Page 13 - CSANews 91

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As I’m sure you’ve read
in Bob Slack’s
president’s message, New Brunswick
has extended the amount of time for
which eligible residents may be absent
from New Brunswick, while still retain-
ing their provincial health coverage.
The increase, an allowable absence of
as long as 212 days (seven months), up
from the previous limit of 182 days (six
months), gives residents an extra month
out of province to visit family and friends
during the summer months.
As we all know, different provinces
have different rules when it comes to the
amount of time one is permitted to be
away from their home province without
having to re-qualify for provincial health
insurance. New Brunswick’s neigh-
bours in Newfoundland and Labrador
are already permitted an eight-month
absence. Its other neighbours in Nova
Scotia and Prince Edward Island are only
permitted six-month absences. This is
not to suggest that the provincial gov-
ernments in Prince Edward Island and
Nova Scotia don’t care about Canadian
travellers – far from it. Many of these
rules have been in place for years, long
before the current governments were
ever in office.
Provincial governments are busy
institutions with many complex and
important responsibilities. Government
officials often have only limited know-
ledge of, or limited practical experience
with the sector for which they develop
policy. It’s also important to remember
that there are thousands of groups just
like ours competing for limited gov-
ernment resources and politicians are
constantly shifting their focus from one
issue to another. Fortunately, we are well
positioned to succeed when it comes
to government relations as we have a
broad, 80,000-plus grassroots mem-
bership base. Thanks to your generous
support, we’re able to travel throughout
Canada and the United States meeting
with key decision-makers and ensuring
that the issues which are important to
you become part of the government
agenda. When we make our case, more
often than not, governments respond
This summer, we are going to focus
our Canadian advocacy efforts on the
provinces of Prince Edward Island and
Nova Scotia. Both provinces already
have many snowbird-friendly policies
in place. Prince Edward Island has the
most generous reimbursement rates
for out-of-country medical coverage
of any province in Canada, while Nova
Scotia permits a generous supply of
prescription medication for provincial
travellers. Again, inmany respects, these
are already traveller-friendly provinces.
Having said that, we’d like to see both
Government Relations
Jim Sherb
First Vice-President
Bob Slack and Ron Steeves at the legislature in New Brunswick.
L to R:
New Brunswick Health Minister the Hon. Ted Fleming, Ron Steeves,
York MLA Carl Urquhart, Bob Slack.