Government Relations Report Issue 60

Fall 2006 CSANews Issue 60  |  Posted date : May 30, 2007.Back to list

A common political misconception is that when federal, provincial and territorial legislatures adjourn for the summer, not much happens on the political front…this is not so.

Although our elected representatives are not preoccupied with the daily debate of the legislative chamber, the majority of them spend their summers on the“barbeque circuit” listening to the concerns of their constituents. Engaging our politicians in settings that are a little more relaxed and a little less formal provide great opportunities to convey the concerns of our members, and we have certainly taken advantage of those opportunities this past summer.

In June, CSA president Gerry Brissenden and our second vicepresident Nancy Hopcraft met with federal NDP leader Jack Layton to discuss many issues that are of concern to our members. This was the first time Mr. Layton has met with the associationsince becoming leader of the party.Later in June, this meeting was followed up with a visit to the CSA offices by Ms. Chris Charlton, MP for the riding of Hamilton Mountain, and the federal NDP’s critic for pensions and seniors’ issues. Topics of discussion in these meetings included the portability section of the Canada Health Act, preservation of health coverage for frequent travellers, and timely and affordable access to secure travel documents such as your Canadian passport. Gerry also discussed these topics in a meeting with Bruce Stanton,the Conservative MP for Simcoe North.

You can find a more detailed examination of these important issues in the president’s report.

One of our Ontario directors – Bob Slack – had a busy summer meeting with elected officials all over eastern Ontario. In August, Bob met with Ontario Liberal cabinet minister the Hon. John Gerretsen to discuss our recently released 2006 edition of the Canadian Travellers’ Report Card. Bobhad a similar meeting with Ontario Conservative MPP Bob Runciman. As Bob Slack well knows, it’s important to meet with our elected officials on both sides of the legislative chamber as the opposition members of today may well be the governmentmembers of tomorrow.

As you read in the summer issue of CSANews and again here in the fall issue, it was a busy summer on the political front for the association.

Not to worry – now that we are heading into the fall, we have no intention of getting complacent. As of writing this report, we have appointments scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Gordon Campbell, the premier of British Columbia, and John Tory, the Ontario Conservative Opposition leader.

We also have Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman and federal Health Minister Tony Clement on our radar this fall, so stay tuned.