Throne Speech Defends Rights of Canadian Travellers

Posted date : Jan 31, 2001.Back to list

Throne Speech Defends Right of Canadian Travellers - Federal Government Fully Supports Canada Health Act

"But what we call home is more than a place name on a map. It is our belonging to a community of ideas and ideals..."
Excerpt from 2001 Throne Speech

Toronto, ON - In an unexpected and unprecedented move, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson has, in the Speech from the Throne, firmly put the support of the Federal Government behind the 100,000-member strong Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA).

By stating in her speech today, "The Government of Canada will uphold the Canada Health Act. It will work with the provinces and territories to ensure that all governments continue to fulfil their commitment to the principles of Medicare," Madame Clarkson has stated "for the record" that the federal government will now enforce all FIVE of the founding principles of the Canada Health Act (CHA).

The Portability Principle of the CHA - Section 11(1)(b)(ii) stipulates that the provinces must pay for out of country emergency hospital care the same dollar amount as it would for hospital stays within Canada. At present, many of Canada's provinces and territories are in contravention of the CHA.

"This is extremely exciting news for all Canadians," says CSA President Bob Jackson. Since its inception in 1992, the CSA has been fighting to have the Portability Principle upheld. Prime Minister Chretien and the Honourable Allan Rock both agree that the provinces should be paying the proper amounts. Now, it's time they put their money where their mouths are. Today, the changes we've been fighting for are one step closer to becoming a reality."

The Canadian Snowbird Association has spearheaded lobbying efforts to convince the provincial governments to comply with Section 11(1)(b)(ii) of the Canada Health Act. Until today's reading of the Throne Speech, the federal government firmly placed these payments in the provinces' jurisdictions. Today, the Liberal government has accepted the responsibility to enforce the Act.

For the first time, the Federal government has openly stated, "We know that our system of Medicare, which ensures access to needed services regardless of income or place of residence is vital to our quality of life." In other words, a Canadian taxpayer is still a taxpayer, whether he's at home in Saskatoon or vacationing abroad. The CSA isn't looking for coverage for elective surgery. The CSA wants true, emergency services to be funded - as they would be at home in Canada.

For interviews/information, contact
Heather Nicolson-Morrison,
Executive Director, Canadian Snowbird Association.
(416) 441-7062 or (800) 265-3200