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Publication mail agreement no: 40063603 TRAVEL Discovering Nunavut FINANCE Tips To Take Control HEALTH Protecting Your Senses In This Issue OFFICIAL NEWS MAGAZINE OF THE CANADIAN SNOWBIRD ASSOCIATION | SPRING 2019 | ISSUE 110 It’s Snowbird Season! Ontario government takes aim at out-of-country medical coverage

SnowbirdEvents Snowbird Extravaganza 2020 The Lakeland Center, Lakeland, Florida Tuesday and Wednesday, January 28 and 29, 2020 Winter Texans’ Snowbird Extravaganza Pharr Events Center, Pharr, Texas Tuesday and Wednesday, February 4 and 5, 2020 Canadian Snowbird Extravaganza Celebration Mesa Convention Center, Mesa, Arizona Tuesday and Wednesday, February 11 and 12, 2020 All events from 7-10 p.m. (doors to lobby open at 6 p.m.) Schedule subject to change. • SEP • 10 Tues BELLEVILLE ONTARIO Empire Theatre 321 Front Street • SEP • 11 Wed NEPEAN ONTARIO Meridian Theatres at Centrepointe 101 Centrepointe Drive • SEP • 13 Fri OWEN SOUND ONTARIO Roxy Theatre 251 9th Street East • SEP • 16 Mon SAINT CATHARINES ONTARIO FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre 250 St. Paul Street • SEP • 17 Tues RICHMOND HILL ONTARIO Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts 10268 Yonge Street • SEP • 18 Wed PORT HOPE ONTARIO Capitol Theatre 20 Queen Street • SEP • 19 Thur ORILLIA ONTARIO Orillia Opera House 20 Mississaga Street West • SEP • 20 FRI OSHAWA ONTARIO Regent Theatre 50 King Street East 2020 dates and locations to be announced. The producers of Snowbird Extravaganza 2019 would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support! Jimmy Flynn Next Generation Leahy John McDermott Ticketing information will be provided in the summer issue of CSANews. Currency Exchange Program

Editor’s Message CSANews© is published four times a year and is Copyright SPRING 2019 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 SPRING 2019 | ISSUE 110 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS We acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada. M Merv Magus Illustrator y job jar is full and it is definitely my fault. After a wonderful winter break without red tide, hurricanes or fires to deal with, and with a few games of golf, beach days and exploring under our belts, it is time to pay for my past sins of procrastination. Before leaving Canada in the fall, there were a few minor jobs that I decided could just wait until we returned from our winter vacation. The excitement of travelling and the task of moving our household for several months seemed to be enough jobs for me, at that time. Now, of course, it is time to pay the piper. All those little jobs that I had postponed have now morphed into much larger jobs. Fixing that pesky, leaky eavestrough will now entail painting the entire side wall beneath it, which is now heavily stained. Failing to properly cover and protect some of our young trees will now require the purchase of several new ones. And I have to dig the old ones out and replant the new ones. Failing to put out some simple mouse bait means that I now have to clean out the engines of my two cars which we left in the garage. The engine compartments make wonderful homes for both mice and squirrels, and the mess is ridiculous. I hope that this does not sound familiar, but I suspect that it does. We are all creatures of procrastination and we pay a price for that. Surely, we are smarter than this; perhaps next year will be better. I am very happy to be home and back among old friends and our wonderful employees. I always miss them. Well…off to the job jar wars! Happy Spring Cleaning! J. Ross Quigley Editor CSANews | SPRING 2019 | 3

Table of Contents Features SPRING 2019 | ISSUE 110 OFFICIAL NEWS MAGAZINE OF THE CANADIAN SNOWBIRD ASSOCIATION 16 22 Discovering Nunavut Experience the fascinating culture, landscapes and natural treasures of Canada’s Eastern Arctic. by Barb & Ron Kroll Capturing the Moment Wildflowers show off their colours. by Rex Vogel Travel RV Lifestyle 26 19 Short Tips About Taking Control of Your Finances Feel better about your money by simplifying, organizing and understanding what’s important. by James Dolan Finance 4 | www.snowbirds.org

Table of Contents 34 Departments 42 Longevity by Jennifer Cox 43 Gardening by Judith Adam 44 Food & Drink by Shari Darling 46 CSA Online by Andrew Moore-Crispin 48 Fun & Games 49 Grins & Giggles 50 CSA Application 51 CSA Benefits 52 Canada Clubs 53 CSA Update 54 Fast Facts  2 Snowbird Events  3 Editor’s Message  6 Snowbird Alert 08 Bird Talk 10 President’s Message 11 Government Relations Report 12 Insurance by J. Ross Quigley 14 Opinion by Michael Coren 37 Health Pulse 38 Fitness by Jennifer Cox 39 Book Review by Robert Wiersema 40 Golf by David McPherson Protecting and Preserving Your Eyesight Preventing a serious loss of one of our most important senses. by Dr. Robert MacMillan Health 32 Tai Chi No Pain, Big Gain: Tai chi may be just the activity you’ve been looking for. by Gabrielle Bauer CSANews | SPRING 2019 | 5

SnowbirdAlert REVERSE MORTGAGES: pros and cons Lending experts claim that over the past year, there has been a substantial rise in interest in reverse mortgages and the cash injection which they offer. In fact, some say that the market is soaring. The reason, they contend, is that even with a valuable home that’s completely paid for, some are finding that they do not have adequate income to live the lifestyle they want, or to pay for the upkeep of their home. Presumably, they are home-rich and cash-poor. Consequently, the idea of a reverse mortgage can seem like a win-win situation. It’s a way to turn home equity into cash without having to make mortgage payments or sell the house. The homeowner receives payments drawn down from the equity of the house, which can be paid out in a lump sum or other agreed-upon payment structure. If only it were that easy and uncomplicated. Canada’s Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) stresses that reverse mortgages are complex and binding financial agreements which require careful and thorough examination. This complexity can make it difficult for a person to weigh the option of a reverse mortgage versus other lending alternatives. Moreover, the OCA warns that there can be serious pitfalls. Borrowers, for example, could find themselves in default of their loans if they do not adequately maintain or insure their homes or pay their property taxes. In such cases, the lender might have the right to foreclose on a home and ultimately sell it. The OCA advises that reverse mortgages may make sense for some people, but are totally inappropriate for others. Potential borrowers should understand that the different types of reverse mortgages can have significantly different financial implications. Utmost care must be taken when deciding between a straightforward reverse mortgage, an annuity, a fixed-term loan or a line of credit − making sure that the choice is the right one for an individual’s particular needs and circumstances. Reverse mortgages are available to Canadians who own their own home and are 55 years and older. If an applicant has an existing mortgage on their house, they can still qualify for a reverse mortgage so long as there is adequate equity in the property. However, the existing mortgage must be paid off with the proceeds of the reverse mortgage. The amount a person can borrow is based on several factors, including the borrower’s age and the value of their home. When the borrower decides to move or sell, the loan (plus interest accrued on the loan) is repaid from the proceeds of the sale. To ensure that there is always equity left over, the OCA strongly recommends borrowing conservatively. Reverse mortgages can provide a self-financing solution to some people whose economic and social difficulties might otherwise force them to leave their homes. To make the right choice, the OCA cautions potential borrowers to obtain complete information and to proceed with extreme caution. Things to be considered before taking out a reverse mortgage include alternative lending options and the costs and fees associated with house appraisal, securing the loan, independent legal fees, service charges and annual fees. Costs associated with a reverse mortgage may be higher than a regular mortgage or other lending products. Also, is there a penalty for paying out the loan early and does the contract offer a “cooling off” period during which the borrower can cancel the arrangement without penalty? The OCA says that what matters most of all is being fully informed before signing on the dotted line. More information about reverse mortgages can be found online at: www.ic.gc.ca/officeofconsumeraffairs. Proposed Amendment to Ontario Regulation 552 under the Health Insurance Act Regulation Number(s): Regulation 552 Bill or Act: Health Insurance Act Summary of Proposal: The Ministry of Health and LongTermCare (ministry) is proposing to amend Regulation 552 under the Health Insurance Act (HIA) to end the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) coverage for emergency services (arising while outside the country) for Ontarians travelling outside of Canada. If approved this change would take effect October 1, 2019. Currently the Out-of-Country Travellers Program provides reimbursement at the following rates for services required to treat conditions that are acute, unexpected, arose outside Canada, and require immediate treatment. For out-of-country inpatient services: • a maximum of $400/day for higher level of care (e.g. Intensive Care Unit, operating room); • a maximum of $200/day for any other level of care; Otherwise: • $50/day for outpatient services; and • $210 for renal dialysis. These reimbursement rates have not increased in over 20 years. With this very limited coverage and the low reimbursement rates (~5% of costs on average) provided by the OOC Travellers Program, OHIP-eligible persons who do not purchase private travel health insurance can be left with catastrophically large bills to pay because of OOC emergency medical care. Ontarians are advised to obtain private travel health insurance before travelling outside of Canada. The proposed revocation of the OOC Travellers Program is consistent with recommendations made by E and Y and by the OAGO. It also aligns with government’s commitment to implement changes to restore accountability and trust in the use of taxpayer dollars and to bring greater modernization, efficiency and transparency to OHIP to benefit both providers and patients. Ontarians who decide to travel outside of Canada may continue to seek the best, most comprehensive coverage from travel insurance companies who already cover 94% of reimbursement for eligible costs related to emergency care services out of country. This proposal does not affect current publicly funded health care coverage for Ontarians travelling in other parts of Canada. In addition, this change will have no impact on 99.5% of Ontarians. OHIP data suggests, of those 40,000 Ontarians who do travel outside of Canada each year and require health services, over 90% obtain private travel health insurance. Source: Ontario’s Regulatory Registry - Government of Ontario 6 | www.snowbirds.org

Editor’s Comment Premier Doug Ford of Ontario and his Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Christine Elliott recently introduced a proposal to amend Regulation #552 of the Health Insurance Act of Ontario.This proposed amendment strips all Canadians living in Ontario of any reimbursement for medical expenses incurred outside of Canada. OHIP will now pay NOTHING! This destroys any pretence that the Ontario government will comply with the Canada Health Act, which requires that Ontario pay for out-of-Canada medical expenses at the same rate that would be paid inOntario.This destroys the Portability section of the Canada Health Act, one of the pillars of that legislation. This is a massive mistake! If Ernst and Young really recommended this, they are idiots. So, for you and me, and millions of other travellers, our travel insurance costs just went up by 7.5-15%. People at the older ages, especially, will not be able to afford the new premiums. They will stay home. So the government, in their wisdom, has decided that they would pay for the massive medical expenses for these stay-at-homers, now paid by private insurance.The government now pays about 5%of medical expenses when they are out of Ontario and they are switching that to the government paying 100%, inside Ontario. Are they crazy? Not to belabour the point, but it has been proven that for every 10-degree drop in temperature, the number of serious heart attacks increases by 7%. At a normal 20-degree difference, there are 14%more serious heart attacks. Our snowbirds know this instinctively and that is why we all go south for the winter, if we can afford it. So the Ontario government wants to keep many of these seniors at home, I guess so that they can pay for their heart attacks at 100% instead of 5%. Did we mention ice, and falls and weather-related lung issues? Those are very big numbers, medically speaking. My guess is that OHIP costs inOntario will increase by well over one hundred million dollars. But I thought that they introduced this regulation to cut costs?! This was a knee-jerk reaction to a suggestion made by someone who knew nothing about what they were talking about. This is not Ford or Elliott; they are very smart people.They are just two very, very busy people who never had a chance to think it through. Now you can. We request that you immediately throw out the Regulation #552 Amendment. My recommendation would be to increase the hospital day reimbursement to $1,200 per day from the current $400 per day. This would permit a 5-10% reduction in insurance premiums, get more people travelling in the winter months and save OHIP a fortune. HOW COULD YOU ??? P.S: Just so you know, the government said that 99.5% of Ontarians will NOT be affected. What nonsense! Of the 14.32 million people in Ontario, 12.26 million trips were taken OUTSIDE OF CANADA, just in the first nine months of 2018. This affects almost every single person in Ontario. NOW YOU CAN FIX EVERYTHING! AND comply with The Canada Health Act! CSANews | SPRING 2019 | 7

BirdTalk Dear Bird Talk, We own a house in Newport, VT, where we spend fewer than six months. We are planning other vacation time to be spent in other countries in 2019. What are the consequences in Québec? Michel Bérubé Sherbrooke, QC Ed.: Quebec allows a six-month absence in any calendar year. You would be able to spend the balance of your six months, not spent in Vermont, anywhere you like. They also have an unlimited number of 21-day trips which you can take outside of the province. This is over and above the basic six-month absence. CSA is hoping to get Quebec to increase the 21 days to 23 days, to be more convenient for members. Dear Bird Talk, I was reading your reply to a member from Ontario, who asked about capital gains tax. We own a home in Florida. Bought it for US$65,000 and are selling it for US$130,000. We were told that we could deduct improvements we made to our place, such as all new windows, new roof, newAC, new floors, new water heater, etc. We were also told that any capital gains under $250,000 did not need to be reported. This was from a U.S. real estate lawyer. I am curious to know your advice here. Love to read your column. Sharon & Donnie Ontario Ed.: Upon sale, U.S. capital gains tax (approximately 20% of the gain) is payable on the net gain. In calculating the net gain, the formula would be the sale price minus the purchase price, minus costs of purchase, minus costs of sale, and minus costs of your many improvements to the property. One does not necessarily have to have receipts, as the only time one would need these would be in the event of an audit. We believe that the U.S. real estate lawyer is incorrect. Dear Bird Talk, We purchased a condo in Florida four years ago and have made an approximate US$100,000 capital gain on it. But we are thinking of buying another property for about $315,000, thus not receiving any capital gain as we are rolling it all back into another unit. Do we still have to pay tax on the capital gain and, if not, how long must we live in the new unit before we do have to pay any capital gains tax. We are planning on going south for at least another five years, before we sell that one at a profit or loss? M. MacDonald Ontario Ed.: There is a procedure available in the U.S. to permit you to roll over the gain into the purchased property called a 1031 exchange. This will avoid the immediate payment of capital gains taxes. The rules are complicated − the funds from the sale have to be held by a third party, there are time limits involved and you will be taxable in Canada (unable to take the offsetting tax which you would have paid in the U.S.). But it can be done. Dear Bird Talk, I own a Florida condo. Do I need a U.S. will? Since only one’s last will is honoured, I would want it to be the same as the one I currently have. Must I bring my current will with me if I get another one in the U.S.? Could a Canadian lawyer prepare it or must it be prepared by a U.S. lawyer? Could I gift the condo to our three children? Would this incur taxes? Diana Young Kanata, ON Ed.: You do not need a U.S. will. There is a gift tax in the U.S., but not in Canada. If the property is left to the children in a will, there would be no tax in the U.S. But, again, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will want any capital gains tax which may be payable. Dear Bird Talk, What, if any, are the reporting requirements in both Canada and the U.S. when we sell our personal use condo in Florida. Our primary residence is in Canada. We purchased the condo in 2012 for about US$87,000. While the condo has appreciated, the sale price would be less than US$200,000.The section in the CSATravel Information Guide on “Selling (Disposing) of Property in the United States” doesn’t address how or when to report a sale of this nature. Would our real estate agent or lawyer take care of any U.S. and CAD reporting and any relevant withholding taxes? The Canada Revenue Agency information is unclear on sale of personal use foreign property. CRA information seems limited to purchases, i.e. our property doesn’t need to be reported since it was purchased for under $100,000 and for personal use only. Garth McNaughton Napanee, ON Ed.: You will need to file a U.S. income tax return disclosing the sale of your personal use property in the year following the sale. Further, the capital gain will be subject to tax in the U.S. For U.S. tax purposes, a capital gain triggered on property held for longer than 12 months prior to its disposition is subject to preferential long-term U.S. capital gains tax rates (the maximum tax rate is 20%). You report the sale by filing IRS Form 1040NR, Schedule D and IRS FormW-7 (which will allow you to obtain a taxpayer identification number required to file the return). All of these forms can be filed at the same time. You will also need to disclose the sale on your Canadian return, but you may be able to use foreign tax credits to reduce or eliminate dual taxation. In our experience, the real estate agent and lawyer do not file on your behalf unless special arrangements have been made. You will need to make your own arrangements with an accountant familiar with the U.S. tax code. The $100,000 threshold which you reference has to do with an annual foreign property disclosure to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Personal use property is not subject to annual disclosure. However, you still need to disclose the sale of the property on your Canadian income tax return. 8 | www.snowbirds.org

Dear Bird Talk, I would like to thank Medipac for the great service they provided to me when I needed to use their services. Last March, while in Mexico, I had an angina attack and went to a local hospital in Playa Del Carmen, had tests done there, and was then taken to another hospital in Cancun. Medipac was advised and, after being in the hospital for two days and declared stable, the decision was made to air-liftme toMontreal to my hospital, where I had an angioplasty the following day to unblock one of my stents. I had to pay up front inMexico for the hospital stays and services and, when home, there was never any question about being reimbursed. It took a few months to get reimbursed, the delay only the fault of my hospital inMontreal for not sending my records to them. If any of your readers are in doubt about Medipac, don’t be!They are a great company. Just make sure that you answer any questions they ask when filling out their forms for insurance and don’t BS them; even if you only take an aspirin, tell them. Thanks, Medipac, Peter Kuzik Sainte Anne De Bellevue, QC Ed.: We would have given the Mexican hospital Medipac’s credit card if they had asked; that is a much safer way to deal with this kind of situation in Mexico. 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, I own several quarters of farmland in Saskatchewan and plan to will three to four quarters to each of four non-farming children, including a son who is a dual citizen and resides and works in Arizona. All of their farmland will incur some capital gains tax in Canada, as it has been cash rented since I purchased it. Will my U.S. son have to pay gift tax in the U.S., and will my estate have to pay capital gains tax in Canada? Is there a way to will/gift Saskatchewan farmland to a U.S. dual citizen without incurring U.S. gift tax on the market value? John Vinek Lloydminster, SK Ed.: Your U.S. son will not have to pay tax upon inheriting the property. There will be capital gains tax payable by your estate in Canada, of course. There is a gift tax in the U.S. which would apply if the property were gifted prior to your death, whereas in Canada, there is no gift tax. With some astute planning, you could probably avoid any taxes. Dear Bird Talk, I sold my mobile home in Florida in 2018. It is on a lot owned by the mobile home park. Do I need to report the sale on my CRA tax return? William Perryman Port Elgin, ON Ed.: Only if you made some money. All capital gains must be reported to our CRA. Dear Bird Talk, My husband and I bought a house in California two years ago, as “Husband and Wife as Joint Tenants.” I’ve been reading some information recently that’smakingme wonder if we should transfer it to a “Revocable Trust” to avoid costly probate and extraordinary fees. The purchase price was $168,000. The current value is more than $200,000. We will be making a living will as well. Thank you in advance for your advice on this. Nancy Weisdorff Saskatoon, SK Ed.: Transferring the property to a trust would accomplish avoidance of probate fees, etc., but as to whether that is the best way for you, we cannot say. You should consult an estate attorney in California. Note: We are approaching our Early Bird Travel Insurance time, and felt that we should remind you what a few of our customers really think of us. Dear Bird Talk, We had already purchased our winter insurance and were preparing to go to Yuma, AZ for the winter, when my wife fell ill and required surgery, which meant staying home for the winter. Medipac returned our total amount within three weeks of my phone call and mailing proof of a medical problem. Thank you, Medipac, for your quick response with no quibbling. Bob Nicol Sardis, BC CSANews | SPRING 2019 | 9

I would like to welcome everyone back to Canada. As much as we love heading to our winter destinations, there really is no place like home. Bill and I kicked off our winter tour at the annual Snowbird Extravaganza in Lakeland, Florida at the end of January. From there, we headed to Pharr, Texas for the Winter Texans’ Snowbird Extravaganza, followed by the Canadian Snowbird Celebration inMesa, Arizona. Without missing a beat, we embarked upon our Winter Information Meeting tour. This year, we began our tour in California with shows in Indio and Winterhaven. From there, we headed back to Florida for shows in Immokalee, Port Charlotte, Bradenton and Clearwater. Bill and I met so many of you over the course of the winter, and we sincerely thank you for attending. Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped us make these shows a reality; we could never do this without your assistance. This year is shaping up to be a busy one for elections in Canada. Not only do we have the federal election scheduled for October 21, 2019, we also have three provincial elections in Alberta, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador and, possibly, a fourth in Manitoba. There is also a territorial election scheduled for this fall in the Northwest Territories. As always, the CSA will be distributing our election handbooks to our members in each jurisdiction and posting them on our website as well. These handbooks contain important information, such as the province or territory’s current travel-related policies, special ballot instructions and contact details for each major political party. The seventh edition of our popular Canadian Travellers’ Report Card was recently unveiled in January at the Snowbird Extravaganza in Lakeland, Florida. This edition examines five areas of importance to Canadian travellers. We researched the practices and policies of the federal, provincial and territorial governments, and then gave each government an opportunity to comment on our findings. The information gathered, including government feedback, was used to grade each jurisdiction based on standards elsewhere in Canada, as well as on our view of best practices. Canadians who embark on long-term travel nonetheless pay a full year of taxes to the federal and either provincial and territorial governments. They must pay for infrastructure and other government services which they do not use for a full year, but one thing that they expect and deserve is to have full, equal access to the health-care and drug coverage for which they pay taxes. Unfortunately, in many cases, these taxpayers are denied the same benefits as those who remain at home. Canadians should not have to choose between exercising their right to travel and having access to the health care which they may require. Since 2002, we have made a series of recommendations to protect the rights of travelling Canadians. We are pleased that many provincial and territorial governments have responded with improvements to service and coverage. On the other hand, some governments have made little progress at all, and we are disappointed in their apparent lack of concern for travellers. We examined the following topics: • Preservation of health coverage for frequent travellers • Access to emergency health coverage when travelling • Access to prescription drugs for use during travel • Access to voting rights for travellers • Availability of government information Since our last report − released two years ago − a number of governments have improved their policies for frequent travellers. Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland & Labrador and the Northwest Territories have all improved their overall standing. Yukon is the only jurisdiction which has declined due to policy changes. This report really is a critical tool and invaluable resource when we sit down with elected officials and members of the media. With so much political activity in Canada in 2019, I strongly encourage you to read it so that you will be aware of the latest developments in government policy pertaining to travellers in your home province or territory. If you were not able to obtain a copy at one of our winter shows, the report card is available on our website at www.snowbirds.org. The Canadian Snowbird Association is now comprised of more than 115,000 members. Thanks again for all that you do in keeping this organization strong and growing. Bill and I wish you a safe and relaxing time at home in Canada with family and friends. President’s Message Karen Huestis CSA President 10 | www.snowbirds.org

The Ontario government is proposing to end the Ontario Health Insurance Plan’s coverage of emergency out-ofcountry medical costs. I haven’t seen Ontario snowbirds this angry about an issue in almost 30 years. The Out-of-Country Travellers Program (OOC) currently reimburses Ontario residents travelling outside of Canada between $200 and $400 per day for emergency in-patient services and up to $50 per day for emergency outpatient services. The Ontario government’s plan is scheduled to come into effect on October 1, 2019. While travel medical insurance remains a necessity for all Ontarians travelling abroad, terminating out-of-country emergency medical coverage will ultimately increase premiums for private travel medical insurance coverage. This will not only impact the snowbirds who travel south during the winter months, it will also affect cross-border shoppers and Ontarians planning family vacations. We estimate that the elimination of this program will increase travel medical insurance premiums in Ontario by 7.5%. Ultimately, the financial burden will fall on Ontario travellers including seniors, many of whom are on fixed or limited incomes. The elimination of the OOC Travellers Program also runs counter to the government’s goal of cutting costs. The Ministry of Health states that these measures are being proposed as part of a broader strategy to restore accountability and trust in taxpayer dollars. However, implementation of these proposed amendments would have the opposite effect. By increasing the price of private insurance, the Ontario government is making it more expensive for travellers to be adequately covered for their trips outside of Canada. If travel insurance prices become prohibitive, it will prevent a significant number of seniors from being able to travel abroad. In turn, this will place an even heavier burden on Ontario’s already strained medical system. If retired Ontarians opt not to travel abroad, and they encounter a medical emergency, the Ontario government will shoulder 100% of the costs of medical services. Whereas, if the same emergency were to occur outside of Canada, the Ontario government would only need to reimburse a small portion of the overall health costs − approximately 6%, according to the government’s own proposal summary. Every province and territory in Canada provides reimbursement to residents who require emergency medical assistance while travelling outside of the country. Under the portability provision of the Canada Health Act, government health insurance plans are required to provide reimbursement for outof-country emergencies at in-province rates. The Ontario government’s move to scrap all emergency reimbursement for travellers is unprecedented in this country and will further burden residents with increased insurance costs. Frankly, it doesn’t sound as if a great deal of thought went into this proposal and, rest assured, we will do everything we can to prevent or reverse this…no matter how long it takes. On December 13, 2018, Bill C-21, An Act to amend the Customs Act received Royal Assent in the Parliament of Canada. As I have discussed in previous reports, Bill C-21 allows Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to collect basic biographic information, such as the full name, date of birth and citizenship or nationality, on all travellers departing Canada by land and air. Passage of Bill C-21 is a necessary step towards the full implementation of the Entry/Exit Initiative. For those who are unfamiliar with this program, the Entry/ Exit Initiative is a co-ordinated entry-exit information system between Canada and the United States. This system permits sharing information so that the record of a land entry into one country can be used to establish an exit record from the other. Currently, Canada and the U.S. exchange biographic information at land ports of entry, on third-country nationals (non-U.S. or non-Canadian citizens), permanent residents of Canada who are not U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. who are not Canadian citizens. Canada also shares with the U.S. biographic entry information on U.S. citizens and nationals who enter Canada. The third phase of the Entry/Exit Initiative, which has not yet been fully implemented, will expand the systematic exchange of biographic entry data on all travellers, including Canadian citizens, at all automated land border ports of entry. For snowbirds and other Canadian travellers, this means that when travelling to and from the United States by vehicle, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will know precisely how many days they have been in the United States. For the vast majority of our members, who adhere to U.S. immigration and tax laws, this will have no impact on their annual travel to the United States. While Bill C-21 has been passed, corresponding regulations need to be adopted and an information-sharing agreement between CBSA and U.S. CBP must be put in place before the information about Canadian citizens can be exchanged. We are tracking these developments closely and will alert all CSAmembers when the Entry/Exit Initiative becomes fully operational. Government Relations Report Ron Steeves First Vice-President CSANews | SPRING 2019 | 11

…what our Canadian Snowbird Association directors do in their spare time. Ron Steeves is CSA’s First Vice-President and is the chair of the Government Lobby Committee. On top of their normal duties, each director is required to reach out to the snowbird community to “spread the word” and help attract new members through meetings and get-togethers. A golf tournament, a picnic lunch, an evening BBQ or a formal presentation at a local community centre are all great venues. These grassroots meetings are reported to President Karen and shared with all board members, basically, on a quarterly basis. This is Ron Steeves’ report. You will notice that these meetings are all over the place and require some travelling, of course. What you may not notice is that the Snowbird Extravaganza and theWinter InformationMeetings are just another entry. Let me explain. The January 25-31 entry involves two full days of board meetings and an Extravaganza Orientation Day. During the actual Extravaganza − a twoday event − directors and their spouses are asked to be on their feet for most of the day and to greet the thousands of CSAmembers and visitors who come to see them and to ask questions. They are also front and centre at the Canadian Snowbird Association’s Annual General Meeting held in the morning of the second day. Winter Information Meetings are a little easier but, again, the directors and spouses are on their feet for most of the day greeting members and, again, answering their many questions. Oh…and the provincial picnics – more long days on their feet standing at the CSA booth doing, guess what? Greeting members and answering their questions…and always convincing non-members to join. I call Director Steeves the Picnic King, as he has always found wonderful volunteers to help out and is usually the master of ceremonies at each picnic, as well. All of the above events were brilliantly supported by Ron’s lovely wife Judy, and she works as hard as he does. These two are quite a pair and they willingly and selflessly donate their time and efforts to the Canadian Snowbird Association to HELP OTHERS. This is just another report from Director Steeves among many and…now you know. I would like to make special mention of Myrna Stewart who has been organizing and running the Nova Scotia picnic for many years and who is retiring this year. She is also a past recipient of the CSA President’s Award. Thanks for everything, Myrna, and I hope to see you there again next year. J. Ross Quigley CEO Medipac International Inc. Insurance And now you know… 12 | www.snowbirds.org

Insurance RON STEEVES, Director-Atlantic Canada COMMUNIQUE – January to March 30, 2019 January 25 - 31: Snowbird Extravaganza and annual CSA meetings FEBRUARY & MARCH: It should be noted that Ron & Judy placed hundreds of picnic fliers on Canadian-licensed vehicles in mall parking lots; flea markets, supermarket lots, & RV parks from Zephyrhills to Bradenton & Sarasota (including Clearwater, Largo, St. Petersburg and New Port Richey). February 7: Harborside Condo Park, South Pasadena; 43 attend, 10 newmembers February 16: Southern Charm Park, Zephyrhills; 300 attend, 24 members February 18: N.B. picnic, Fort DeSoto, assisted by Bob & Charlene Herman; 500+, 25 members February 21: Military Police, Fort DeSoto; 12 attend, 6 members February 26: Winter Information Meeting, Master of Ceremonies, Bradenton February 27: Winter Information Meeting, Clearwater February 28: Top of theWorld Condo Park, Clearwater; 40 attend, 11 members March 6: Sleepy Hollow Park, Zephyrhills; est. 24 attend, 10 members March 7: Newfoundland/Labrador picnic; est. 600 attend, 25 members March 8: Fairway Village, Largo, accompanied by Wallace & AnnWeylie; est. 175 attend, 14 members March 10: Prince Edward Island picnic, Fort DeSoto Park; est. 300 attend, 53 members March 19: Ontario picnic, Fort DeSoto Park – cancelled on site, due to rain & cold winds. March 24: Nova Scotia picnic, Lake Seminole Park, assisted by Bob & Lois Slack; 195 attend, 29 members SUMMARY RECAP OF GRASSROOTS EVENTS Received 110 applications, resulting in 144 new members and 65 renewal members. Membership Sales: 96 one-year; 3 two-year; 5 three-year; 4 five-year; 2 lifetime memberships. Friendship Pin sales: $91.00 A total of 10 events, excluding Snowbird Extravaganza and the twoWinter Information meetings. CSANews | SPRING 2019 | 13

Opinion with Michael Coren We live in an angry age. Social media is incredibly influential and, instead of being a place for civilized disagreement, it has been turned into a venue for nastiness and hatred. Canadian politics, once so polite and moderate, have become polarized and sometimes personal. So to Irshad Manji. In the mid1990s, we were part of a weekly debate on TVOntario’sStudio 2. The segment was called “Friendly Fire,” and the misnomer was lost on nobody. We agreed on little, the arguments often seemed unpleasant and I had no regrets at all when it was not renewed. The two of us went our separate ways and had limited contact. Now, more than 25 years later, we are friends. Both of us have changed. And change, the ability to rethink and re-address long-held ideas and assumptions, is at the heart of Manji’s new and wonderfully optimistic book, entitled Don’t Label Me, one that is fundamentally important in a dangerously polarized and divided time. Not that Manji has abandoned her political views − she was never extreme − but she has tempered what I suppose we could describe as a radical liberalismwith layers of thought and analysis. She uses the image of water, of flowing around a challenge or a critic, softening to an attack but ultimately triumphing because of it. But, she asks, who are our critics and our opponents? She was, for example, introduced to her wife by a Trump-supporting neighbour, a conservative Republican who cared for Manji when she was sick, and oozed compassion. What the Jesuit priest Gerard Hughes once referred to as “the God of surprises” has a parallel here: the people of surprises. Once we think that we can judge and pigeonhole everybody by some of their political opinions, we have closed the door not only on them, but also on ourselves and on dialogue and community, and that leads by a short road to disaster. “Labels,” she writes, “keep us all in our assigned places. At root, that’s why we’re divided. Thus was born the idea to make this book a conversation with Lily.” Lily is Manji’s dog. This is not some twee account of doggy wisdom, but a compelling device in which the author projects her ideas and ideals to this once mistreated and extremely vulnerable creature. The relationship − and especially the account of Lily’s death, by the way − is described with great subtlety. Mind you, I still cried. In Don’t Label Me, she intersperses sociological and statistical evidence with anecdote and opinion. The woman told to remain quiet because of her “white privilege” who gently explains that there is so much more to her than her ethnicity, and that her suffering and story should be understood before she is judged. The Indian Hindu student who campaigned against the death penalty for a Muslim terrorist, was consequently persecuted by state and society, and hanged himself. Labels, rejection, the delight of hating “the other.” She reminds us that “respect comes from the Latin ‘to see someone in a new light’,” and this is the central call in this manifesto of sanity. See through the packaging! In her experience, “listening didn’t translate into losing.”That should be proclaimed across social media. I don’t agree with everything she says, and worry that some on the right will see this roar for reason as a response to what they dismiss as identity politics. But it’s so much more profound and nuanced than that, and thus so much more significant. What Manji is offering is the sacrament of empathy, and pleading with us to understand the transformative and transcendental capabilities of change. She is still on the left, still a Muslim who is deeply critical of elements of Islam, still − of course − gay, still the intensely clever and selfcritical Irshad I always knew, but she is much more now. Consider this: “Anti-PC brigades may exaggerate, but everyone knows that imperious individuals, pretending to speak for all liberals, intimidate decent people into clamming up.” Perfect. The right does exaggerate, angry leftists don’t speak for anything like the mass of liberals, and triumphalism does lead to good people feeling silenced. Personally, I would say that change is always possible, that we need to listen properly to criticism before responding, must try to reply with courtesy to those who attack us, strive to see yourself in them, and see them in you. I think that my old enemy and new friend Irshad would agree with that. 14 | www.snowbirds.org

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Travel SPANS THREE TIME ZONES Comprising nearly one-fifth of Canada’s land mass, Nunavut is so vast that it is larger than France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom combined. About 45% is mainland. The rest is an archipelago of mostly uninhabited islands.The distance between north and south Nunavut is nearly the same distance as from Toronto to Calgary, while its length is equivalent to the distance between London and Istanbul. Nunavut is not a driving destination. No roads, trains or ferries connect Nunavut’s 25 communities. Access is by air year-round, and by sea in the summer. We arrived in the capital Iqaluit after a three-hour flight from Ottawa. Regularly scheduled flights to Nunavut also depart fromMontréal, Winnipeg, Churchill, Calgary, Edmonton and Yellowknife. For local transportation, residents and tour operators use vehicles and boats, as well as dogsleds, snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles for short distances. NUNAVUTExperience the fascinating culture, landscapes and natural treasures of Canada’s Eastern Arctic Discovering If you looked at a map of Canada created before 1999, you would not find Nunavut (pronounced Noo-na-vut). Every year on July 9, the 33,300 residents of the new territory (formerly the eastern 60% of the Northwest Territories) celebrate Nunavut Day with special events and their gold-and-white flag. Featuring a red inukshuk – a human-shaped traditional rock monument – and the blue North Star, the flag symbolizes the richness of their land, sea and sky and the leadership of their community elders. What drew us to Nunavut? Its scenery ranges from wildflower-strewn tundra to glacier-capped mountains and whimsically shaped icebergs. The vibrant culture encompasses arts, crafts, music, dancing and festivals. Activities abound, from bird-watching and hiking to exploring historical and archaeological sites. Above all, the people are welcoming and happy to share their rich heritage with visitors. Story and photos by Barb & Ron Kroll Barb & Ron publish the trip-planning website www.KrollTravel.com 16 | www.snowbirds.org

Travel EXPLORING IQALUIT It was easy to tour Iqaluit (population: 7,250) on foot. Three free attractions gave us an excellent orientation to the city and the Qikiqtaaluk Region (formerly called Baffin Region). At Unikkaarvik Visitor Centre, we viewed wildlife, historical, cultural and art exhibits. Its centrepiece is a 1,091-kilogram sculpture of an Inuit drum dancer. Carved by five artists from a five-ton block of peach-coloured granite, it’s so heavy that it was airlifted into the building in 1991. Friendly staff gave us a map and helped us book local accommodations and tours. Next door, the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum displays historical photos and Inuit artifacts, including tools made from bone and caribou antlers. Its gift shop sells local art, carvings, jewellery and books. (Nunavut collects only GST on purchases.) During our free guided tour of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut, we admired more art and a ceremonial mace made from a carved narwhal tusk, local silver and gemstones. ANCIENT INUIT HOMES We travelled by boat with a local outfitter on a day trip to Qaummaarviit Territorial Park, a small island 12 kilometres southwest of Iqaluit. Although this one-quartersquare-kilometre islet appears inhospitable to life, Thule people (ancestors to today’s Inuit) lived here periodically from AD 1000 to 1800. Plaques along the self-guided boardwalk trail provided interesting details about the semi-subterranean house pits, meat caches, kayak racks and rock tomb found here. Stone rings marked the locations of skin tents occupied by nomadic Inuit during the summers. We also viewed remnants of their rock-and-whale bone winter homes. Crouching in front, we could see how the sunken entrances trapped warmer air inside. Tiny white chickweed blossoms brightened the grass that now covers the elevated sleeping platforms. LILLIPUTIAN GARDENS More wildflowers accentuated the tundra in Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, a halfhour walk or short taxi ride from Iqaluit. After viewing the waterfalls on the Sylvia Grinnell River from a 55-metre-high platform, we explored the tundra. At first glance, it looked devoid of life. Up close, however, the tundra’s miniature plants, lichens andmosses resembled a tapestry of diverse colours, textures and shapes. Nunavut boasts 200 species of flowering plants. Brilliant pinky-purple splotches attracted us to clumps of fireweed. We snacked on wild black crowberries and bilberries, which looked and tasted like small blueberries. CSANews | SPRING 2019 | 17

Travel SURVIVAL STRATEGIES Arctic plants use ingenious techniques to retain heat. Dense clusters of leaves on purple saxifrage allow heat to accumulate. The parabolic-shaped blossoms of yellow Arctic poppies and mountain avens act like miniature solar collectors, as they follow the sun from horizon-to-horizon. We spent most of our time on our knees, photographing the miniature blossoms. From a distance, masses of fluffy white Arctic cotton look like snow. The Inuit used to combine the densely tufted heads with dried moss to make wicks for their traditional seal oil lamps. To supply a single soapstone lamp with wicks for one year, they had to fill a 10-kilogram sack with blossoms. ART CENTRE Each community gave us more insight into Nunavut’s culture. Just 30 minutes by air from Iqaluit, Kimmirut is a hamlet of 425 people on Baffin Island’s southern shore. We enjoyed a panoramic view of its buildings and the long, narrow Glasgow Inlet from a huge limestone outcrop. As we strolled through the village, we met several women carrying babies in the backs of their amautiit (traditional hooded parkas). The babies soaked up the attention, kisses and even the cheek-pinching from doting friends and neighbours. Kimmirut, like many Nunavut communities, is home tomany artists. Soper House Gallery displays and sells local stone carvings, art, crafts and uluit (traditional half-moon-shaped women’s knives). We met Elisapee Hulu, an artist who specializes in stencil prints. Her imaginative renditions of spirit bears were as beautiful as her traditional outfit, which took three years to make. “I owe my artistic ideas to my parents,” she said. “These images illustrate the stories that they passed on to me.” 18 | www.snowbirds.org