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President’s

Message

Bob Slack

CSA President

A

s I sit down to write this column for

CSANews

on this beautiful Florida spring day, I can’t help

but notice how cold it is back home. The snow-

bird lifestyle definitely has its privileges! Hopefully, the

temperatures will have improved by the time you read

this column.

Yet again, Lois and I kicked off our winter tour with the

annual Snowbird Extravaganza in Lakeland, Florida at the

end of January. From there, we headed to McAllen, Texas

for the Winter Texans’ Snowbird Extravaganza followed

by the Canadian Snowbird Celebration in Mesa, Arizona.

We then embarked upon our Winter Information Tour.

This year, we kicked things off with a stop in Lake Havasu

City, Arizona before visiting our friends in both Indio and

Winterhaven, California. After a stop at a new location in

Green Valley, Arizona, we were headed back to Florida for

shows in Punta Gorda, Clearwater and Immokalee.

Another great winter of informational meetings, top-notch

entertainment and new members joining the Canadian

Snowbird Association.

Thanks again to everyone who came out to one of the shows

and thank you somuch to all who volunteered. Without our

volunteers, none of this would be possible.

Finally, thanks to our partners at Medipac for all that they do

in bringing these great events to our members year after year.

On April 4, Saskatchewan residents went to the polls to elect

their new provincial government. Premier Brad Wall was

returned with his third consecutive majority government,

in which he almost equalled the record-setting 64% of the

popular vote he captured in 2011.

As you can see from the date of the election, many of our

Saskatchewan snowbirds were still enjoying their winter

in the sun during the campaign. That’s where our popular

election handbooks come into play.

Not only do these publications outline the limitations of

the respective province’s reimbursement rates for out-of-

province emergency medical care, time permitted out of

province and prescription drug allotments, they also tell

you how to vote, particularly if you are absent from your

home province.

Voting bymail can be confusing, particularly if you’ve never

done it before. The good news is that our handbooks have

you covered in every province and territory in Canada.

As amatter of fact, Elections Saskatchewan reached out to us

and asked if we would help get the word out to Saskatchewan

snowbirds regarding how to vote.They were pleased to hear

that we were already on top of that.

There’s also a provincial election in Manitoba on April 19 .

No word on the winner there yet, but rest assured that our

Manitoba members will have access to all the tools which

they need to cast a timely and informed vote.

In Toronto, CSA staffmembers are hard at work getting pre-

pared for the 2016membership renewal campaign. Included

in our first mailing will be the most recent version of IRS

Form 8840, the

Closer Connection Exception Statement

for

Aliens

. As most of you are aware, any Canadian snowbird

who typically spends four months or longer in the United

States every calendar year needs to file this form with the

IRS, in order to be treated as a non-resident for tax pur-

poses. One form needs to be filed per person and forms

must be submitted by the June 15 deadline. If you have any

questions related to the 8840 Form, please do not hesitate to

contact our office toll-free at 1-800-265-3200 or by e-mail

at

csastaff@snowbirds.org .

Those who renew their membershipwith the CSAwill receive

a hard copy of the newly revised fifth edition of the

CSA

Travel Information Guide

. The fifth edition of this booklet

will feature a range of timely updates relating toU.S. taxation,

import/export restrictions, the vehicle exportation process

and cross-border currency regulations, as well as up-to-date

embassy and consulate contact information.The invaluable

information found throughout the pages of our travel guide

is alone worth the price of CSA membership.

The JOLTAct, which contains our provision for the creation

of a Canadian Retiree Visa, now has 110 congressional

co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. Of those 110

co-sponsors, 56 are Democrats and 54 are Republicans. It’s

tough to get much of anything done in Washington these

days, folks; clearly, we have more work ahead of us.

Thank you all again for your continued support. With a

current total membership in excess of 100,000, we continue

to grow…thanks to all of you. Welcome home.

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