Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Ignorant Canadian Travellers

Canadian Minister of State Lynne Yelich
We find it amusing that the Canadian Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular) Lynne Yelich issued a statement to remind Canadians traveling this winter that their passport is not a "get out of jail free" card.

"Last year, Canadians took more than 65 million trips abroad. While the majority of these trips went off without a hitch, Canadian consular officials stand ready to provide assistance when Canadians find themselves in serious trouble abroad," she says.

"While Canadian officials strive to provide the best possible consular assistance to Canadians in all regions of the world, the Government of Canada cannot stress enough that a Canadian passport is not a 'get out of jail free' card.

She says that Canadians are subject to local legal procedures and processes that can be different from Canada, and stresses the government cannot intervene in these situations.

However Yelich does say Canadian consular officials will try to ensure the well-being of Canadians who are in trouble or detained abroad by contacting family members and advocating for fair treatment as well as basic nutrition.

After her stern reminder there is information about the 260 Canadian consular offices around the world in more than 150 countries that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help Canadians in trouble.

However, there is a list of actual requests consular officials have received which is shocking:

- ship emergency supplies of maple syrup;
- drive you to chase down the thief who stole your purse;
- help you research your family tree;
- help you redeem Aeroplan points;
- as your significant other to let you back into the apartment;
- chauffeur your poodle through the airport;
- help you avoid court appearances or jail time if you break the law in another country;
- pay your hospital bill because you did not think purchasing travel medical insurance was necessary.

Yikes. Are Canadians really that ignorant when it comes to going abroad?

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