ois and I have arrived in Florida and are looking
forward to another winter visiting with family and
Prior to our arrival in Florida, we had the pleasure of
meeting many of you at this year’s Snowbird Lifestyle
Presentations. This year, we began our tour in Ontario
with stops in Milton, Richmond Hill and Nepean before
heading to Brandon, Manitoba. From there, we headed to
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and then further west to both
Sherwood Park and Calgary, Alberta. We concluded our
tour in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia. Thanks to all
who made it out and to our wonderful volunteers without
whose help none of this would be possible.
Recently, a number of media reports have been published
regarding a 2014 government memo and the Entry/Exit
Initiative which refers to the exit and entry informa-
tion-sharing program between Canada and the United
The memo in question states that the Government of
Canada will use the information from the initiative in
order to determine if individuals are meeting residency
requirements for various social benefits. Unfortunately,
these reports have mistakenly linked the content of this
memo with Canadian snowbirds.
The type of benefits primarily dealt with in the memo are
employment insurance and child benefits, issues that do
not normally impact retired Canadian snowbirds. The
only benefit which is mentioned that might have an effect
on our members is Old Age Security. However, there are
no residency limits related to the continued payment of
both OAS and CPP, as long as the individual has lived in
Canada for 20 years past the age of 18.
In our opinion, this would primarily impact expats who
are living abroad but are still collecting various Canadian
benefits. The CSA has been front and centre on this issue,
appearing on national television, newspapers and radio in
order to clarify this area of concern.
As we go to print, I have just returned from Washington,
D.C. following another round of meetings with members
of Congress regarding our Canadian Retiree Visa initiative.
In the last issue of
, we reported that the JOLT
Act had 87 congressional co-sponsors in the House of
Representatives. After our recent meetings, I can report that
we now have 105 co-sponsors. We also predicted that the
JOLT Act would soon be introduced in the United States
Senate by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY). I am pleased
to report that Senator Schumer did, in fact, introduce our
bill on September 29, 2015.
I am also pleased to report that the JOLT Act is now a
standalone bill in both houses of Congress and is no longer
tied to the controversial comprehensive immigration
reform package (which had a great deal to do with its
not being passed in the last session). The other point of
interest that I will mention is the truly bipartisan nature
of this piece of legislation. Of the 105 co-sponsors in the
House of Representatives, 55 are Democrats and 50 are
Republicans. That sort of co-operation in Washington,
D.C. is extremely rare.
Our winter shows are fast approaching. This year’s Snow-
bird Extravaganza will be held at the Lakeland Center in
Lakeland, Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday, January
26 and 27, 2016.
Our Winter Texans’ Snowbird Extravaganza will be held
on Tuesday andWednesday, February 2 and 3, 2016 at the
McAllen Convention Center in McAllen, Texas.
Finally, our Canadian Snowbird Celebration will take place
on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 9 and 10, 2016 at
the Mesa Convention Center in Mesa, Arizona.
Yet again, admission to these great shows is free of charge.
If it is more convenient to attend one of our annual Winter
Information Meetings, our tour begins in Lake Havasu
City, Arizona on Friday, February 12, 2016. From there,
we head to California for shows in Indio andWinterhaven
onMonday, February 15 and Tuesday, February 16 before
heading back to Arizona on Thursday, February 18 for a
show in Green Valley.
The Florida leg of our tour begins on Monday, February
22, in Punta Gorda. From there, we head to Clearwater
for a show on Tuesday, February 23 and we wrap up our
winter tour onThursday, February 25 in Immokalee. Please
check elsewhere in this edition of the magazine for specific
times and venue locations. Yes, all of these shows are also
completely free of charge as well.
Have a safe and wonderful winter in the sun.
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