President's Message Issue 55

Summer 2005 CSANews Issue 55  |  Posted date : May 20, 2007.Back to list

Here we are once again, back in our own wonderful country. As I sit here writing this message the sun is shining, the birds are singing, it is a beautiful day in Canada.

Here we are once again, back in our own wonderful country. As I sit here writing this message the sun is shining, the birds are singing, it is a beautiful day in Canada.

As you may have read in our last issue, we had a very busy winter with the Extravaganzas and Winter Information Meetings. These events gave us a great opportunity to meet and talk with many of our members. We listened to their concerns and accepted their appreciation for what the board of directors has done over the past two years.

This spring, I was invited to be the guest speaker at the Ontario Provincial Police Veterans Association (OPPVA) annual general meeting in St. Catharines. Following my presentation, we signed up 57 new CSA members.

On a sad note, one of our hardest working volunteers, Robert (Bob) McEwan passed away in May of this year. My wife Joan and I attended the funeral in Jarvis, Ontario. Bob and his wife Maxine were the lead volunteers at the Florida Extravaganza for many years. Bob will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with Maxine and her family.

This coming January marks the end of the present term for the CSA board of directors. How can two years go by so fast? It is now time for new people to step up and apply to become directors of the association. Our nominating committee has been approved by the board and will be studying the résumés of both new applicants and existing board members. Every two years, the board starts as a clean slate. Over the next couple of months, it will be the nominating committee's job to compile a slate of candidates to serve the association as its board of directors for the next two years. If you are interested in serving on the board, please contact the CSA office to request an application package.

What do we have to look forward to this fall? Last fall, we travelled across Western Canada and this fall, we will be visiting our friends in Atlantic Canada. We will start our Snowbird Lifestyle Presentations on September 16 in Windsor, Ontario and travel eastward through Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Please plan to attend these meetings and bring along your friends. The shows are FREE to everyone.

During this busy time, the local directors and I will be meeting with government officials in an attempt to improve the rights of all travelling Canadians. One thing that will be at the top of our list will be the Canada Health Act and the failure of the provinces to obey the act. The Canada Health Act states, "If insured persons are temporarily absent in another province or territory, the portability criterion requires that insured services be paid at the host province's rate. If insured persons are temporarily out of the country, insured services are to be paid at the home province's rate."

At the present time, there is no consistency across Canada in terms of what services are covered and how much will be reimbursed for out-of-country care. We would like to see a consistent standard across Canada. After all, the Canada Health Act was written for Canadians, not for individual provinces.

In terms of being successful when making presentations to governments, you must have strength in numbers. At its May meeting, your board of directors set several goals for the next five years. One key goal is to sign up 8,000 new members each year. In order to do this, however, we need your help. If you know of someone who travels out of their province, even for just a short period of time, talk to them about the CSA and tell them what we do for all travelling Canadians. Remember our KEY MEMBER pin. When you sign up five new members, you will become a KEY MEMBER and receive a key member pin. You will also receive a free one-year membership. Make sure that the new member advises us of your sponsorship.

At our recent board meeting, we spent a full day planning our strategy for the future. This strategy meeting was chaired by our B.C. director Jim Sherb. The meeting was attended by all directors and their spouses, as well as by the CSA staff. We discussed how we would increase membership, how we would approach government officials (both those in power as well as those sitting in opposition), and we developed our mission statement as well as our vision for the future. The input by everyone was great. I can tell you that I am proud to be a member of this hard-working board.

I wish you all a happy, healthy summer and look forward to seeing you at the Snowbird Lifestyle Presentations in the fall. Should you wish to contact me, I can be reached by e-mail at

CSA President attends OPPVA Annual General Meeting
CSA president Gerry Brissenden, accompanied by Joan Brissenden and executive director Lawrence Barker, attended the Ontario Provincial Police Veterans' Association (OPPVA) annual general meeting in St. Catharines, Ontario, where he was invited to address the delegates. The OPPVA invited the association to set up its display booth and information desk at the event, which was attended by OPPVA chapter delegates from across Ontario. Fifty-seven new CSA members were signed up at the display booth, along with a number of OPPVA delegates requesting CSA membership information that could be taken back to their local chapters.

2005 CSA Membership Cards and New Travel Publications in the Mail
Thank you to the thousands of CSA members who promptly renewed their memberships, as well as making donations to the Special Action Fund, in response to the renewal notice that was mailed in early May.

The first mailing of 2005 member kits (containing a newly redesigned membership card, copy of the new Travellers' Checklist and 32-page Travel Information Guide 2005 Supplement) were sent to Canada Post in early July. If you are either a lifetime member or a renewing annual member, watch your mailbox for delivery of your new member kit.

For as long as we can remember, Bob and Maxine McEwan were the lead volunteer coordinators at Snowbird Extravaganza. Every year they would come out to the venue early to organize the hundreds of name tags, ensure that all received their volunteer uniforms and made sure that everyone was fed and well hydrated during the show.

On May 4, 2005, in his 89th year, Bob McEwan passed on. He leaves behind his beloved wife Maxine, six children, ten grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren.

Of course we will miss the security of knowing he and Maxine will be watching over the flock, but, more importantly, we will miss his joy, enthusiasm, dedication, good humour and the example he gave us in the way he lived his life day by day.

Goodbye Bob.