The Canadian Snowbird Association is a national not-for-profit advocacy organization dedicated to actively defending and improving the rights and privileges of travelling Canadians.
We need your help! The greater the membership, the more powerful and effective voice we cast against provincial, state and federal governments when lobbying for the rights of all travelling Canadians, whether in Canada or in the U.S.
Here are just a few examples of how the Canadian Snowbird Association has already made a difference in your life:
When you join us in our struggle we’ll:
Continue your snowbird adventure and join the Canadian Snowbird Association.
Annual regular member (Canadian principal address)
* For Lifetime Memberships, please contact our office for the proper forms: 1-800-265-3200
Annual associate member (U.S. or overseas principal address) *
** We process online payments in Canadian currency ONLY. For U.S. currency payments please call us at: 1-800-265-3200
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In a unanimous decision, the Ontario Divisional Court in Canadian Snowbirds Association Inc. v. Attorney General of Ontario struck down part of Ontario Regulation 259 which terminated OHIP’s Out-of-Country Travellers Program (OOCTP). In that decision, the Court found that, under the Ontario Health Insurance Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council does not have the legal authority to enact regulations which would revoke the OOCTP.
On September 19, 2019, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced the Canadian Snowbirds Act, S. 2507 in the U.S. Senate. This bill would allow eligible Canadian retirees to spend up to eight months vacationing in the United States annually – two months longer than the current six-month limit.
On June 12, 2019, the Canadian Snowbird Visa Act, H.R. 3241 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) and Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL-22). This legislation seeks to increase the admission period for qualified Canadian retirees vacationing in the United States to eight months.
The Canadian Snowbird Association releases the seventh edition of the popular Canadian Travellers’ Report Card.
The CSA works with the Saskatchewan Government to overturn the application of provincial sales tax (PST) on travel medical insurance premiums in the province.
The Manitoba Department of Health, Seniors and Active Living clarifies their position on the term certificate, indicating to the CSA in writing that it is only a recommendation and not a requirement for Manitoba travellers departing the province for more than three months.
The State of Georgia rescinds a law requiring all non-English driver’s licence holders to possess an International Driving Permit (IDP) while operating a vehicle in the state.
Effective January 1, 2016, Saskatchewan formally increases the amount of time residents may be absent from the province, from six to seven months (over any 12-month period), while still retaining continuous provincial health coverage.
The Northwest Territories changes their temporary absence policy, and now allows residents to be absent from the territory for up to seven months, while still remaining eligible for continuous health coverage. This change was a direct result of the Canadian Travellers’ Report Card which was previously discussed in the NWT legislature.
Effective August 1, 2014, residents of Nova Scotia will be able to spend up to seven months outside of the province, each calendar year, and still retain their Medical Services Insurance (MSI) coverage. In addition to the health coverage extension, effective August 1, 2014, beneficiaries of the Nova Scotia Family and Senior’s Pharmacare Program will be able to receive up to 270 day supply of medication for vacation purposes.
The Government of New Brunswick announced, at the Legislative Assembly, that eligible residents may now be absent from New Brunswick for up to 212 days, for vacation and visiting purposes, and still retain their Medicare benefits.
The CSA works with the Alberta government to increase out-of-country health coverage from six to seven months.
The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S.744), which includes the JOLT Act, is passed in the U.S. Senate.
Manitoba formalizes the CSA’s request to extend the amount of time that residents of Manitoba can be absent from their home province and still retain health benefits from six to seven months.
CSA Executive Director Michael MacKenzie meets with Florida state lawmakers to resolve the International Driving Permit (IDP) requirement for out-of-country drivers. On March 27, 2013, this legislation was repealed retroactive to January 1, 2013.
British Columbia increases the amount of time that permanent residents can spend outside of the province and still maintain their health coverage from six to seven months.
Due to the efforts of the CSA, Saskatchewan increases access to prescription drugs for travellers by simplifying the reimbursement process. Saskatchewan residents can now be reimbursed for up to six months of medication at one time.
CSA President Bob Slack and CSA Executive Director Michael MacKenzie give testimony, related to the 10-year Canadian passport, to the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
The association investigates the rejection of deductions for travel medical insurance by Canada Revenue Agency. CSA Executive Director Michael MacKenzie meets with the federal Finance Minister’s staff to resolve the issue which results in the acceptance of medical and non-medical components of a premium being tax deductible.
The CSA successfully lobbies the U.S. Congress to advance the Canadian Retired Persons’ Visa through legislation introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. If enacted as is, the VISIT-USA Act will increase the amount of time for which Canadian citizens over 50 years of age, who satisfy certain requirements, will be permitted to stay in the United States.
Legislation is passed in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to allow absentee ballots in provincial elections. This success for the association serves to strengthen the democratic rights for all Ontario residents travelling abroad.
Thanks to legislative changes prompted by the persistence of the CSA, the government of PEI now reimburses out-of-country emergency in-patient services at up to $1,055 CAD per day, a rate nearly double that of 2002.
The creation of a new 10-year Canadian passport is announced in the federal budget. Currently scheduled for 2013, the new Canadian passport will not only have a doubled lifespan, it will also include enhanced security features to better protect travelling Canadians.
As a direct result of discussions with the CSA, federal Minister of Health Tony Clement communicates to every provincial and territorial minister of health, reminding them of their obligations under the portability criterion of the Canada Health Act.
The CSA appears before the Florida Property Tax Reform Committee to present the association’s position on proposed property tax reform.
British Columbia becomes the first province to hold an election on a fixed date. This allows residents of British Columbia to better plan their winter trips without having to sacrifice their democratic right to vote.
A policy is agreed upon between Manitoba Health and the CSA whereby residents who spend 183 days outside of Canada, and after they return to Manitoba, may be absent for up to an additional 30 days in order for them to enjoy more travel to visit family, attend weddings and funerals, etc.
A proposed rule which would reduce the amount of time that Canadian tourists are allowed to spend in the U.S. from 182 days to 30 days is rescinded by the INS after the CSA appears before the U.S. House Small Business Committee on Capitol Hill. Florida Governor Jeb Bush mentions the CSA in his press release, recognizing the efforts of the association in the successful withdrawal of the planned legislative changes.
President Ellen White travels to Washington to appear before the United States’ House Small Business Committee on Capitol Hill. As a result of her testimony, the association is given a letter, signed by the INS commissioner, stating that those Canadians who are otherwise eligible to enter the U.S. would not be affected by the proposed regulatory change. This letter was prepared by the association, under the direction of legal counsel Wallace Weylie, and accepted with few changes by INS.
The CSA releases the inaugural edition of the Canadian Travellers’ Report Card, an extensive publication that critically investigates the policies and practices of the federal, provincial and territorial governments regarding key issues impacting Canadian snowbirds.
Manitoba announces that residents who are travelling out-of-country can now access a second 100-days supply of prescription medication.
Ontario’s premier Mike Harris attends the Florida extravaganza to announce three major reforms in Ontario regulations:
A meeting is held in British Columbia with the provincial health minister. During the meeting she advises that British Columbia will now allow its residents unlimited travel within Canada over and above the 183 days, provided they are in the country at least six months each year.
The Ontario government restores the out‑of‑country payment to $400 a day.
Based on representation and protests from the Canadian Snowbird Association, the government of New Brunswick backs down on its stated plans to limit travel outside the province to 90 days in order for its residents to maintain provincial care.
Due largely to the association’s advocacy actions, amendments to the Canada Elections Act contained in bill C‑114 are proclaimed by parliament. This legislation allows all Canadians the right to vote in federal elections while temporarily out of country.