Page 12 - CSANews 89

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It’s been a busy fall
for both
Lois and me. This year, we began our
annual round of Snowbird Lifestyle
Presentations in Ontario with stops in
Port Hope, Richmond Hill, Burlington,
Niagara Falls, Parry Sound and Nepean.
We concluded our shows with a stop in
beautiful Montreal, Quebec. It was great
to meet the many new members who
joined our association at the shows, as
well as our many existing members who
attended. If we didn’t get a chance to talk,
please say hello at one of our upcoming
winter shows. Thanks to all of the volun-
teers who help put on these informative
and entertaining events…we sincerely
could not do it without you.
As you have read in the last three gov-
ernment relations reports, it has been
a particularly successful year for the
Canadian Snowbird Association on the
government advocacy front. The last 12
months have seen significant victories
for snowbirds in Florida (driver’s licence
fiasco), British Columbia and Manitoba.
Based on much of the hard work that
we have done over this period of time, I
believe that we are very close to similar
victories in Alberta, Saskatchewan, New
Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward
Island and yes, evenWashington, D.C.
Without doubt, one of the reasons we
have had such a productive year on the
government relations front has been
because of the hard work and expertise
of our Director for Western Canada, Rick
Thorpe. Prior to joining the CSA Board
of Directors, Rick was a member of the
British Columbia Legislative Assembly
from 1996 to 2009. During his tenure as
a member of the Legislative Assembly,
he served as Minister of Small Business
and Revenue, Minister Responsible for
Regulatory Reform, Minister of Provincial
Revenue and Minister of Competition,
Science and Enterprise. With such a re-
sume, we were sure that he would be a
tremendous asset to the association and
we were proven correct. Rick has chosen
not to stand for a second termand we will
miss his contributions, particularly in ad-
vancing our advocacy agenda inWestern
Canada. The good news is, Rick has as-
sured us that his door is always open and
if we need any help, he’s only a phone
call away. On behalf of the Canadian
Snowbird Association, I would like to
thank both Rick and Yasmin for their con-
tributions…we will sincerely miss you
I, along with CSA Executive Director
Michael MacKenzie, recently travelled to
Prince Edward Island to sit down with
P.E.I. Health Minister Doug Currie. As with
many of our recent provincial meetings,
our topic of discussion revolved around
having Prince Edward Island increase the
amount of time for which residents may
remain outside of the province, while
still maintaining their provincial health
coverage. Minister Currie has promised
to take a hard look at our proposal and
acknowledged the recent trend of other
provinces increasing these times to pro-
vide added flexibility for their travelling
residents. Prince Edward Island has al-
ways had some of the most travel-friend-
ly policies in Canada. In fact, they are
the only province currently obeying the
portability principle of the Canada Health
Act and reimbursing residents for out-of-
country emergency services at provincial
rates. I will update you in the next issue of
regarding our progress.
This year’s Snowbird Extravaganza will
beheldat theLakelandCenter inLakeland,
Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday,
January 28 and 29, 2014. With entertain-
ers such as John McDermott, Liona Boyd,
Michelle Wright, Bowser and Blue and
Jimmy Flynn, you definitely won’t want
to miss it.
Our annual Winter Texans’ Snowbird
Extravaganza will be held onMonday and
Tuesday, February 3 and 4, 2014 at the
McAllen Convention Center in McAllen,
Finally, our annual Canadian Snowbird
Celebration will take place on Tuesday
and Wednesday, February 11 and 12,
2014 at the Mesa Convention Center
in Mesa, Arizona. Year after year, these
shows remain free of charge. They com-
bine top-notch entertainment and snow-
bird lifestyle information with a great op-
portunity to meet new snowbird friends
or catch up with old ones.
If you are unable to attend any of these
shows, please consider one of our annual
Winter Information Meetings. Although
smaller in size, there’s still plenty of
great entertainment, snowbird informa-
tion and opportunities to socialize with
other snowbirds. This year, our Winter
Information Meeting tour will make
stops in Lake Havasu City, Yuma and Casa
Grande, Arizona. We will also visit Indio,
California as well as Punta Gorda, Port St.
Lucie and Hollywood, Florida. Our visit
to Hollywood, Florida will consist of two
shows, one in English and one the next
day in French. Again, all of these shows
are free of charge so, if you are able,
please try and attend…we’d love to see
you. Please check elsewhere in this edi-
tion of the magazine for specific dates
and times.
Have a wonderful winter in
the sun!
Bob Slack
CSA President