If you’re a Canadian who moves to a warmer country in the winter then beware of Canada’s new border exit-tracking system.
CTV News reports that the federal government plans on cracking down on snowbirds that leave Canada for too long but still collect social benefits – benefits the Canadian government believes snowbirds aren’t entitled to.
The Canadian Press reports that “the government is using the new border exit-tracking system to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in social benefits now going to people who shouldn’t receive them due to [long] absences from Canada.”
As a result, the Canada Revenue Agency as well as Employment and Social Development Canada are expecting to save between $194 million and $319 million over a five year span, once the new border tracking system is entirely in place.
CTV reports that at this time “the tracking system involves exchanging entry information from people at the land border – so that data on entry to one country serves as a record of exit from the other.”
The final phase of the new border exit-tracking system will eventually include Canadian snowbirds travelling by plane as well. The U.S. already has this phase in place, but is still anticipating for Canada to pass the bill. No revision date is yet in place.
If you’re a snowbird, take this as a warning: If you choose to leave the country to escape from the harsh Canadian winters, don’t get stuck in the sun for too long or your social benefits may be at risk.