Canadians Reminded to Plan Ahead for Safe Travel
December 13, 2012 - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), today reminded Canadians of the importance of careful planning for safe travel.
“As the snow arrives across Canada, many Canadians turn their thoughts toward warmer climes,” said Minister Ablonczy. “Travelling can fulfill dreams—but it also carries some risk. Our government reminds Canadians planning to travel abroad this holiday season to read up in order to reduce risks and ensure their travels are safe and enjoyable.”
Before packing their suitcases, Canadians should know that Canada’s consular services operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week through a network of more than 260 offices in over 150 countries. This network includes embassies, high commissions and consulates.
Canadians travelling abroad should also understand that there are limits to the assistance consular officers can offer and that fees must be paid for some of their services.
Risks can be reduced with a little advance planning and by paying attention to the three Rs of international travel:
- Read up on relevant topics, such as security, local laws and culture, entry and exit requirements, and health, by consulting Country Travel Advice and Advisories.
- Register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service, which makes it easier for consular officers to contact and assist Canadians in distress.
- Reach consular officers at the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa to report problems abroad.
Although travellers are primarily responsible for their own safety and security, Canadian officials are there to help in emergencies.
A traveller should always carry an up-to-date Canadian passport—even when travelling to the United States. A valid passport is the only reliable and universally accepted identification document and proves that the holder has the right to return to Canada.
Before leaving home, Canadians should first visit Travel.gc.ca, an easy-to-use website that delivers useful travel-related information so that Canadians can make informed decisions about travelling and living abroad safely—and can truly enjoy their vacations.
Canadians anywhere in the world can also access the latest travel advice, crisis updates and emergency contact information wherever they may be through Travel.gc.ca’s Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds and email updates. And Canadian travellers should also check out Travel.gc.ca’s new mobile application, Travel Smart, for more Government of Canada information and services related to international travel.
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A backgrounder follows.
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)
Backgrounder - Consular Help Abroad
To see how consular officers can help Canadians experiencing emergencies abroad, please visit the following sections of Travel.gc.ca:
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