President’s Message Issue 40

Fall 2001 CSANews Issue 40  |  Posted date : Apr 01, 2007.Back to list

Tuesday, September 11, 2001 was a sombre and painful wake-up call for us all. For those of us who are able to remember the chilling war years, Tuesday morning was a bitter reminder of years gone by. We all have American friends and relatives. The majority of CSA members spend time in American communities during the winter months and truly consider it to be 'home.' This unequivocal act of terrorism has affected us all, and the unspeakable tragedy that unfolded before our eyes will never be forgotten.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who are lost and to those who are grieving. To those who participated in the rescue efforts and those who opened their hearts and homes to the stranded, bless you all. It is our fervent wish that all responsible will be found quickly and that a sense of peace will return.

In the last edition of CSA News, I touched briefly upon the upcoming "President's Awards" that will be handed out at the Annual General Meeting, this coming January. I would like to expand on these awards so that we are able to recognize all of our wonderful volunteers, some of whom may be working so far in the background that we may not even be aware of them!

This is an open call to you. If you know of someone who has helped the CSA, please nominate him or her using the form below. It could be someone that you know has written numerous letters to politicians, volunteered at one of our shows or visited different retirement communities in the South distributing posters and flyers. The CSA is able to continue providing you with services because we have an army of volunteers second to none, who help make our efforts come to fruition.

This is the time of year when we all shift back into "snowbird mode" to start planning what to take with us on our journey south and what gets left behind (sometimes inadvertently!).

Last summer, CSA News published a very interesting article by Andrew Cumming entitled, "The Snowbird Border Crossing Kit." In it, Andrew detailed some of the items you should keep with you when crossing a border. I believe that with heightened security at border crossings, it is extremely timely to highlight some of his pertinent points.

"Your border-crossing kit should consist of the following: (1) either your passport or your birth certificate and photo identification (as proof of Canadian citizenship); (2) a copy of a utility bill and a Canadian property tax notice or rental agreement (as proof of your permanent Canadian home); and (3) bank cards, credit cards and a copy of a recent bank account statement (as proof of financial means). As a fourth suggestion, any proof that you will be returning to Canada is also helpful. A return airline ticket, a health-insurance card showing your intended return date, or even written evidence of a future doctor's appointment in Canada would prove helpful."

You should make it as easy as possible for U.S. immigration agents processing cars and their occupants. When you approach the border, be prepared and be courteous. Also, expect some delays because there are going to be more questions asked.

One thing I hear about every year and simply can't understand, is the number of people who travel without out-of-country emergency health coverage. Depending on your medical condition, it can be costly ­ there's no denying that. However, becoming ill in the U.S. and requiring hospitalization is far more expensive than any premium you would have to pay. Don't take a chance. The CSA endorses the Medipac International plan, as we find it to be a comprehensive and affordable program. The call centre staff is second to none and if you should require the services of Medipac Assist, you'll be very impressed by their level of professionalism. Do not travel without insurance. It's the most affordable source of peace of mind.

Speaking of insurance, while you're filling out your application be sure that you've not omitted some pertinent details. If it comes out that your application was not filled out accurately (or truthfully), you run the risk of having your claim denied. Be sure to take your time and do it right, or take it to your doctor for his or her help.

Best wishes for a safe trip south!