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10
CSA
update
President’s
message
I hope that everyone is enjoying
a
safe and relaxing summer. It is hard to
believe that it’s almost time to prepare
for our journey to warmer climes.
This summer, CSA staff have been
hard at work laying the groundwork
for the fourth edition of
The Canadian
Travellers’ Report Card.
This publica-
tion is a national evaluation of federal,
provincial and territorial government
policies of importance to travelling
Canadians. We research these policies
and practices and then give each gov-
ernment an opportunity to comment
on our work before it is published. After
receiving the feedback from govern-
ment ministers and senior ministry
officials across Canada, we retain an
independent consultant to evaluate
our findings and assign a grade to each
category. The final report is issued to
our members, governments through-
out Canada and the media. It is a vital
weapon when we sit down with our
elected officials and it is important that
we keep it as current and relevant as
possible. We will be releasing the fourth
edition of
The Canadian
Travellers’
Report
Card
at Snowbird Extravaganza
in January 2013.
On September 4, 2012, voters in
Quebec will go to the polls to elect a
new provincial government. In order
to ensure that our issues are promin-
ently featured during the campaign, we
have issued to our Quebec members a
Quebec Election Handbook prior to
voting day. This publication outlines the
limitations of Quebec’s provincial reim-
bursement rates for out-of-province
emergency medical care, allowable
time permitted out of the province and
information about prescription drug al-
lowances for travellers. The publication
is also a great resource that contains
important information regarding elec-
tion times, dates and polling informa-
tion. We publish these handbooks for
every province and territory across
Canada whenever there is a provincial
or territorial election. If you have yet to
ever read one, you’re curious and you’re
not fromQuebec, you can log on to our
website at
here
you will find a copy of this latest publi-
cation in both French and English.
This
fall’s
Snowbird
Lifestyle
Presentations are right around the cor-
ner and this year, we are headed west
before finishing our shows in Ontario.
We are visiting Calgary and Sherwood
Park in Alberta and both Victoria and
Vernon in British Columbia. We’ll also
be visiting Brandon, Manitoba and
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. If you live
in Ontario, you’ll be able to join us in
Nepean, Orillia or Niagara Falls. These
shows are always a great opportunity
to catch up with old friends or make
new ones. The entertainment is second
to none and you’ll have an opportunity
to hear the latest updates on issues
of importance, such as our Canadian
Retiree Visa initiative currently before
the United States Congress. You’ll also
have a chance to learn more about
what our friends at Medipac are do-
ing for you this winter. As always, the
shows are absolutely free so please
bring your friends. You don’t have to be
a CSA member to attend…everyone is
welcome.
Florida property taxes are back on
the state ballot in this November’s
upcoming election. Amendment 4 pro-
poses, among other things, reducing
the 10 per cent cap on increases in
property values for non-homesteaded
properties (snowbirds) to five per cent.
Not exactly property tax equality for
snowbirds, but at least it’s on the radar.
Florida TaxWatch has projected that
the amendment would result in the
creation of about 20,000 jobs and boost
home sales by more than 320,000
properties over the next 10 years.
Amendment 4 had strong support in
the Florida legislature; the House vote
was 105-11; the Senate, 25-12. To be-
come law, it will need the support of 60
per cent of voters this November.
I would like to thank all of our
members who have renewed their CSA
membership, as well as those who have
made donations to our Special Action
Fund. If you have not yet renewed your
membership, I would encourage you
to do so right away. We need everyone
to join this wonderful organization! We
are the only association working on
behalf of all travelling Canadians and
there is definitely strength in numbers
when dealing with our elected officials.
Safe and happy travels!
Bob Slack
CSA President