From the Desk of Don Slinger Issue 32

Summer 1999 CSANews Issue 32  |  Posted date : Mar 02, 2007.Back to list

Last fall, I was asked by the Ontario Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations to serve on the Board of the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO). The Board is made up of a combination of industry and government representatives and is sponsored by the travel industry.

There are some 2,500 registered retail travel agents in Ontario and every one of these registrants pays an annual fee to be a member. Very soon, you will see the TICO logo displayed in members' places of business. This logo will mean customer protection for everyone who buys products from these members. A compensation committee reviews all claims submitted by purchasers to see that they are fairly protected. If you buy a travel package through the Internet (or otherwise) from an Ontario business, be sure to ask if it is a member of TICO, your guarantee of protection.

This is my first communiqué since the Ontario election was held. Please do not consider the following comments as a political endorsement, but rather consider how fortunate we Ontario seniors are because of our close working arrangements with the government over the past four years. When Mike Harris spoke to a packed house at our Snowbird Extravaganza last January, he received several standing ovations as he outlined his government's achievements since taking office. The impact on we snowbirds was covered in the last issue of CSA News and the recent Special Report on advocacy.

Without a doubt, our best link to the Ontario government during that time was The Honourable Cam Jackson, Ontario Minister of Long-Term Care with Responsibility for Seniors. Minister Jackson tirelessly worked behind the scenes to support our issues. In the new provincial cabinet, Cam Jackson was elevated to the portfolio of Tourism Minister. Congratulations and best wishes on your appointment, Cam!

At first glance, one might consider our working relationship with Minister Jackson in his new post to be somewhat less important than before. To the contrary. Everyone in Ontario is now preaching improved health care, so the CSA can turn some of its attention elsewhere. There are other fields on which we must concentrate, such as border-crossing delays, the non-appealable decisions of border officials, easier renewal of passports and the list goes on. I'm aware that most of these areas are federal in nature, but pressure from a Cabinet Minister from the largest Canadian province should create a very positive impact that will apply across the country. Yes, there is much work for the CSA to do and being a watchdog is a never-ending responsibility.

My neighbour e-mailed the following:

A preacher was winding up his temperance sermon with great gusto: "If I had all the beer in the world I'd take it and throw it in the river!" The congregation cried, "Amen!"

"If I had all the whiskey and demon rum in the world I'd take it and throw it in the river!" The congregation cried, "Hallelujah!"

The preacher sat down. The choirmaster then rose and announced, "Our closing hymn is #365 'Shall we gather at the river'."

Until the next time, remember, you don't have to know anything to have an opinion.