Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Bit More Information on Official Canadian Travel Advisories

Yesterday I gave the information on an official travel advisory issued by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advising against Canadians traveling in the northern border region between Mexico and the United States.  When an official travel advisory is issued there are several things to consider for any travel to the area or country noted in the travel advisory. It is best to avoid traveling to the area or country noted if at all possible.   Some considerations:

  • You are putting yourself at risk for personal harm possibly resulting in death.
  • You may be detained and denied the rights and freedoms you take for granted in Canada.
  • You are putting your personal belongings including your personal identification at risk.
  • Once an official travel advisory has been issued any out of country insurance you may have becomes null and void.  That means you have no emergency medical health coverage and if your personal effects or vehicle are stolen you will not be covered under your vehicle insurance policy.
  • If your personal identification is stolen you may have considerable troubles getting back into Canada as well as any countries you may have to travel through to get back into Canada.
  • The Government of Canada may not be able to help you.
Last night we had a very interesting discussion on official travel advisories.  One of our friends is in the insurance business.  He told a rather chilling story about four business men who were sent to Mexico on behalf of their company.  The actual facility they were working at was under 24 armed guard protection.  The guys were told under no circumstances to leave the compound after dark.  However, they decided it wouldn't be a problem to slip out for a quick bite to eat.  They were ambushed less than 10 minutes from the compound.  Shots were fired.  Their vehicle was stolen along with their identification and money.  They were extremely lucky to have gotten away with their lives.  They had to walk back to the compound while fearing another ambush then when they got to the compound the guards wouldn't let them in because they had no identification.  It was a nightmare to get everything straightened out!  Without photo identification they could not even report the crime to the Agencia del Ministerio P├║blico although they could report the theft of their identification to the Mexican authorities and the Embassy of Canada.

This whole incident could have turned out considerably worse than it did but this is the very reason official travel advisories are issued in the first place!  The Government of Canada does what it can to protect its citizens.  It cannot protect citizens from themselves if they choose not to heed the advisory or fail to listen to warnings once at their destination.  Any type of travel even within Canada has a risk element but that increases when traveling outside of Canada.  Be an informed traveller especially when traveling outside of Canada.  Pay particular attention to advisories and warnings.  Educate yourself on the laws where you will be staying as well.


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