CSANews 107

Publication mail agreement no: 40063603 FINANCE Make more money HEALTH Late diagnosis peril don’t put it off! LONGEVITY Love more, live longer! RV LIFESTYLE Beaches, peaches wine and more… Spain’s waterfront gems Encounter surprising discoveries while exploring Spain’s waterfront cities In This Issue OFFICIAL NEWS MAGAZINE OF THE CANADIAN SNOWBIRD ASSOCIATION | SUMMER 2018 | ISSUE 107

Snowbirds have unique needs that we understand. Protect your home and auto with an insurance plan designed for your lifestyle. We’ll be with you all year long. Call us for a quote today 1-800-267-8000 Heading South this Winter? Endorsedby theCanadianSnowbirdAssociation. UnderwrittenbyRoyal&SunAlliance InsuranceCo. RSA isa registered tradenameofRoyal&SunAlliance InsuranceCompanyofCanada. “RSA”and theRSA logoare trademarksusedunder licence fromRSA InsuranceGroupplc

Editor’s Message CSANews© is published four times a year and is Copyright Summer 2018 by Medipac International Communications Inc., 180 Lesmill Road, Toronto, Ontario M3B 2T5. (416)441-7000. Subscription Price: $9.95 Canada; $20.00 U.S. and foreign. Single copy: $3.95. Prices include tax. Published by Medipac International Communications Inc. Opinions expressed are those of the writers and are not necessarily those of the CSA, Medipac International Communications Inc. or its affiliates, their Directors, Officers, or other employees or agents. Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No: 40063603. ISSN No: 1195-2393 Barb & Ron Kroll Dr. Robert MacMillan David McPherson Andrew Moore-Crispin Robert Wiersema Rex Vogel Judith Adam Gabrielle Bauer Donna Carter Michael Coren Jennifer Cox Shari Darling James Dolan Karen Huestis Ron Steeves John Foster Garry McDonald Rod Seiling Bob Slack James Leroux Robert Herman Ted Popel Wendy Caban Michael MacKenzie Wallace Weylie President First Vice-President Second Vice-President Treasurer Secretary Past President Director Director Director Director Executive Director Legal Counsel CSA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Editor CSA Editor President  Art Director Director of Sales Director of Operations Marketing & Events Specialist J. Ross Quigley Karen Huestis Christopher Davidge Peter Prusa Neville B. Levin Paula McGovern Fran Castricone SUMMER 2018 | ISSUE 107 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS We acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada. Ah…the lazy days of summer! Well, except for writingCSANews, and weddings, and family picnics, and gardening, and planning our Early Bird travel insurance. But we met our deadlines and all is well. The dollar exchange rate is behaving badly right now, but we do expect that to normalize over the next few months and we decided to maintain our rate structures. The $25 Silver Anniversary coupon to celebrate with CSA has now been withdrawn, of course. Once the mad dash for our clients to buy the Early Bird package is over, then perhaps those lazy days of summer will finally be here. Then we can concentrate on getting the ducks out of our pool, and the squirrels out of the cars in the garage, and the raccoons out of the garbage. Did I mention the rabbits chewing on Pat’s plants? We live in the centre of Toronto for heaven’s sake, shouldn’t they really go and live in the country? We are very, very lucky to have such simple problems. May your problems be simple ones, too. Have a wonderful summer of 2018. Happy spring! Sincerely, J. Ross Quigley Editor Merv Magus Illustrator CSANews | SUMMER 2018 | 3

Table of Contents Features SUMMER 2018 | ISSUE 107 OFFICIAL NEWS MAGAZINE OF THE CANADIAN SNOWBIRD ASSOCIATION 18 26 Spain’s Waterfront Gems Encounter surprising discoveries while exploring Spain’s waterfront cities by Barb and Ron Kroll South Okanagan Beaches, peaches, wine and more by Rex Vogel Travel RV Lifestyle 4 | www.snowbirds.org

Table of Contents 34 Departments 42 Gardening by Judith Adam 43 Book Review by Robert Wiersema 44 Food & Drink by Shari Darling 46 CSA Online by Andrew Moore-Crispin 48 Longevity by Jennifer Cox 49 CSA Update 50 Fun & Games 51 Grins & Giggles 52 CSA Application 53 Benefits 54 Fast Facts  3 Editor’s Message  6 Snowbird Alert  7 Snowbird Events 08 Bird Talk 10 President’s Message 11 Government Relations Report 12 Insurance by Ross Quigley 14 Opinion by Michael Coren 37 Health Pulse 38 Fitness by Jennifer Cox 40 Golf by David McPherson Early Diagnosis The practical benefits of an early diagnosis and the perils of putting it off by Dr. Robert MacMillan Health 30 12 Ways Take Control of Your Income During Retirement Idea and strategies to get more money throughout your retirement by James Dolan Finance CSANews | SUMMER 2018 | 5

SnowbirdAlert BEWARE: Tick season is here! The Public Health Agency of Canada advises that the population of black-legged ticks is increasing across Canada. While there are various types of blood-sucking ticks (a.k.a. deer ticks), it is the black-legged tick that is the primary carrier of Lyme disease – a serious illness that, when transmitted to people, can lead to health issues such as arthritis, neurological problems and even paralysis. When caught early, however, the disease is easily preventable and highly treatable. The most active season for ticks is April through September when they are typically found in wooded areas and tall grasses. These tiny arachnids need blood to survive and consequently, they attach themselves to people and pets by burrowing under the skin. A Lyme-infected tick must usually attach and feed for at least 24 hours before its bacteria is transmitted. Their bites are typically painless, so human hosts may not be aware that they have been bitten. Early signs and symptoms of the disease are flu-like symptoms, with some experiencing more serious reactions: rash, fever, chills, headache, fatigue and muscle and joint aches. If left untreated, even more severe symptoms may occur and can last from months to years. If symptoms of Lyme develop, people are urged to consult a health-care provider immediately. Prevention, of course, is the best defence. The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation lists its top five tick habitat precautions: •• Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. •• Frequently check your body for tick bites. •• Walk on pathways and trails, avoiding low-lying brush and long grass. •• Apply insect repellent to your skin and clothing. Go to the doctor Get those pre-existing medical conditions under control and work with your doctor tomake any necessary adjustments to your medication as soon as possible. Get followup tests and procedures scheduled so that you have a clear 90-day stability period before you head south in the fall. Update your Personal Health Record When you or your spouse are dealing with a medical emergency either away or at home, you don’t want to run around looking for prescription medication bottles or be concerned with an accurate recollection of what year or instance in which either of you receivedmedical treatment. Write it down now, while you have time and presence of mind, and keep it in a handy spot – such as on your fridge – for quick and easy access should the time ever come at which you need to answer medical questions quickly. Renew your CSA Membership Support the only organization that actively lobbies governments in Canada and the United States to protect and defend the snowbird lifestyle. SNOWBIRD CHECKLIST Skin cancer is on the rise. The statistics are sobering. Skin cancer continues to trend upward year by year in spite of the fact that it’s one of the most preventable forms of the disease. Numbers provided by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) exemplify the disturbing rise by comparing 2014 incidence and mortality projections to those of 2017. In 2014, it was estimated that 6,500 new cases of malignant melanoma (skin cancer) would be diagnosed with 1,050 expected to die from the disease. Comparatively, 2017 estimates scaled upward. It was projected that 7,200 Canadians would be diagnosed and, of those stricken, 1,250 would die. While death rates for cancers in general have been going down since 1988, melanoma has not followed suit even though – if caught early – it is highly treatable. In spite of prevention and treatment factors, there are currently more new cases of skin cancer each year than the number of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers COMBINED. It bears repeating that malignant melanoma is not only preventable, but can oftentimes be successfully treated…especially in its early stages. Skin cancer is caused by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light and the CCS advocates two main lines of defence against the disease: the regular use of sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 and, no less important, early identification. There’s an important saying worth heeding: “If you can spot it, you can stop it.” More details about skin cancer and its treatment and prevention are online at www.cancer.ca or by calling toll-free 1-888-939-3333. 6 | www.snowbirds.org

• SEP • 12 Wed CALGARY ALBERTA Deerfoot Inn & Casino 1000, 11500 - 35 Street S.E. NO TICKETS REQUIRED • SEP • 14 Fri VERNON B.C. Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre 3800 - 33rd St. NO TICKETS REQUIRED • SEP • 17 Mon SHERWOOD PARK ALBERTA Festival Place 100 Festival Way 780-449-3378 TICKETS REQUIRED • SEP • 19 Wed SASKATOON SASKATCHEWAN Broadway Theatre 715 Broadway Avenue NO TICKETS REQUIRED • SEP • 21 Fri BRANDON MANITOBA Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium 205 20th Street NO TICKETS REQUIRED • SEP • 24 Mon NEPEAN ONTARIO Centrepointe Theatre 101 Centrepointe Dr. 613-580-2700 or www.centrepointetheatre.com TICKETS REQUIRED • SEP • 25 Tues BELLEVILLE ONTARIO Empire Theatre 321 Front Street 613-969-0099 ext 1 or www.theempiretheatre.com TICKETS REQUIRED • SEP • 27 Thur OSHAWA ONTARIO Regent Theatre 50 King Street East 905-721-3399 ext 2 or regenttheatre.ca TICKETS REQUIRED • SEP • 28 Fri ST. CATHARINES ONTARIO FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre 250 St. Paul St. 905-688-0722 or 1-855-515-0722 firstontariopac.ca TICKETS REQUIRED SnowbirdEvents Join us as we travel across Ontario and Western Canada this fall! All events from 7-10 p.m. (doors to lobby open at 6 p.m.) Schedule subject to change. PICK UP YOUR TICKET TODAY! For those events which are ticketed, FREE* tickets will be available at theatre box offices startingTuesday, July 3, 2018. Tickets will be available on the day of the event provided that seating is still available. * Service charges may apply to telephone and Internet orders. FREE CONCERT Appearing at all events: Country music superstar, Michelle Wright Classic rocker, Ian Thomas Special Guest at Western Shows: Folk hero, Valdy Special Guest at Ontario Shows: Soft rock singer/songwriter, Dan Hill CurrencyExchangeProgram CSANews | SUMMER 2018 | 7

BirdTalk Dear Bird Talk, My husband and I had just nicely arrived in Florida to our winter home when Peter became very ill very quickly. Medipac arranged everything, from hospital care in Florida to flying us home, and also contacted our doctor here to arrange care after we got home. After being home in Ontario for seven weeks, Medipac paid all of our transportation costs back to Florida. We recommend Medipac to all of our friends. Thank you to all staff at Medipac who helped us. Peter and Marion Farr. Marion Farr Bracebridge ON Ed.: This is just a reminder of what “real” travel insurance is all about. Medipac’s Early Bird insurance packages are on the way to you now, so get them in before the deadline. I will make sure that our staff is commended for your treatment and we are happy that everything worked out for you both. Dear Bird Talk, My wife is looking at getting implants at a dentist in Los Algodones and we are wondering if anyone else has had any experience with this, or if CSA has any recommendations with regards to this. David Meace Edmonton AB Ed.: Our recommendation at this time is similar to the Canadian government’s travel warnings – we do not think that travel to Mexico is safe right now. Please access this website for the most recent government updates - https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/mexico We are aware of several snowbirds who received dental work in Mexico and, if you have a referral from someone who was treated by the same dentist, you will probably be pleased with the outcome, especially with the price. You should also be aware that the actual procedures and complications of treatment and/or anesthesia are not covered by any travel insurance policy. I would make sure that you get a guaranteed price, up front, as medical facilities in Mexico have been creating substantial difficulties for snowbirds, and for Medipac for that matter, over the past year or two. Exorbitant prices, refusing to release you from hospital, unauthorized charges on your credit cards, passport seizure and unnecessary tests, etc. are just some of our recent issues. Just to be fair, several of the dental offices in Los Algodones are very highly rated and have excellent state-of-the-art equipment. Simply search the internet for “Los Algodones dentists” and you can see for yourself. Dear Bird Talk, We own a house in Florida, where we spend three months of the year. We made a will in Canada leaving that house to our children. Now, a Canadian snowbird neighbour in Florida tells us that we should make a U.S. will for our U.S. property tomake things easier for our kids when we pass away? Is there any merit in this advice? Konrad Finckenstein Ed.: Yes! Just do it! I recommend that you have a U.S. will for any U.S. property but, even more important, you should have a U.S.-based living will. Authorities in general are not convinced by documents presented from another country, even Canada. In the event of a medical emergency, you do not want or need unnecessary delays in obtaining treatment, or declining treatment, for that matter. The cost is usually US$100-$200. Dear Bird Talk, You obviously receive a lot of inquiries regarding the maximum time Canadians can stay in the U.S. I’ve read many of them, but I am still unclear on a couple of points: If you file Form 8840 but the IRS is unresponsive, do you just have to hope that they’ve accepted your claim to a closer connection? And, if you are on a relatively moderate pension, as most snowbirds are, is there any evidence that the IRS will still take much of an interest? Kelly McParland Ontario Ed.: Hi Kelly; I thought that you should receive a direct answer. Cast in stone is the fact that you can stay in the United States for six months in any 12-month period, if the U.S. immigration official says that it is OK when crossing the border. (Don’t say 183 days – say six months.) The taxation officials are the ones who deal with your Form 8840 and mostly, they just don’t care. They search for people who overstay their six-month period because some of them are really U.S. residents.We are aware of several IRS taxation cases related to “supposed” Canadian snowbirds who were really U.S. residents. The tax bills involved were in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some Canadians pretend that they are still Canadian citizens so that they can retain their Canadian medical benefits – those are some of the people whom the IRS wants to find. As a Canadian senior on a moderate pension, and abiding by U.S. laws, I believe that you have zero risk of the IRS trying to tax you. But, if they do, make sure you keep a copy of your filed Form 8840 to fall back on and we will help you. The IRS does not send out a confirmation of receipt, but you can send it via registered mail or request an “international advice of receipt” which will prove that the form was sent and received at the Internal Revenue Service Center in Austin, Texas. 8 | www.snowbirds.org

Dear Bird Talk, Is the border data-sharing between Canada and the U.S. fully implemented, or have there been further delays? And just what data is being shared anyway? Rick Moly Calgary AB Ed.: In order for the border data-sharing between Canada and the United States (known as the Entry/Exit Initiative) to become fully operational, Bill C-21 must be passed in the House of Commons and the Senate. Bill C-21 will allow Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to collect personal information, including name, date of birth, gender and nationality, on all individuals who are leaving or have left Canada. At the time of printing, Bill C-21 has most recently been called for a Third Reading in the House of Commons. At this time, under this program, information is only being shared on permanent residents and third-country nationals, not Canadian and American citizens. BirdTalk Featuring the letters & concerns of our members SEND YOUR LETTERS TO Bird Talk, c/o CSANews 180 Lesmill Road Toronto, Ontario M3B 2T5 or by e-mail: csawriteus@snowbirds.org Bird Talk Dear Bird Talk, My friend claims that she was told by her accountant that on the Form 8840—part 1 question 5 — she should fill in the number of days for the past three years as: ▶▶ Current year – the full number of days spent in the U.S. ▶▶ One year past – 1/3 of the number of days spent in the U.S. ▶▶ Two years past – 1/6 of the number of days spent in the U.S. She also claims that adding these three numbers is the total number of days that one must use to calculate their days in the U.S. for the current year. I have always simply entered the actual number of days spent in the U.S. for the past three years. My understanding is that as long as I fill in my 8840 yearly, I can remain in the U.S. for less than 183 days. What is the correct way to calculate days spent in the U.S.? Thank you. Frances Tulissi Calgary AB Ed.: Entering the actual number of days spent in the U.S. IS how to fill in the Form 8840, but it has nothing to do with how long you can stay in the U.S.! That is a tax form and you are filling it out correctly. As stated before, you can stay in the U.S. for up to six months in any 12-month period. A travel day or any part of a day is counted as a full day. Temporary absences from the U.S. also count as days. So, if you go on a 10-day cruise from Miami, those 10 days are counted as you being IN the United States, even though you are somewhere in the Caribbean. Dear Bird Talk, In the springCSANews, you published a letter in which the writer indicates that a U.S. TIN will expire in three years if the holder has not filed a U.S. tax return. As you did not comment on this statement, it implies that you agree. I secured a U.S. TIN 20 years ago in reporting the sale of a U.S. residential property. There was no indication at the time that it had an expiration date and I have not filed a U.S. tax return since that time, although I have no reason to believe that my TIN has expired. Can you confirm that TINs have an expiry date? Thank you. Murray Dell Ed.: I would recommend contacting the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) directly to determine if your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) has already expired. While previously ITINs did not have an expiry date, the IRS began deactivating unused ITINs in 2014. Taxpayers who have not used their ITIN to file a U.S. federal return at least once in the last three years will see their number expire. CSANews | SUMMER 2018 | 9

President’s Message Karen Huestis CSA President Even though summer seems to have finally arrived, it won’t be long until it’s time to head to our winter homes. One of the best ways to prepare for the winter travel season is by attending one of our annual Snowbird Lifestyle Presentations. This September, we will be travelling to five provinces and we will begin our tour in Calgary, Alberta. You can also find us in Sherwood Park, Alberta; Vernon, British Columbia; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Brandon, Manitoba. We are not done yet. We will conclude our shows in Ontario with stops in Nepean, Belleville, Oshawa and St. Catharines. As always, admission is free for all of the shows. As well as great musical entertainment, these shows are a great source of information for veteran and novice snowbirds alike, so please feel free to invite your friends. Specific dates and times can be found elsewhere in this issue. I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to renew their CSAmembership. If you have yet to renew your membership, it is as simple as mailing us your renewal notice, visiting our website (www.snowbirds.org) or picking up the phone and calling us at the office. Thanks also to everyone who made a donation to our Special Action Fund. Every dollar donated to the fund is held in a separate account and is used exclusively to fund our government advocacy efforts. Often, we find ourselves having to react quickly to emerging issues on the political front and that is where the Special Action Fund is an invaluable resource. If you have yet to make a donation, no amount is too small and this fund sincerely plays an integral role in allowing us to continue to advocate on your behalf. I would like to remind you about the Snowbird Currency Exchange Program. Lifetime members have no monthly transfer fee, while annual paying members are only charged $2 per monthly transfer. Information about current and past monthly rates can be viewed on our website. If you are not already signed up for this exceptional program, you can contact the CSA office for further information. Please note that this program is not subject to the new user fees that some U.S. states and financial institutions are imposing on “international money transfers,” an added financial savings to you. Some of you may recall a media story this winter about a Canadian woman arrested in Georgia, apparently for driving in the state with a Canadian driver’s licence. The 27-yearold woman was driving through Georgia to Tennessee, where she had apparently just graduated from college. Initial reports seemed to suggest that a Canadian driver’s licence was not acceptable for legally driving in the state of Georgia. This would obviously cause many of our members concern, as many of you drive through Georgia on the way to your winter homes in Florida. We have confirmed that the state of Georgia does in fact allow you to drive on a Canadian license if you are in the United States for tourism or business purposes. The issue appears to be the arresting officer’s statement that the woman was living in Tennessee and did not have a valid Tennessee driver’s licence. Unlike tourists or people visiting on business, international individuals (i.e.: foreign students) who are not in Tennessee for tourism or business purposes are required to apply for a temporary driver’s licence within 30 days. Obviously, the officer was under the impression that this woman was residing in Tennessee on what would presumably be a student visa and did not have the temporary state licence required by law. The bottom line is that if you are a snowbird driving through Georgia, you are still permitted to drive under your valid Canadian driver’s licence as you always have. No doubt many of you have concerns about what effect the current state of the CanadaU.S. political relationship might have on our retiree visa initiative. I can assure you that congressional representatives, particularly from snowbird and border communities, are very aware of the positive economic impact which we have on their states and districts. The association has built a strong rapport with congressional representatives on both sides of the aisle in Washington, D.C. We represent the interests and express the concerns of our members in meetings on Capitol Hill directly with lawmakers and their staff members. We believe that this is the most direct and effective way to address these matters. We have a busy summer ahead of us on this file and I will, of course, keep you updated on the situation. 10 | www.snowbirds.org

Government Relations Report Ron Steeves First Vice-President On May 9, 2018, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, moved that Bill C-21 be read a third time and passed in the House of Commons. As you will remember, Bill C-21 would amend the Customs Act and permit Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to collect personal information, including name, date of birth, gender and nationality, on all individuals who are leaving or have left Canada. Once this legislation has been passed and an information-sharing arrangement has been established between CBSA and all partners, the entry and exit data for Canadian and American citizens will be shared between both countries. For example, when Canadian citizens enter the United States at a land crossing, their information will automatically be sent to Canada Border Services Agency and they will be recorded as having left Canada. When they re-enter Canada, this information will be transmitted to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and an exit record will be created on the U.S. side. In other words, once this initiative is fully operational, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers will know precisely when you entered and exited the United States. The latest version of Bill C-21 has been amended to define the length of time for which exit data may be retained after its collection. While the previous version of the legislation did not establish for how long data may be kept, the newest version of the bill limits the retention of information to a 15-year period. In addition, during the third reading debate, Minister Goodale also clarified that the information gathered under this bi-national data-sharing program would only be used in the administration of federal programs and that it “would not be shared with the provinces.” This means that the information collected under the initiative will not be used to determine whether residency requirements are being met for provincial health insurance programs. Nonetheless, it is still important that travellers be mindful of these limits and not risk their access to continuous health coverage. We will continue to provide updates on Bill C-21 as it makes its way through the legislative process. In the previous issue of CSANews, I discussed the possible implementation of a vacant homes tax in the City of Toronto similar to the empty homes tax (EHT) which Vancouver put in place in 2016. In addition to the in-person meeting which we held with Mayor Tory’s office, CSA President Karen Huestis also submitted a detailed communication to the City of Toronto’s executive committee outlining our concerns regarding the application of a vacancy tax in the city. On April 17, the executive committee determined that additional research needed to be conducted and that they would revisit the issue following the start of the 2018 to 2022 term of city council. We will continue to monitor this issue and relay any developments to our members as soon as possible. CSA staff members have begun the process of assembling the 7th edition of the Canadian Travellers’ Report Card. This is a national evaluation of federal, provincial and territorial government policies and regulations of importance to travelling Canadians. Our approach is to research these policies and practices and then share the information with each government so that they have an opportunity to comment before our research is published. After receiving feedback from government officials from across Canada, we retain an independent consultant to evaluate our findings and assign a grade to each category. The final report is then made available to our members on our website and sent to governments throughout Canada. It is a critical tool when we sit down with our elected officials and we attempt to keep it as up to date and relevant as possible. Look for its release at Snowbird Extravaganza in January of 2019. As we go to press, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives led by Doug Ford have won a decisive majority in the Ontario election. He will be sworn in as the 26th Premier of Ontario on June 29, 2018. We have spent a great deal of time meeting with Progressive Conservative members on issues of importance to Ontario travellers during their time in opposition. Rest assured that we will be knocking on their doors, as well as those of our friends in opposition shortly. Congratulations to Ontario Premier-designate Ford, as well as to all members of the legislative assembly of Ontario…we look forward to working with all of you. CSANews | SUMMER 2018 | 11

J. Ross Quigley CEO Medipac International Inc. Insurance These are very difficult times during which to properly assess risk and to predict costs. This year, we added a modest increase to our Medipac travel insurance rates ‒ partially in anticipation of a better dollar value ‒ but we are finding that medical prices, especially in the U.S., are still running far above the “normal” inflation rates issued by the U.S. government. Hopefully, you will take advantage of the Medipac Early Bird pricing and are already enrolled in the Snowbird Currency Exchange Program. One of our CSA directors has asked me to revisit a 2012 article and here it is, with minor changes. It always bothers me when I come across people who have no idea about the dangers of improper health insurance while travelling. There are still many, many people, especially younger snowbirds, who think that their provincial government health insurance plan will pay all of their bills. Wrong!The government normally pays 3-6% of your bills while travelling and the rest is your problem. In the case of a $100,000 bill, this means that you will have a $90,000+ problem. In other words, YOU will have to pay that $90,000+. Just to add insult to injury, the bill is almost always in U.S. dollars. We at Medipac routinely monitor our competitors and often purchase their policies in order to get a proper look at what they are actually selling. Some of the results are pretty scary if you find yourself having to depend on them, andmany of us do. One in particular (from the internet) really upset me. I decided to buy “travel medical insurance” from this very impressive new travel medical insurance site using myself as the guinea pig. I clicked on the “Travel Medical Insurance” button, then I clicked on the “Buy Now” button and then I completed all of the questions advising themof my cholesterol pill and my baby aspirin and my travel plans. After a short delay, up came the rate of $731. Wow, I said to myself, that is much lower than theMedipac price of $855 (beforeour discounts and credits); there must be something wrong. No one can charge that little for real travel insurance at my age and trip length. After digging much deeper, I determined that they were, in fact, now only selling me trip cancellation insurance. Nowhere along the way did they tell me that they switched me to a different product. How can they switch me from what I was buying to a different product altogether? It was reassuring to know that they advised me to “read my policy carefully,” because they would cover nothing! By the way, that phrase ‒ to read the policy ‒ was for their lawyers, not for you. I am a very sophisticated buyer of travel insurance and I was almost duped. How many seniors are duped in a similar way? We have talked about the many cases in which a plan will not cover heart and lung problems, or it will have a woefully inadequate limit of $10,000 or $50,000 in coverage. This is very common with employer/employee plans in which the plan changes at specific ages to save money. Coverage reductions starting at age 60 are very normal, now. One of the worst “abuses” is a “treatment” clause which defines treatment as also taking a medication. When someone asks me if I had any treatment for my little problem from 10 years ago, I would just say “no.” I am taking a normal medication, but I would never consider that to be “treatment” and I would never expect that the pre-existing condition clause would cause me to lose coverage. That last one, of course, is buried in the definition section of the policy and means that you have NO coverage for your pre-existing condition if you are taking a medication, even though they state otherwise.These are very misleading plans and I would call them fraudulent, but they still exist out there and people still buy them. I should not forget the plans, including several credit cards that cover you for multiple things but, after age 60 or 65, provide no travel medical coverage or very limited coverage. You have been advised of this, of course, in a very long, very small-print document. It is usually labelled as “Important Changes to Your Benefits,” but the travel insurance changes are buried deep within the innocuous, seemingly unimportant wording. Another issue relates to a gentleman whom I met at one of our shows. He approached me and asked, “Why is Medipac so expensive? I would really like to buy it, because all my friends recommend it, but it costs much more than what I am paying.” I gave 12 | www.snowbirds.org

him several of the above items to consider, but he insisted that he had excellent coverage for a lower price. He also had one or two health problems, so he should have been especially careful that his coverage was effective for him. He seemed to be very concerned and a bit edgy, so I offered to review his existing policy and compare it to Medipac’s policy. He tossed my offer off and said that he did not need the comparison and I asked him “Why?” His response was that he had a wallet card which proved that he had coverage. It turns out, after further discussion, that he had never seen a policy or even a booklet outlining his benefits. A wallet card is NOT travel medical insurance; even an employee booklet is really not enough to properly determine your coverage. Read the real policy! Many of the employer benefit plans have $10,000 limits on travel medical insurance protection, or $50-100,000 lifetime maximums. And now, a final word for those people who believe that brokers and internet sites which advertise “We will find you the best coverage,” or “We will tailormake a travel medical policy just for you,” or “We deal with 15 different insurance companies and will find you the best deal” are guiding them in the right direction. Well, that’s not quite true. You see, the only insurance plans that are included in their comparisons are the ones which pay commissions or fees to them. Not one of these so-called comparisons has Medipac included as an option. We do not pay any fees or commissions to brokers or to internet sites. The other unfortunate fact is that no two plans are the same and you really can’t compare them without hours of work on each comparison. So, if you feel that you should use one of these brokers or comparison sites to find your travel insurance policy, be very careful. They cannot compete with Medipac; their expenses are too high because of substantial extra costs and/or too poor to consider buying. READ AND UNDERSTAND YOUR POLICY before buying! Insurance The phone number for placemat orders is 1-877-888-2505 Oh, say canyou see by thedawn'searly light What soproudlywehailedat the twilight's lastgleaming? Whosebroad stripesandbright stars thru theperilous fight, O'er the rampartswewatchedwere sogallantly streaming? And the rocket's redglare, thebombsbursting inair, Gaveproof thru thenight thatour flagwas still there. Oh, saydoes that star-spangled banneryetwave O'er the landof the freeand thehomeof thebrave? STAR SPANGLED BANNER OCanada! Ourhomeandnative land! Truepatriot love inall thy sons command. Withglowinghearts we see thee rise, TheTrueNorth strongand free! From farandwide, OCanada, we standonguard for thee. Godkeepour land gloriousand free! OCanada, we standonguard for thee. OCanada, we standonguard for thee. O CANADA! Arizona California Florida LakelandCenter Lakeland Florida McAllenConventionCenter McAllen Texas To order placemats for your social function, call the CSA/Medipac placemat line at 1-877-888-2505or visit www.snowbirds.org. Have a Great Time Today! SeeyouatanExtravaganzanearyou! MesaConventionCenter Mesa Arizona TheVoiceofTravellingCanadians. Ifyou'renotamember,becomeone! 1-800-265-3200 www.snowbirds.org Yourworld isunique. We insure it. 1-800-267-8000 Enjoy the freedomof the snowbird lifestyle. Callus…beforeyou travelagain! 1-888-MEDIPAC www.medipac.com Securecross-borderbanking. Preferred rates.$0-5 transfer fees. 1-800-265-3200 www.SnowbirdExchange.com They are FREE and make wonderful table accessories for your Canadian event. To get your supply of placemats, choose one of the following options: ●● Visit us online at www.snowbirds.org ●● Send an e-mail to placemats@medipac.com PICNIC PLACEMATS Order Now! Please allow a minimum of 2 weeks for delivery. CSANews | SUMMER 2018 | 13

Opinion with Michael Coren Saying sorry has never been easy – as the Pope’s refusal to offer a formal apology for his church’s treatment of indigenous children in the residential school system shows so well. The apology was one of the 94 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and was repeated when Justin Trudeau met with Pope Francis. It was refused and, in earlyMay, Parliament voted by a margin of 269-10 to formally invite the Pope to think again. We shall see. The Roman Catholic Church has also been asked to fulfil its financial obligations under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, and to raise $25 million for indigenous healing, as demanded in the residential schools settlement of 2007. The papal response so far has been that he takes the issue “seriously,” but that “after carefully considering the request and extensive dialogue with the bishops of Canada, he felt that he could not personally respond.” That’s simply not good enough but is, alas, in keeping with the Catholic Church’s approach. In 1991, the Canadian Bishops said, “We are sorry and deeply regret the pain, suffering and alienation that so many experienced” at the residential schools and, in 1993, “various types of abuse experienced at some residential schools have moved us to a profound examination of conscience as a Church.” Those words are obviously the result of legal vetting. The logic of the Roman Catholic defence is that an individual diocese may apologize, but the Vatican is not directly responsible, so cannot. But Roman Catholicism is centred on a supreme authority, and an apology from that authority is considered by indigenous people to be essential. Truth be told, the Church is likely terrified of the financial and legal repercussions. Canadian political defenders of the Pope’s refusal are not helping. Alberta MP Garnett Genius responded on Twitter that, “Catholic entities involved in residential schools have apologized. The Holy See is responsible for next steps and people are welcome to make their own judgments. It is not for Parliament to call out or dictate to one faith community.” That, however, is simply not the point. None of the churches involved in the residential school catastrophe acted independently of the state, and all of them have something for which to answer. This is not anti-Catholic, but pro-fairness. And many of the politicians and activists who have pushed for the apology are themselves serious Roman Catholics. They point out that as long ago as 1986, the United Church stated that, “We imposed our civilization as a condition of accepting the gospel. We tried to make you be like us and in so doing, we helped to destroy the vision that made you what you were…We ask you to forgive us and to walk together with us in the Spirit of Christ so that our peoples may be blessed and God’s creation healed.” A few years later, ArchbishopMichael Peers, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada issued a profoundly moving document: “I accept and I confess before God and you, our failures in the residential schools. We failed you. We failed ourselves. We failed God…I am sorry, more than I can say, that we tried to remake you in our image, taking from you your language and the signs of your identity.” Now we wait to see what Pope Francis will do. He’s obviously a compassionate man, with a strong sense of the horror of other people’s suffering. But he can also be strangely conservative on certain issues, and disappoint his many supporters. He’s quite clearly being advised by Catholic leaders in Canada and following the terrible scandal of the sexual abuse crisis, they probably have no idea how to react, and are in panic. Honesty and openness are always the best policies. There could be litigation, there may be financial penalties, but so what? Horrible crimes were committed, numerous people suffered appallingly, and we as Canadians – Catholic and non-Catholic – have to find a way to move forward. “Our women, our people, have unaddressed grief, intergenerational trauma, as the residential schools severed the most important bond, that bond between indigenous children and their mothers and their families”, said Dawn LavellHarvard, president of the Ontario Native Women’s Association. “This system exposed our children to a cycle of violence that continues today, but we know that violence is a learned behaviour… We can make a change.” Yes we can, and so can Pope Francis. 14 | www.snowbirds.org

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1. Getting around Have you ever gotten lost on your way to a destination? Getting lost can be a terrible experience especially if it disrupts your travel plans. Mobile navigation apps like Google Maps can help you find your way. You can simply type in the address of your destination and the app will start voice-guided step-by-step navigation instructions, while also updating you with current traffic on your route. Also want to know where’s the best place to have dinner when you are out of town? Your smartphone can look for nearby restaurants and provide ratings and reviews. You can also find other locations you may need on your trip, like the closest shopping mall or gas station. 2. Access to helpful information Do you want to know more about the famous tourist spots you’re visiting? Search on Google from your smartphone to get some answers. Whether you have a question or want to learn something new, with a smartphone you can easily find the information you need right at your fingertips when travelling. You can also stay informed with the latest news and weather updates anytime. You can check your weather app for the most recent weather information and also stay current on what is happening in the world by using news apps like CBC, CNN, BBC News, or other preferred news sources. 3. Sharing life’s moments Smartphones are equipped with quality cameras that allow you to take great pictures anytime. You can capture captivating views and beautiful moments while travelling. Once captured on your phone, you can easily share these photos by sending over text and email or posting on social media apps. So even when you’re travelling, you can continue to share great moments with family and friends while at the same time staying up-to-date with their lives as well. 4. Staying connected You can conveniently stay in touch using various messaging apps like WhatsApp which makes texting and calling easy. Video calling is another great option for staying connected with your kids and grandkids. With apps like Skype or Facebook Messenger, you can make voice and video calls with your loved ones all over the world. Smartphones have made communicating much easier by keeping us connected more than ever before. Stay connected with a smartphone while travelling this summer with Canada/U.S. plans. With SimplyConnect’s Canada/U.S. plans, you can experience all of the 4 benefits just described when travelling this summer. These plans are perfect for Canadian Snowbirds who travel back and forth to both countries - one plan, one phone number andone SIM card for both your Canadian and U.S. wireless needs. A Canada/U.S. plan paired with a smartphone provides you with more connections while you seamlessly travel this summer. Early Snowbird Sale! Ready to travel this summer or already preparing for your winter travel? Call SimplyConnect’s dedicated live agents at 1-888-655-1266 to learn more about our Early Snowbird Sale! You can also visit simplyconnect.ca for more details. EXPERIENCE MORE THIS SUMMER 4 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD TRAVEL WITH A SMARTPHONE Do you have travel plans this summer? Whether you’re travelling to the U.S. for a few days this summer or travelling in a few months to escape the Canadian winter, a smartphone can help make your trip a more memorable and seamless experience. Here are 4 reasons why:

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Travel Spain’s Waterfront Gems Encounter surprising discoveries while exploring four of Spain’s waterfront cities Where in Spain will you find film locations for Game of Thrones, an enormous pearl forming an angel’s torso, fanciful buildings by a world-famous architect, geese living inside a cathedral, Roman temple columns hidden below street level, two of the largest fortresses in Europe, a priceless display of gold and 125 grams of Christopher Columbus? Join us as we tour Alicante, Almeria, Barcelona and Seville. Story and photos by Barb & Ron Kroll Seville viewed from top of Giralda bell tower Pedestrians and cafés on Explanada de España 18 | www.snowbirds.org

Travel Located on Spain’s East Coast, Alicante draws millions of visitors every year with its warm, dry climate and seven Mediterranean Sea beaches. The mountaintop Santa Barbara Castle towers over the city. One of the largest medieval fortresses in Europe, it received its name on December 4, 1248 – St. Barbara’s feast day – when King Alfonso the Wise recaptured the castle from theMoors who had controlled Alicante since 713. Admission is free. We climbed up a ramp past cacti, flowers and fragrant lavender to a bridge, which was originally one of three drawbridges that hindered enemies from entering. Reminders of the past appeared at every level of the military fortress, from black cannons to a replica soldier in medieval armour pointing his crossbow out over Alicante. Looking through cannon embrasures in the metre-thick parapets, we enjoyed bird’s-eye views of the city, white yachts glimmering in the marina and the blue Mediterranean Sea. We walked down the road behind the castle to visit the 18th-century city hall. Inside the Baroque building was our first surprise – a gold-covered bronze statue of St. John the Baptist, designed by Salvador Dali in 1973. Embedded in the lowest step of the 300-year-old red marble staircase next to Dali’s sculpture is a brass reference point for measuring sea-level heights for Spanish cities. Exiting city hall below its clock tower, we strolled to the Explanada de España. The broad walkway is paved with 6.6 million red, black and cream marble tiles arranged in wave patterns to imitate the Mediterranean Sea. Four rows of tall date palms shade pedestrians and handicraft stands. It was a picturesque place to relax in an outdoor café with glasses of excellent Spanish wine and tapas (snacks). Alicante Walking along ramp in Santa Barbara Castle Salvador Dali’s gold-covered bronze statue of St. John the Baptist next to brass sea-level reference point for Spanish cities CSANews | SUMMER 2018 | 19

Travel Good food, a massive fortress and more surprises highlighted our visit to Almeria. Located on Spain’s southeast coast, Almeria boasts 320 sunny days annually and daytime temperatures of 17 degrees C. in January. Its desert-like landscapes are popular film locations for TV serials and movies, includingGame of Thrones, Lawrence of Arabia, Cleopatra, A Fistful of Dollars, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Never Say Never Again (with Sean Connery as James Bond) and How I Won the War (starring John Lennon). The hilltop Alcazaba dominates Almeria. We climbed a long series of steps to the 13th-century entrance of the Moorish citadel, one of the largest fortresses in Europe.Towers, walls and gates punctuate three restored enclosures. Inside a reconstructed 14th-century Arab home, we viewed murals of people spinning wool and drinking tea at low tables. From its crenellated parapet walls, we enjoyed sweeping views of the flat-roofed city buildings. We were surprised to see purple-flowering jacaranda trees, agaves, prickly pear cacti, date palms, pomegranate and carob trees growing inside the fortress. In the early 17th century, the Spanish no longer needed a military fort, so they created gardens inside the walls. With its buttressed towers, Almeria Cathedral resembles a fortress more than a church. As church bells resounded, we examined decorations on its façade. A bas-relief of angels feasting informed 16th-century Christians that they would live in paradise if they lived good lives. Thoughts of eating made us hungry, so we walked to the Central Market to join locals and visitors lunching on fresh seafood. Clean, well-stocked counters displayed fresh fish, Iberian hams, sausages, cheese, wine and colourful fruits and vegetables. Café cooks prepared food that shoppers bought to eat at tables in the market. The red shrimp sautéed in garlic butter was scrumptious. A fiesta surprised us as we left the market. Singing and drumming drew our attention to a procession of residents. Several women and girls wore flowers in their hair and flamenco dresses. Some carried castanets and waved fans. Many of the men and boys wore bolero hats. We followed the crowd to a silver-, candle- and flower-covered shrine on a cart, pulled by two oxen decorated with silver and red-velvet headpieces. Revellers occasionally paused in their celebrations to visit street-side tapas bars for drinks and snacks. It was an unexpected but delightful glimpse of Andalusian culture. Almeria Far Left: The hilltop Alcazaba dominates Almeria Left: Decorations on cathedral façade Below: Procession follows a silver, candle and flower-covered shrine on a cart Women with flowers in their hair and flamenco dresses Fruit stand in Central Market 20 | www.snowbirds.org