Canadian Snowbird Association Supports Health Benefit Reform for Those Who Enter Canada Illegally

TORONTO, October 22, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Canadian Snowbird Association supports the federal government's plan to ensure that those who come to Canada by way of illegal human smuggling operations do not receive health benefits that are more generous than those received by members of the Canadian public.

"Many snowbirds are seniors who embark on long-term travel and who have paid their taxes and played by the rules all their lives", said Michael MacKenzie, Executive Director of the Canadian Snowbird Association. "The majority of government health benefits don't follow Canadian travellers when they have a legitimate health emergency in another country."

Most provincial governments do not reimburse emergency in-patient and out-patient services required by Canadian travellers at the same rate per day as that paid for similar services within the respective province.

"Everyone deserves emergency medical care, the issue is one of equity", said MacKenzie. "It's simply unreasonable that those who jump the queue and enter Canada illegally could potentially receive more generous taxpayer funded health benefits than Canadian citizens and those who have immigrated to or are in the process of immigrating to Canada legally."

The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) is a national non-partisan, not-for-profit advocacy organization dedicated to actively defending and improving the rights and privileges of travelling Canadians. It is a grassroots association whose board of directors is comprised of unpaid, elected volunteers, representing all the provinces and territories of Canada, and whose 70,000 members are comprised primarily of senior citizens, many of whom are on fixed or limited incomes.