Featuring the letters &
concerns of our members
SEND YOUR LETTERS TO
Bird Talk, c/o CSANews
180 Lesmill Road
Toronto, Ontario M3B 2T5
or by e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
a local Las Vegas cellular active on U.S. Virgin, as well as on AT&T,
and found that to be a pain too. Most recently, I have signed onto the
WINDmobile Unlimited USA data/roaming plan and actually really
like it. It costs $40/month, but it works excellently and it is very easy
to maintain with their online account access. WIND is fairly new to
Western Canada and its local towers are few, but the unlimited U.S.
features...it is truly a great deal. Thank you for allowing me to share
my personal experiences.
Medicine Hat, AB
It sounds like WIND has a happy customer and this is rare in
the mobile phone world. And Thank You for writing.
Dear Bird Talk,
How many days can a resident of Ontario be out of the province
before losing OHIP coverage?
You are allowed to travel out of the province for a period of
seven months under Ontario regulations. You may apply for an
extended absence and still maintain your OHIP coverage, but
the reason should be a good one…such as study or illness, etc.
Dear Bird Talk,
I have been told that I can claimmy out-of-country medical insurance
premium as a medical expense when I file my Canadian income
tax. However, when I talked to Revenue Canada, they told me the
premium is only an allowable expense if it covers exclusively what
would be normal medical expenses. In other words, if the policy also
includes coverage for items such as life insurance, return of deceased
remains home, return of pet home, etc., then the premium is not an
allowable medical expense. Do you know if this is correct and, if it
is, do you know of any insurance company that offers a policy that
Revenue Canada would accept as an allowable expense?
Prince George, B.C.
Your Medipac policy is a 100% tax-deductible expense. We
have had extensive discussions with the Canadian Department
of Finance and they have agreed to allow the deduction for your
entire premium. If anyone is disallowed this deduction, we will
be happy to fight it on your behalf.
Dear Bird Talk,
Here’s another question about the 182-day issue. We live in Vancouver
and have a vacation home inWashington State. Unlike true snowbirds,
we use it on many weekends through the year and most of the
summer. I keep track of our days (for example, if we go down on
Friday afternoon and leave on Monday morning, we’d count four
days). I have never been able to get a straight answer regarding how
the U.S. counts the days – do you know?
David Smith from B.C.
We haven’t been able to get a straight answer either. This
also applies to many people who live on the border and go in
and out of the U.S. on a regular basis. If we look at all of the
various answers which we have received from many U.S. gov-
ernment sources, the general “opinion” is that “as long as it is
reasonable, you will be OK.” Border guards generally do not
want excessive information and, if you are going for a few days
or weeks, they really do not pay that much attention. Their com-
puters do, of course, and that is where issues will arise if you are
abusing their good will. Count both the first day and the last day
and stay well within your allotted six months and you should be
fine. This applies to those snowbirds who make multiple trips
each year. A 10-day cruise, a trip home for Christmas or running
into Mexico for a few days – these days should not be deducted
when calculating your six-month allotment.
In closing, we have received a few letters stating that I have
been somewhat disrespectful and flippant with some of my
replies and, for this, I apologize if I offended anyone. I have a
tendency to just say what I think and I hope that I will be able to
continue doing that.
Ross Quigley, Editor