Have you heard this before?

Summer 2002 CSANews Issue 43  |  Posted date : Apr 06, 2007.Back to list

I'm sure that, on many occasions, you've heard it said that "Canadian snowbirds are very conservative" (notice I didn't say cheap) when it comes to spending their money. Fortunately, a lot of the time it's said in good humour. I've heard several so-called jokes about our "conservatism," especially during my years publishing Canada News. Here is a restaurant joke that I considered a low blow to any Canadian, "Do you know the difference between a canoe and a Canadian?" The answer is, "a canoe tips!" It was embarrassing at times, so I decided to do something about it.

Back in the mid-80s, I conducted a survey about the habits of Canadian snowbirds, especially their spending habits ­ what a surprise I received. The survey revealed, very clearly, that we spend a "lot of money" during our visits that does not even include the money that we've already spent (lost) when exchanging our dollar for a U.S. dollar...you know the feeling, right?

I wanted to use the results of our survey to provide Canadians with the true facts when confronted by our American friends with this so-called "conservatism." I used the statistics in my many public speaking engagements and what a wonderful response I received. Finally, Canadians had something to fight back with. In fact, I still use current survey results in my talks on behalf of the CSA and Medipac International. Last year, I quoted these facts on 17 occasions and almost always received a standing ovation.

So, here's your opportunity to arm yourself with facts about your contribution to the U.S. economy. The average length of stay for a Canadian snowbird is 4.2 months; you spend an average of $7,200.00 USD per household during your stay. Considering that you occupy approximately 225,000 households, that's a whopping total expenditure of more than $1.6 billion USD. And make sure that you tell this to those wise-guys out there--you pay approximately $30 million in state taxes, primarily in Florida, Arizona, Texas and California.

Here's some personal information. Your average annual income is $46,200.00 CDN per household, 86 per cent of you are married (or profess to be), eight per cent are widowed and three per cent are widowers. I don't, nor do the researchers, know what or where the other three per cent are! Fifty-one per cent of you live in a manufactured-home community, 26 per cent in an RV, 13 per cent in a condominium and 10 per cent in a single-residence home.

Let us take a look at how you spend some of that hard-earned money per household on a monthly basis; $296 at a grocery store, $27 on gasoline, $96 at a department/discount store, $60 at the drug store, $25 for telephone services, $180 for entertainment and $77 on liquor. Wow, some of you brought that average up and I bet that it was just before going home to Canada. I wonder why?

Remember, these statistics do not include the spending of the short-term or vacationing Canadian who spends an average of 18 days in the U.S. I'll have some of these statistics for you in the next issue. The next time you hear those rude little comments ­ just "give 'em the facts!"

RCMP 95R Squad 50th Anniversary
In January 2003, the City of Regina in beautiful Saskatchewan, will celebrate its 100th birthday. However, part of the celebrations will start this September on the 6th, 7th and 8th "2002" with the 50th anniversary of the RCMP's Squad 95R (Squad is now referred to as Troop).

In 1952, about 300 students were enrolled in the RCMP training program at Regina. They graduated in 1953 and were assigned duties throughout Canada, especially in the northwest. Most of the graduates have not seen each other since then and are looking forward to renewing their friendships at the reunion.

Anyone interested in obtaining information about this reunion should contact Steve McLellan at 1-800-661-5099, or e-mail him at steve.mclellan@tourismregina.com

NOTE: CSANews is presently revising its Canada Club and Events List for publication. If you are involved with a Canada Club, a Canada Day celebration or any other special event you would like publicized, or to make changes to the list, please review it and contact Bill Leeder at
1-877-633-4722, or e-mail him at bill.leeder@att.net