Travel Tips

VISITORS FROM THE USA

Visitors from all countries but the US need a valid passport.  Photo ID, proof of citizenship and residence are mandatory for U.S.  citizens (though a passport is preferred).  This process is subject to change when the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), is put into effect. Passports, NEXUS Air cards or Merchant Mariner Documents (MMDs) will be required for all air travel from within the Western Hemisphere for citizens of the US, Canada, Mexico and Bermuda. It is anticipated that US citizens traveling between the US and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda by land or sea (including ferries) may be required to present a valid US passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security. To prevent delay at all ports of entry, we encourage all US citizens, including children, to obtain a passport before traveling. What is the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative? The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) will require all travelers, including US citizens, to and from the America’s to carry a passport or other accepted document that establishes the bearer’s identity and nationality to enter or re-enter the United States. This is a change from prior travel requirements. The goal is to strengthen border security and facilitate entry into the United States for US citizens and legitimate international travelers. For information, including Customs Information for visitors to Canada and seasonal residents contact:

1-800-461-9999
www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel/visitors-e.html

VISITORS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

All persons coming into Canada as visitors, other than American citizens, must be in possession of a valid national passport or other recognized travel documents and visas if required. Visas must be obtained in advance from a Canadian Embassy or Canadian Consulate outside Canada.

BRINGING GOODS TO CANADA FOR PERSONAL USE

Visitors are not allowed to carry a weapon (a firearm, mace or any other spray) to be used against humans for self-defense in Canada. Contact information about the restrictions on importing firearms is provided in another section on this page. You may bring bona fide gifts worth up to $60.00 (Canadian) each for your friends or family in Canada without paying duty, provided these do not consist of tobacco or alcoholic beverages.

RESTRICTIONS ON ITEMS FOR PERSONAL USE

Alcohol

Those meeting the age requirement of British Columbia (19) may bring in either: 1.14 litres (40 oz) of liquor or 1.5 litres (51 oz) or 2 x 750 ml of wine, or in lieu, 8.6 litres (288 oz) of beer or ale.

Tobacco

Visitors meeting the age requirement of British Columbia (19) may bring the following amounts of tobacco into Canada without paying duty: • up to 50 cigars • 200 cigarettes • 200 grams (8 oz) of tobacco. This does not apply to merchandise or articles intended for other persons or for sale.

Drugs for Medical Use

Prescription drugs should be clearly identified and carried in the original packaging with a label specifying both what they are and that they are being used under prescription. It is recommended to bring a copy of your prescription and the contact number of your doctor. Diabetics and others who have to bring syringes with them should carry some kind of evidence of their need for use.

HEALTH INSURANCE & HOSPITALS

The vast majority of hospitals in Canada are publicly managed and rates are set by the provincial and hospital authorities. Your regular health insurance will likely offer extended coverage while you are in Canada. However, it is always wise to purchase extra travel insurance before leaving on any trip.

SALES TAX

Goods & Services Tax

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) 7% BC rate has been added to the 5% federal Goods and Services Tax (GST). This combined 12% tax is called the HST.  BC’s 7% Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and 8% Hotel Room Tax (HRT) have been eliminated. As of July 1, 2010, there is no PST, HRT or GST in British Columbia – only the HST..

ANIMAL COMPANIONS

All animals must be accompanied by their owners when entering Canada. Owners of dogs and cats must bring a certificate issued by a licensed American or Canadian veterinarian clearly identifying the pet and certifying that it has been vaccinated against rabies during the previous 36 months. An exception is made for puppies or kittens that are younger than three months old. Seeing eye dogs are allowed into Canada without restriction. Canadian law also guarantees that anyone using seeing-eye dogs may bring them into restaurants, hotels and other businesses. For further information on the entry of pets, please contact:

Entry of Pets:
Toll Free: 1-888-732-6222
Tel: (604) 666-9240 (outside Canada/US)
www.inspection.gc.ca

HUNTING

REVOLVERS, PISTOLS AND FULL AUTOMATIC FIREARMS ARE PROHIBITED ENTRY INTO CANADA.

• Contact Canada Customs or the RCMP for details before bringing firearms into Canada. • Hunters can obtain provincial licensing details from Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection offices, government agents or any authorized licensing office. All hunters should carry a current copy of the BC Hunting and Trapping Regulations synopsis. Hunting and fishing are subject to the laws of each province and to those of the Federal government. To learn more about the regulations and license requirements contact:

Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection - Wildlife Branch
PO Box 9363, Stn Prov Govt Victoria, BC Canada V8W 9M2
Toll Free: 1-800-663-7867

FIREARMS IN CANADA

To enter Canada with a restricted firearm, individuals must obtain an Authorization to Transport (ATT) from a provincial or territorial Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) before arriving at the border. For further information regarding the importation of firearms in Canada contact:

Canadian Firearms Centre
1-800-731-4000
www.cfc-cafc.gc.ca

METRIC SYSTEM

Here are some handy comparisons that will help you with Canadian signs and fuel prices. A kilometre (km) is approximately six-tenths (0.6) of a mile. Use the following formula to estimate speed limits and distances: 25 km = 15 miles 70 km = 45 miles 40 km = 25 miles 90 km = 55 miles 50 km = 30 miles 100 km = 60 miles For example: in a 50 km-per-hour zone, you should drive 30 miles per hour; in a 100 km-per hour zone, you should drive 60 miles per hour. Fuel in Canada is sold in litres. It takes 3.78 litres to make a U.S. gallon.

MOTOR VEHICLE ACT

The Province of British Columbia enforces the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). Please be aware of the total permissible weight for your vehicle. For further information:

Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC)
Tel: (250) 414-7900
Toll Free: 1-800-559-9688 (North America) 24 hrs/7 days a week www.icbc.com

TEMPERATURES

Temperatures in Canada are measured in Celsius. To convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit multiply by 9/5, then add 32; from Fahrenheit to Celsius, subtract 32, then multiply remainder by 5/9.

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures (º C) and (°F) for Northeastern British Columbia.

 

 
High °C
Low °C
High °F
Low °F
January
-15.2
-24.7
4.6
-12.5
February
-7.9
-18.8
17.8
-1.8
March
-2.0
-13.4
28.4
7.8
April
8.3
-3.5
46.9
25.7
May
16.0
2.9
60.8
37.2
June
19.7
7.4
67.5
45.3
July
21.9
9.6
71.4
49.3
August
20.6
8.2
69.1
46.8
September
15.0
3.4
59.0
38.1
October
8.0
-1.9
46.4
28.6
November
-3.6
-12.3
25.5
9.86
December
-11.4
-20.3
11.5
-4.5