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President’s

Message

L

ois and I have arrived in Florida and are looking

forward to another winter visiting with family and

friends.

Prior to our arrival in Florida, we had the pleasure of

meeting many of you at this year’s Snowbird Lifestyle

Presentations. This year, we began our tour in Ontario

with stops in Milton, Richmond Hill and Nepean before

heading to Brandon, Manitoba. From there, we headed to

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and then further west to both

Sherwood Park and Calgary, Alberta. We concluded our

tour in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia. Thanks to all

who made it out and to our wonderful volunteers without

whose help none of this would be possible.

Recently, a number of media reports have been published

regarding a 2014 government memo and the Entry/Exit

Initiative which refers to the exit and entry informa-

tion-sharing program between Canada and the United

States.

The memo in question states that the Government of

Canada will use the information from the initiative in

order to determine if individuals are meeting residency

requirements for various social benefits. Unfortunately,

these reports have mistakenly linked the content of this

memo with Canadian snowbirds.

The type of benefits primarily dealt with in the memo are

employment insurance and child benefits, issues that do

not normally impact retired Canadian snowbirds. The

only benefit which is mentioned that might have an effect

on our members is Old Age Security. However, there are

no residency limits related to the continued payment of

both OAS and CPP, as long as the individual has lived in

Canada for 20 years past the age of 18.

In our opinion, this would primarily impact expats who

are living abroad but are still collecting various Canadian

benefits. The CSA has been front and centre on this issue,

appearing on national television, newspapers and radio in

order to clarify this area of concern.

As we go to print, I have just returned from Washington,

D.C. following another round of meetings with members

of Congress regarding our Canadian Retiree Visa initiative.

In the last issue of

CSANews

, we reported that the JOLT

Act had 87 congressional co-sponsors in the House of

Representatives. After our recent meetings, I can report that

we now have 105 co-sponsors. We also predicted that the

JOLT Act would soon be introduced in the United States

Senate by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY). I am pleased

to report that Senator Schumer did, in fact, introduce our

bill on September 29, 2015.

I am also pleased to report that the JOLT Act is now a

standalone bill in both houses of Congress and is no longer

tied to the controversial comprehensive immigration

reform package (which had a great deal to do with its

not being passed in the last session). The other point of

interest that I will mention is the truly bipartisan nature

of this piece of legislation. Of the 105 co-sponsors in the

House of Representatives, 55 are Democrats and 50 are

Republicans. That sort of co-operation in Washington,

D.C. is extremely rare.

Our winter shows are fast approaching. This year’s Snow-

bird Extravaganza will be held at the Lakeland Center in

Lakeland, Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday, January

26 and 27, 2016.

Our Winter Texans’ Snowbird Extravaganza will be held

on Tuesday andWednesday, February 2 and 3, 2016 at the

McAllen Convention Center in McAllen, Texas.

Finally, our Canadian Snowbird Celebration will take place

on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 9 and 10, 2016 at

the Mesa Convention Center in Mesa, Arizona.

Yet again, admission to these great shows is free of charge.

If it is more convenient to attend one of our annual Winter

Information Meetings, our tour begins in Lake Havasu

City, Arizona on Friday, February 12, 2016. From there,

we head to California for shows in Indio andWinterhaven

onMonday, February 15 and Tuesday, February 16 before

heading back to Arizona on Thursday, February 18 for a

show in Green Valley.

The Florida leg of our tour begins on Monday, February

22, in Punta Gorda. From there, we head to Clearwater

for a show on Tuesday, February 23 and we wrap up our

winter tour onThursday, February 25 in Immokalee. Please

check elsewhere in this edition of the magazine for specific

times and venue locations. Yes, all of these shows are also

completely free of charge as well.

Have a safe and wonderful winter in the sun.

Bob Slack

CSA President

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