluable opportunity to speak with our members who may otherwise be hesitant to contact me. I appreciate it when our members take the time to say a few words ­ your CSA Board of Directors need to know that it's on the right track and the only way to know for sure is through member feedback. The above comments also hold true for the Extravaganzas in California, Texas and Arizona and the winter information meeting in Yuma Arizona. The only reason these meetings are held, across the country, is to afford you this opportunity and to share with you, in person, the value of this association to Snowbirds and in actual fact all Canadians from coast to coast.

If you have a few hours to spare, we'd also love to have you volunteer for any of our Extravaganzas or Winter Information Meetings. The work is not difficult and we can find a role to suit any degree of ability. Please give us a call at 1-800-265-3200 and we promise you a day to remember!

In closing, please accept my best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season and I look forward to meeting with you at events throughout the winter.