s I sit down to write this column for
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
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
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
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
. 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
Those who renew their membershipwith the CSAwill receive
a hard copy of the newly revised fifth edition of the
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.
|www. snowbirds .org