The circle is complete! Over the last few issues, we have received both eloquent and atrocious pleas to stay out of politics, to fire Michael Coren and to basically “go jump off a cliff.” It is quite unbelievable that people wish to silence others who have different opinions. I have always found that when someone has a different opinion, the best way to prove your own point is to let them speak. The more they speak, the more sound and rational your opinion will undoubtedly appear.
The Canadian Snowbird Association is, by necessity, a political force. We must try to influence governments – of every type – and deal with every political party, if we are to achieve our objectives of fairness, freedom to travel and equal treatment while we are on vacation. We have had success with Liberals, with Conservatives and with the New Democratic Party. We have had our failures with each of them as well, of course. We are non-partisan! We have to be and we will support anyone who supports the aims and goals of CSA, and we say so.
All across Canada, every political party has contributed immensely to CSA’s success. Both Liberals and Conservatives have rolled back bad legislation that affected snowbirds and all three parties have made changes to laws and regulations which have helped us and allowed us to continue enjoying our chosen lifestyle. And let’s not forget our lobbying in the United States that was an integral part of retaining our privilege to spend six months in the sun, if we so choose. It took Republicans and Democrats and even Independents to overturn the terrible legislation that would limit our visits to 30 days following 9-11. We are grateful to all of those who supported us. Their political affiliation was, and is, irrelevant.
In our last issue, we published an article by Jack Layton, the leader of the federal New Democratic party, and that is what made our circle complete. Over the past year, we have had articles featuring all three of our major political parties.
Let me now direct your strong and respected opinions to the real task. Tell your politicians, of every political stripe, to obey the Canada Health Act! Pay what the laws of our land demand for health care, even while travelling. We snowbirds and travellers ask only for fair and equitable treatment. Surely that should be easy for our politicians to accomplish. With the passion and eloquence of our readers brought to bear, we have a real chance of success.