The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) is a 100,000 member national not-for-profit advocacy organization. It is dedicated to actively defending and improving the rights and privileges of Canadian travellers.
For over 30 years, the CSA has effectively advocated on behalf of its members and the travelling public on a range of issues such as the preservation of health coverage, reimbursement for out-of-country medical emergencies, access to prescription medications, and much more.
A chronological list of our many accomplishments can be found below.
In a unanimous decision, the Ontario Divisional Court in Canadian Snowbirds Association Inc. v. Attorney General of Ontario struck down part of Ontario Regulation 259 which terminated OHIP’s Out-of-Country Travellers Program (OOCTP). In that decision, the Court found that, under the Ontario Health Insurance Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council does not have the legal authority to enact regulations which would revoke the OOCTP.
On September 19, 2019, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced the Canadian Snowbirds Act, S. 2507 in the U.S. Senate. This bill would allow eligible Canadian retirees to spend up to eight months vacationing in the United States annually – two months longer than the current six-month limit.
On June 12, 2019, the Canadian Snowbird Visa Act, H.R. 3241 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) and Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL-22). This legislation seeks to increase the admission period for qualified Canadian retirees vacationing in the United States to eight months.
The Canadian Snowbird Association releases the seventh edition of the popular Canadian Travellers’ Report Card.
The CSA works with the Saskatchewan Government to overturn the application of provincial sales tax (PST) on travel medical insurance premiums in the province.
The Manitoba Department of Health, Seniors and Active Living clarifies their position on the term certificate, indicating to the CSA in writing that it is only a recommendation and not a requirement for Manitoba travellers departing the province for more than three months.
The State of Georgia rescinds a law requiring all non-English driver’s licence holders to possess an International Driving Permit (IDP) while operating a vehicle in the state.
Effective January 1, 2016, Saskatchewan formally increases the amount of time residents may be absent from the province, from six to seven months (over any 12-month period), while still retaining continuous provincial health coverage.
The Northwest Territories changes their temporary absence policy, and now allows residents to be absent from the territory for up to seven months, while still remaining eligible for continuous health coverage. This change was a direct result of the Canadian Travellers’ Report Card which was previously discussed in the NWT legislature.
Effective August 1, 2014, residents of Nova Scotia will be able to spend up to seven months outside of the province, each calendar year, and still retain their Medical Services Insurance (MSI) coverage. In addition to the health coverage extension, effective August 1, 2014, beneficiaries of the Nova Scotia Family and Senior’s Pharmacare Program will be able to receive up to 270 day supply of medication for vacation purposes.
The Government of New Brunswick announced, at the Legislative Assembly, that eligible residents may now be absent from New Brunswick for up to 212 days, for vacation and visiting purposes, and still retain their Medicare benefits.
The CSA works with the Alberta government to increase out-of-country health coverage from six to seven months.
The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S.744), which includes the JOLT Act, is passed in the U.S. Senate.
Manitoba formalizes the CSA’s request to extend the amount of time that residents of Manitoba can be absent from their home province and still retain health benefits from six to seven months.
CSA Executive Director Michael MacKenzie meets with Florida state lawmakers to resolve the International Driving Permit (IDP) requirement for out-of-country drivers. On March 27, 2013, this legislation was repealed retroactive to January 1, 2013.
British Columbia increases the amount of time that permanent residents can spend outside of the province and still maintain their health coverage from six to seven months.
Due to the efforts of the CSA, Saskatchewan increases access to prescription drugs for travellers by simplifying the reimbursement process. Saskatchewan residents can now be reimbursed for up to six months of medication at one time.
CSA President Bob Slack and CSA Executive Director Michael MacKenzie give testimony, related to the 10-year Canadian passport, to the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
The association investigates the rejection of deductions for travel medical insurance by Canada Revenue Agency. CSA Executive Director Michael MacKenzie meets with the federal Finance Minister’s staff to resolve the issue which results in the acceptance of medical and non-medical components of a premium being tax deductible.
The CSA successfully lobbies the U.S. Congress to advance the Canadian Retired Persons’ Visa through legislation introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. If enacted as is, the VISIT-USA Act will increase the amount of time for which Canadian citizens over 50 years of age, who satisfy certain requirements, will be permitted to stay in the United States.
Legislation is passed in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to allow absentee ballots in provincial elections. This success for the association serves to strengthen the democratic rights for all Ontario residents travelling abroad.
Thanks to legislative changes prompted by the persistence of the CSA, the government of PEI now reimburses out-of-country emergency in-patient services at up to $1,055 CAD per day, a rate nearly double that of 2002.
The creation of a new 10-year Canadian passport is announced in the federal budget. Currently scheduled for 2013, the new Canadian passport will not only have a doubled lifespan, it will also include enhanced security features to better protect travelling Canadians.
As a direct result of discussions with the CSA, federal Minister of Health Tony Clement communicates to every provincial and territorial minister of health, reminding them of their obligations under the portability criterion of the Canada Health Act.
The CSA appears before the Florida Property Tax Reform Committee to present the association’s position on proposed property tax reform.
British Columbia becomes the first province to hold an election on a fixed date. This allows residents of British Columbia to better plan their winter trips without having to sacrifice their democratic right to vote.
A policy is agreed upon between Manitoba Health and the CSA whereby residents who spend 183 days outside of Canada, and after they return to Manitoba, may be absent for up to an additional 30 days in order for them to enjoy more travel to visit family, attend weddings and funerals, etc.
A proposed rule which would reduce the amount of time that Canadian tourists are allowed to spend in the U.S. from 182 days to 30 days is rescinded by the INS after the CSA appears before the U.S. House Small Business Committee on Capitol Hill. Florida Governor Jeb Bush mentions the CSA in his press release, recognizing the efforts of the association in the successful withdrawal of the planned legislative changes.
President Ellen White travels to Washington to appear before the United States’ House Small Business Committee on Capitol Hill. As a result of her testimony, the association is given a letter, signed by the INS commissioner, stating that those Canadians who are otherwise eligible to enter the U.S. would not be affected by the proposed regulatory change. This letter was prepared by the association, under the direction of legal counsel Wallace Weylie, and accepted with few changes by INS.
The CSA releases the inaugural edition of the Canadian Travellers’ Report Card, an extensive publication that critically investigates the policies and practices of the federal, provincial and territorial governments regarding key issues impacting Canadian snowbirds.
Manitoba announces that residents who are travelling out-of-country can now access a second 100-days supply of prescription medication.
Ontario’s premier Mike Harris attends the Florida extravaganza to announce three major reforms in Ontario regulations:
A meeting is held in British Columbia with the provincial health minister. During the meeting she advises that British Columbia will now allow its residents unlimited travel within Canada over and above the 183 days, provided they are in the country at least six months each year.
The Ontario government restores the out‑of‑country payment to $400 a day.
Based on representation and protests from the Canadian Snowbird Association, the government of New Brunswick backs down on its stated plans to limit travel outside the province to 90 days in order for its residents to maintain provincial care.
Due largely to the association’s advocacy actions, amendments to the Canada Elections Act contained in bill C‑114 are proclaimed by parliament. This legislation allows all Canadians the right to vote in federal elections while temporarily out of country.
CSA Member Advisory – In August 2023, we notified members that Canadian citizens travelling to certain European countries will soon be required to obtain a permit known as a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) travel authorization. An ETIAS travel authorisation is an entry requirement for visa-exempt nationals travelling to thirty European countries.Read More
On Tuesday October 3, 2023 the residents of Manitoba will choose their next provincial government….Read More
CSA Member Advisory – Canadian travellers should be aware of upcoming changes to travel requirements for entry into thirty European nations next year. Beginning in 2024, Canadian citizens travelling to certain European countries will be required to obtain a permit known as a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) travel authorization.Read More
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Congressman Greg Stanton introduced the Canadian Snowbird Visa Act, bipartisan legislation to extend the amount of time certain Canadians can visit the US by two months.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – Earlier this week, the federal government announced the introduction of a new Verified Traveller program to be launched by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA).Read More
CSA Member Advisory – The Biden administration confirmed that the executive order requiring international air travellers entering the United States to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be officially rescinded on May 12, 2023.Read More
On Monday April 3, 2023 the residents of PEI will choose their next provincial government. As a member of the Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA), now is the time to ensure your voice is heard!Read More
CSA Member Advisory – In 2023, both the City of Toronto and the City of Ottawa have implemented a vacant home/unit tax on residential properties left unoccupied.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – As the vast majority of Canadian NEXUS offices remain closed due to an ongoing dispute over legal protections, earlier this week Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a joint statement on the NEXUS program.Read More
CSA Member Advisory -Federal officials announced that as of October 1, 2022, all travellers arriving in Canada will no longer have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter Canada or meet COVID-19 testing, quarantine or isolation requirements. All travellers will also no longer have to submit their public health information through ArriveCAN.Read More
On Monday October 3, 2022 the residents of Québec will choose their next provincial government. As a member of the Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA), now is the time to ensure your voice is heard!Read More
CSA Member Advisory – On July 19, 2022, mandatory random COVID-19 testing will be reinstated for fully vaccinated travellers arriving in Canada by air to the four major Canadian airports, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – Effective June 20, 2022, the federal government will suspend the requirement that domestic and outbound travellers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – Effective 12:01 a.m. ET on June 12, 2022, the U.S. government will no longer require air travellers to obtain a pre-departure COVID-19 test within a day of their departure flights.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – The federal government officially announced that they will be removing the pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirement for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada at airports and land border crossings effective April 1, 2022.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – Earlier this week, the Government of Canada announced that effective February 28, 2022, fully vaccinated Canadian travellers may return to Canada with a pre-arrival COVID-19 rapid antigen test instead of a pre-arrival COVID-19 molecular test such as a PCR test.Read More
CSA Member Advisory : In response to the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, the Canadian federal government announced yesterday that they have reinstated the travel advisory against all non-essential international travel effective December 15, 2021.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – Updated U.S. Travel Restrictions : Yesterday afternoon, U.S. President Joe Biden announced updated travel restrictions in response to the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – In response to the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, the Federal government announced that all air travellers entering Canada, from every country except the United States, will now be required to be tested at the airport in which they land regardless of their vaccination statusRead More
CSA Member Advisory : On Friday November 19th, the federal Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos announced that the requirement to obtain a pre-arrival COVID-19 molecular test would be eliminated for fully vaccinated Canadian travellers taking short-term trips abroad which are within 72 hours in duration. This new policy will come into effect on November 30, 2021.Read More
CSA Member Advisory : The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that non-citizen travellers who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have appropriate documentation will be permitted to enter the United States via land ports of entry (POE) and ferry terminals starting on November 8, 2021.Read More
CSA Member Advisory : Late last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that fully vaccinated Canadian travellers will be permitted to enter the United States, via the land border, for non-essential purposes effective November 8, 2021.Read More
The U.S Department of Homeland Security has recently announced that the ongoing restriction on non-essential travel at the U.S./Canada land border will be extended until at least October 21st.Read More
I am writing to request that the Government of Canada work with the World Health Organization (WHO) to update its guidance to ensure that mixed dosing of COVID-19 vaccines is internationally recognized as full vaccination against COVID-19.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced the Canadian Snowbird Visa Act, bipartisan legislation to extend the amount of time Canadians who own or lease a home in the United States can visit by two months.Read More
Earlier this week, the federal government announced that starting August 9, 2021, Canada plans to begin allowing entry to American citizens and permanent residents, who are currently residing in the United States, and have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for non-essential travel.Read More
CSA Member Advisory : Yesterday, federal government officials announced that effective 11:59 p.m. EST on July 5, 2021, fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents will not be required to quarantine upon entry into Canada…Read More
U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) reintroduced the Canadian Snowbirds Act, legislation that would allow some Canadian citizens to spend up to eight months a year vacationing in the United States, two months longer than they are allowed to stay now.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – Effective June 10, 2021, Ontario residents who received one or both doses of COVID-19 vaccine outside of Ontario or Canada can contact their local Public Health Unit (PHU) to have their COVID-19 immunization record verified and documented in the province’s COVAX system.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – Yesterday afternoon, federal government officials announced that fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents returning to Canada by air will no longer be subject to the mandatory hotel quarantine requirement effective early July 2021…..Read More
The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) is, again, calling on the federal government to end the mandatory hotel quarantine program for fully vaccinated Canadian residents returning to Canada.Read More
The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) is calling on the Canadian and U.S. Governments to formalize a plan to safely reopen the land border for fully vaccinated travellers for non-essential purposes.Read More
As President of the Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA), I am writing to request that your Ministry allow Ontario residents to update their immunization records to register COVID-19 vaccinations which they have received in the United States and abroad.Read More
As President of the Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA), I am writing to request that the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) revises its guidance on quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated Canadian residents returning to Canada from the United States on the basis that these individuals do not pose a risk of significant harm to public health.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – Effective February 15, 2021, the Government of Canada is requiring that all travellers returning to Canada by land provide a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken within 72 hours of their entry into Canada.Read More
While the CSA is supportive of point of entry testing for COVID-19 at all Canadian airports and land crossings, we are firmly opposed to the imminent mandatory hotel quarantine measure to be imposed by the federal government.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – Beginning on January 26th, all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country are
required to get tested for COVID-19 no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight.
CSA Member Advisory – Effective January 7, 2021 all passengers five years of age or older, are required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling by air from another country to Canada.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – Late last week, Canada and the United States officially extended the restrictions on non-essential travel at the land border until December 21, 2020. With surging COVID-19 case numbers in both countries, the land border closure will likely extend well into next year.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – On September 23rd, we notified members of our legal challenge victory against the Ontario Government and the illegal termination of OHIP’s Out-of-Country Travellers Program, which provided emergency out-of-country nsurance coverage for Ontario residents.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – As was reported last week, the Canada/U.S. land border will remain closed to all non-essential travel until at least November 21, 2020. CSA representatives continue to discuss the issue of the border closure with government officials and agencies on both sides of the border.Read More
Re: Snowbirds should fly away on their own dime, not the taxpayers’……One of the fundamental issues with Chris Selley’s piece is his mischaracterization of emergency out-of-country health coverage as a subsidy. To be clear, this coverage is not a government handout.Read More
On Saturday October 24, 2020, the residents of British Columbia will choose their next provincial government. As a member of the Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA), now is the time to ensure your voice is heard!Read More
CSA Member Advisory – The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) is pleased to announce that we have won our legal challenge against the Ontario Government and their illegal termination of emergency out-of-country insurance coverage for Ontario residents.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – Recently, Canada and the United States agreed to extend the land border restriction on all non-essential travel until October 21, 2020. This means that travel for tourism purposes will not be permitted at any land border crossing until at least October 21, 2020, but we anticipate this closure may well extend into 2021.Read More
After discussions with the office of the Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the CSA is pleased to announce that an exemption has been formally put in place for snowbirds who reside at seasonal campgrounds.Read More
CSA Member Advisory – Effective April 16th, the Government of Canada is requiring all travellers returning to Canada from abroad to provide Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) with a “credible quarantine plan.”Read More
The Government of Canada has recently provided clearer guidelines for Canadian travellers returning home from abroad. If you have recently returned to Canada and you have no symptoms , you must QUARANTINE (self-isolate) yourself. This is mandatory. You are at risk of developing symptoms and infecting others.Read More
People with COVID-19 do not always recognize their early symptoms. Even though you do not have symptoms now, you need to self-isolate if in the last 14 days, you…Read More
On March 21st, Canada and the United States will temporarily restrict all non-essential travel between our two countries for 30 days in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.Read More
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that entry into Canada will be denied to individuals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.Read More
The Government of Canada is now officially recommending that Canadian travellers abroad return to Canada. Further, the Government of Canada has also issued an official global travel advisory that all non-essential travel outside of Canada be avoided.Read More
In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Nova Scotia provincial picnic, which was scheduled to take place on Tuesday March 24, 2020, has been cancelled.Read More
In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ontario provincial picnic, which was scheduled to take place on Tuesday March 17, 2020, has been cancelled.Read More
The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) on behalf of its members, and all Ontario travellers has filed a legal challenge against the Ontario Government’s cuts to out-of-country emergency insurance coverage.Read More
A recent, very-large study has shown that many heart procedures such as stent insertion, angioplasty and heart bypass surgery are unnecessary and can actually cause harm.Read More
Dear Snowbirds, Canadian Snowbird Association Directors are available for presentations in your local communities.Read More
CSA is reminding Ontario travellers that OHIP’s Out-of-Country (OOC) Travellers Program is scheduled to be terminated on January 1, 2020.Read More
On Monday, October 21, 2019 the citizens of Canada will choose their next federal government. As a member of the Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA), now is the time to ensure your voice is heard!Read More
On Sept 19, 2019, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott introduced the Canadian Snowbirds Act, S. 2507 in the U.S. Senate.Read More
U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott introduced the Canadian Snowbirds Act, legislation that would allow some Canadian citizens to spend up to eight months a year vacationing in the United States, two months longer than they are allowed to stay now.Read More
As of July 11, 2019, the entry/exit initiative has been expanded to include the sharing of information of all travellers including Canadian and American citizens at land ports of entry.Read More
It has come to our attention that there is a discrepancy between the residency rules of the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) and the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).Read More
Toronto – The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) announced Wednesday their opposition to the Ontario government’s proposal to terminate OHIP’s Out-of-Country (OOC) Travellers Program.Read More
Toronto – Before embarking on their trips, Canadian travellers should be mindful that, in most cases, their health coverage does not follow them abroad. Only the Canadian territories and the province of Prince Edward Island are obeying the requirement of the Canada Health Act to provide portable universal health care for the more than 55 […]Read More
The United States mid-term elections were held on Tuesday November 6, 2018. In the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats made a net gain of at least 40 seatsRead More
Several drugs containing the ingredient Valsartan are being recalled by their manufacturers. A potential carcinogenic impurity was found in the Valsartan used in these products which could cause health problems as a result of long-term exposure.Read More
As part of the 2017 budget, the government of Saskatchewan both raised the rate of the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) from five per cent to six per cent and applied PST to an increased number of goods and services including travel medical insurance premiums.Read More
Toronto – Hurricane Irma, a dangerous Category 5 storm containing the most powerful winds ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, has already hit the Caribbean and may well be headed for Florida. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a statewide state of emergency to ensure local officials have enough time, resources and flexibility to get […]Read More
In the recent 2017 budget, the government of Saskatchewan announced that it was raising the rate of the provincial sales tax (PST) from five per cent to six per centRead More
The CSA is pleased to announce that the Department of Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living has now clarified their position on the term certificate, indicating to the CSA in writing that it is only a recommendation and not a requirement for Manitoba travellers.Read More
Spending the winter in the sunny south sure beats contending with the ice and snow of our Canadian winters. If you are truly going to enjoy the fruits of the snowbird lifestyle experience, preparation is key.Read More
Toronto – The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) announced Thursday, that after multiple discussions between the CSA and representatives from the state of Georgia, the requirement of non-English driver’s licence holders to possess an International Driving Permit (IDP), while operating a vehicle in the state, will be rescinded.Read More
As many of you are aware, the cross-border information sharing program, known as the Entry/Exit Initiative, was scheduled to be expanded to include Canadian and American citizens on June 30, 2014.Read More
The CSA is pleased to announce that the Saskatchewan Government has, effective January 1, 2016, formally increased the amount of time residents may be absent from Saskatchewan, from six to seven months (over any 12-month period), while still retaining continuous provincial health coverage.Read More
As most of you are aware, the Canadian Snowbird Association has successfully worked with a number of provinces in Canada on the issue of residency requirements and eligibility for continuous health coverage.Read More
In a recent article which appeared on CBC News’ British Columbia website, it was suggested that Canadian citizens are only allowed to spend 120 days in the United States each year. For clarification purposes, the Canadian Snowbird Association would like to remind travellers to the U.S. that this information is incorrect.Read More
In our Member Advisory issued on March 28, 2014, we discussed the joint Canada/U.S. declaration titled Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness. The purpose of the program is to “to enhance our security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods and services.”Read More
Effective August 1, 2014, residents of Nova Scotia will be able to spend up to seven months outside of the province, each calendar year, and still retain their Medical Services Insurance (MSI) coverage.Read More
On February 4, 2011 the Canadian and U.S. governments issued a declaration known as Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness. The purpose of the program is to enhance security and increase the legitimate traffic of people, goods and services.Read More
The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) is pleased to report that effective May 16, 2014, eligible residents of New Brunswick may now be absent from their home province for up to 212 days, for vacation and visiting purposes, and still retain their Medicare coverage.Read More
In late 2012, the Canadian Snowbird Association distributed a survey to our Alberta members asking whether they would like us to work with the Alberta Government to increase out-of-country health coverage from six to seven months.Read More
Toronto – The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) applauds the passage of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act in the U.S. Senate.Read More
Guidelines to Writing Government Representatives – If you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our office toll-free at 1-800-265-3200 (English) or 1-800-265-5132 (French).Read More
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget requests a study to determine the feasibility of collecting a fee from pedestrians and passenger vehicles crossing between the United States and Canada by land.Read More
The Canadian Snowbird Association applauds the inclusion of the JOLT (Jobs Originated through Launching Travel) Act in the comprehensive immigration reform legislation filed April 17th in the United States SenateRead More
FAQs – Seven Month Absence in a Calendar Year for Longer Term Vacationers – Amendments have been made to the maximum period of time a resident can stay out of the province and continue to maintain Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage.Read More
Florida’s legislation requiring foreign drivers to possess an International Driving Permit to legally operate a motor vehicle has been officially repealed.Read More
The Canadian Snowbird Association has been working tirelessly on your behalf to extend the time that snowbirds from British Columbia can spend outside of the country from 6 to 7 months and still maintain their provincial health coverage.Read More
VICTORIA – Amendments introduced today to the Medicare Protection Act will create authority to set regulations that would allow British Columbians who take longer-term vacations out of the province, such as “snowbirds”, to stay on holidays for an extra period of time.Read More
Despite recent legislative amendments made in Florida, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is NOT REQUIRED in order for a visitor to legally operate a vehicle in the state.Read More
Travellers leaving Saskatchewan for an extended period are now able to get up to six months of prescription drugs processed online through the Saskatchewan Drug Plan, saving them upfront out-of-pocket costs and the inconvenience of seeking reimbursement afterwards.Read More
The advocacy work of the association is funded entirely through member donations which are held in a separate account, independent of the daily operation budget of the association, known as the Special Action Fund (SAF). The SAF is utilized when the CSA does not have the time to seek donations, and must engage immediately in government lobbying and consultation.
Recently, the Ontario Government announced that it is moving forward with plans to cancel the Out-of-Country (OOC) Travellers Program effective January 1, 2020. This program provides reimbursement to Ontario travellers for certain medical emergencies which transpire while residents are outside of Canada. The move is unprecedented and will make Ontario the only province in the country to terminate all funding for emergency medical services obtained while abroad.
In response, the CSA has used the resource of the SAF to mount a legal challenge against the Ontario Government for this blatant violation of the Canada Health Act.
It is paramount that we take a stand and put an end to the Ontario Government’s illegal actions, not only for Ontario travellers, but for travellers in jurisdictions across Canada which may attempt to implement similar policies.
The CSA has also employed the Special Action Fund for advocacy work south of the border. The association is currently working on extending the length of time eligible Canadian retirees can spend in the U.S. annually. This “Canadian Retiree Visa” or “Snowbird Visa” would permit Canadian snowbirds to spend up to eight months in the United States every year – a two month increase from the current six month limit. At the time of printing, this proposal can be found in multiple bills introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Previously, the SAF was utilized to overturn Florida’s requirement that all foreign visitors operating a motor vehicle in the state obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP). After 9/11, it was also used to oppose a bill that would have limited Canadians to a 30 day visit to the United States.
Until her retirement in 2004, Karen Huestis was the co-owner and operator of Crestwood Golf Club in Manilla, Ontario. Ms. Huestis has had an extensive and varied career, holding positions at Bell Canada, Air Canada, and the Lindsay Golf Club. Ms. Huestis has been a member of the Canadian Snowbird Association board of directors since 2012 and has volunteered at the annual Snowbird Extravaganza since 1995. Prior to being elected president of the CSA, she served as association secretary from 2012 to 2014 and served as CSA treasurer from 2014 to 2017. A lifetime member of the CSA, Ms. Huestis brings a wealth of non-profit experience to the association. She has previously served as president, vice-president, and secretary of the Woodville Country Chords. In addition, Ms. Huestis has also served as the treasurer of the Seagrave United Church. Ms. Huestis’ snowbird-related interests include the Canada Health Act and the ownership of U.S. property. In her free time, Ms. Huestis enjoys barbershop singing, clogging, golfing, and reading. Karen Huestis and her husband Bill reside in Warkworth, Ontario and winter in Spring Hill, Florida.
Mr. Steeves recently retired following a distinguished career in municipal government serving as Director of Administrative Services, and Director of Transit & Parking Services with the City of Fredericton, New Brunswick. The highlight of Mr. Steeves' years of volunteering was recognized being recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award; and by Rotary International with the presentation of the esteemed Paul Harris Fellowship Award. Volunteerism includes serving as Director and 1st Vice President of the Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA); firefighter with Riverview Fire-Rescue, Auxiliary-Constable with New Brunswick Highway Patrol; Past-President of Big Brothers/Big Sisters; board of directors with Jobs Unlimited - an employment agency for physically and mentally challenged adults; chair of the United Way campaign; and a provincially licensed and bonded auctioneer for 28 years conducting dozens of fund-raising auctions annually raising several hundred thousand dollars for local charities and service clubs. For eleven years, he also served as the annual voluntary coordinator of the very successful New Brunswick Picnic in St. Petersburg, Florida. Ron and his wife Judy are life-time members of the CSA, and reside in Fredericton, New Brunswick and Clearwater, Florida.
Mr. Garry McDonald was, until his retirement in 2012, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce where, under his leadership, the chamber increased business membership by 60% to over 1,000 businesses. In this role, Mr. McDonald liaised directly with government representatives from all three levels of government on border, transportation, trade and energy matters. Prior to his time at the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, Mr. McDonald worked as the Senior Director, Revenue Facilities at the St. Clair Parkway Commission overseeing the successful operations of the revenue generating facilities division. In addition to serving on the Canadian Snowbird Association board, Mr. McDonald presently sits on the Bluewater Power Distribution Corporation (BPDC) board of directors and is a board priorities committee member with Goodwill Industries (Essex Kent Lambton). Further, he is currently a director with Rail Advocacy in Lambton and the Residents of Lazy Days based in North Fort Myers, Florida. Mr. McDonald’s previous board experience includes serving as chairman and board member of the Sarnia Hospital Commission Board and serving on the board of the South West Ontario Travel Association (SWOTA). He was a founding director and vice-chair of Tourism Sarnia Lambton and a director with the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Ontario and Canada and the Sarnia Lambton Workforce Development Board. He also served as a director and vice-chair of the Sarnia Lambton Economic Partnership and previously sat on the board of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (Sarnia Chapter). Garry and his wife Mary Ellen, a retired health professional, business owner and author, reside in Camlachie, Ontario and spend their winters in North Fort Myers, Florida.
Ted Popel has a long and distinguished career as an Insurance Professional with expertise in the Special Risk and Travel Medical Field, including risk evaluation, client/broker contact and product design. Ted has earned a reputation for being an effective negotiator, innovator and marketer and is experienced in all aspects of risk management. Ted has designed and executed special risk marketing plans, targeting specific niches such as universities, associations, and financial institutions. He also has a proven track record for design and implementation of administrative systems and procedures. Ted’s experience in the insurance industry has seen him hold senior positions in several respected life and property/casualty insurance companies including Confederation Life, Retirement Plan Services, Continental Insurance, Insurance Company of North America and Seaboard Life. Ted has volunteered with the CSA for 20 years and has been a lead team member at CSA’s Extravaganzas and Winter Information Meetings. Ted and his wife Quina reside in Scarborough, Ontario and spend their winters in Port Charlotte, Florida.
Ms. Wendy Caban, prior to retiring in June 2015, was most recently the Corporate Services Manager and Deputy Clerk at the District of Lake Country, British Columbia. She brings an array of board experience to the Canadian Snowbird Association, participating in board and committee meetings throughout her professional career and was a member of the Interior Savings Credit Union Board of Directors from 2006 to 2015. In addition, Ms. Caban was an instructor at Okanagan College for fifteen years teaching courses for the Legal Secretarial Program as well as courses on business office training. Complementing her professional experience, Ms. Caban has been actively involved in volunteer community service. In 2004, she was named a Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of her substantial contributions to the Rotary Club of Lake Country. Ms. Caban was also the chair of the Municipal Administrative Training Institute as well as the chair of KidSport Lake Country, her local chapter of the national not-for-profit organization that provides financial assistance for registration fees and equipment to kids aged 18 and under. Wendy and her husband Geoffrey reside in Lake Country, British Columbia and spend their winters in Mesa, Arizona.
Mr. Slack has had a long and distinguished career in education. As a teacher, principal and later supervisor of student teachers, he began his teaching career at the Galt Roman Catholic School Board, continued with the Carleton Roman Catholic School Board, and later the State University of New York. During his career in education he was actively involved in the establishment of classes and programs for dependently handicapped students. For over ten years Bob was a presenter of retirement planning workshops for the Ontario Teachers' Federation. He also served as an educational consultant for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture. In addition to a regular teaching career, he was employed as a part-time lecturer at the University of Ottawa as well as served as a municipal councillor for the Township of Goulbourn. A member of the Canadian Snowbird Association, Mr. Slack has been a volunteer with several organizations. He has served in numerous capacities with the Catholic Principals' Council of Ontario, including two terms as president. A past-president of the Richmond District Lions Club and Richmond Snowrovers Snowmobile Club, he has also been active in minor hockey. Bob Slack and his wife Lois reside in Athens, Ontario.
Mr. Foster has had a long and distinguished career in education, as a teacher, guidance counsellor and vice-principal. He began and ended his teaching career with the same school board, the Swift Current Public School Division. During his thirty-four years he participated on all the committees of the division. He also served as the director of the golf and curling clubs and past member of the Kiwanis Club. He also served as Public Relations and Marketing Director for the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League (1986 – 1994). John and his wife Joan reside in Swift Current, Saskatchewan in the summer and Mesa, Arizona in the winter.
Ms. Johanne Blain, prior to retiring in January, 2016, worked for 28 years as legal counsel for the Montreal Transit Corporation in the province of Québec, the second largest public urban mass transit system in Canada. Before that, she worked for 5 years as legal counsel for Domtar inc., after having been in private practice as a notary for 3 years. She obtained her law degree from the Université de Montréal in 1978, as well as her diploma of Notarial Law (DDN) in 1979. She brings an extensive experience touching several aspects of law, where she is recognized for her thoroughness, critical thinking, curiosity, and versatility. She also sat on several boards of directors of non for profit organizations, including a private college in the Montreal area for 5 years as one of the parents’ representative. Johanne hopes to help French Canadians on the West Coast of Florida to be more aware of their rights and obligations when spending time in the United States, as well as to provide a unique perspective of French Canadians to the CSA. Johanne and her husband Gilles reside in Longueuil, Québec and spend their winters in Pinellas Park, Florida.
Retired in 1994, Mr. James Carl Simpson had a distinguished career serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. For 29 years, Mr. Simpson worked in many aspects of the armed forces including combat and strategical combat positions. He served in Germany, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, and Northwest Territories among other NATO excursions. In addition to his work in the armed services, Mr. Simpson has been significantly involved in the Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) since 1973. He worked in various positions at the RCL, which included membership-at-large, district poppy chair, zone commander, and president. Mr. Simpson is an active volunteer. He is involved in the Heroes Mending on the Fly program which is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans. In addition, he is also an active member of the Timmins Senior Centre and for the past three years has been organizing the Annual Canadian Snowbirds Canada Day in Panama City Beach, Florida. Mr. Simpson is also the recipient of two Queen’s commendations – the Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee as well as the Canadian Armed Forces Decoration (Service) CD2. Mr. Simpson received his Bachelor of Social Work from Carleton University in 1983. He is looking forward to participating and working alongside the executive members of the CSA and Medipac International. Carl and his friend Judy Cecconi reside in Timmins, Ontario and spend their winters in Panama City Beach, Florida.
Canadian Snowbird Association
180 Lesmill Road,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3B 2T5
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday (EST)
Tel : 1-800-265-3200
Local : 416-391-9000
Fax : 416-441-7007
1-800-265-3200 (Toll Free)
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Snowbird Lifestyle Presentations coming this September, across Canada!
Snowbird Extravaganza and the CSA Winter Information Meetings will return in 2024.
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The OFFICIAL news magazine of the CSA.
The Snowbird Lifestyle is unique.
Medical Professionals for Travel Medical Insurance!
$2-5 Million USD overage
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Most affordable and comprehensive roadside assistance programs for all your emergency roadside needs.
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Insurance designed for the Snowbird Lifestyle.
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A collection of CSA checklists, fact sheets and guides important to the Snowbird Lifestyle.READ MORE +
8840 and W8-BEN
Important IRS forms for long-term visitors from Canada.
An important document for any traveller.
In the event of a medical emergency while travelling, a Personal Health Record can help unfamiliar medical professionals to quickly assess your health condition.
Canada Club! listings are to promote and enhance the snowbird lifestyle by acting as the facilitator of communications between Canadian snowbirds while temporarily resident in foreign countries.READ MORE +
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