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Country Reports

Canada Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

The October 2015 general election awarded power to the Liberals with a clear majority. Two significant strands of the Liberal election platform were new infrastructure spending and adjustments to federal tax policies. These policies are intended to boost the economy, which slowed as global commodity prices slumped. Tax changes have now largely been introduced, with opposition centred on reforms to the use of private corporations to reduce individuals' personal income tax burdens. Regulations continue to differ between provinces. Provincial sovereignty movements, and First Nations environmental and land rights protests have eased modestly since the election, while right-wing protests have intensified, particularly surrounding illegal immigration in Quebec, sparking left-wing riots inopposition. Low-level terrorist activities by left-wing activists targeting natural resource projects, as well as intermittent jihadist plots, remain.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Operational Outlook

The operational environment in Canada is attractive and stable, and has attracted high levels of foreign investment. Nevertheless, some restrictions remain on foreign investment, and investors may have conditions placed upon them if transactions exceed certain thresholds. The overall environment is pro-business, although this marginally differs by sector and province. Union activity is relatively high, and protests by aboriginal groups can disrupt operations. There has been controversy over the expansion of the energy industry and the development of various pipelines, particularly those which traverse or terminate in environmentally sensitive areas. The federal-provincial nature of the government entails comparatively high levels of bureaucratic complexity.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Terrorism

Moderate

Although some of the most high-profile attempted and realised terrorist attacks involve homegrown jihadist sympathisers, right-wing domestic terrorism is on the rise. Overall, jihadist activity within Canada is relatively rare, although it does occur, normally from "lone wolves" inspired by Islamic militant groups. Similar attacks have taken place by right-wing lone actors, such as gun attacks on police officers in New Brunswick in 2014 and on mosque-goers in Québec in 2017. Other terrorist activity involves low-level incidents conducted by environmental, animal rights, and anti-globalisation activists.

Last update: March 27, 2018

War Risks

Low

Although maritime sovereignty and resource disputes exist with numerous countries, armed conflict and shoot-down risks are negligible. Despite increased militarisation of the arctic, a region in which Canada has a leading interest, the likelihood of war on or near Canadian soil is very low. As part of a commitment to a more assertive foreign policy, Canada recently announced CAD62 billion in new defence spending to modernise and develop its military, lending capabilities to a force still unlikely to be deployed on a large scale except in response to natural disasters. Spillover threat from a conflict between the United States and North Korea exists.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Social Stability

Moderate

There is a small risk of attacks on commercial and police assets by environmental activists, aboriginal land-rights advocates, anarchist groups, and far-right actors. Most civil disobedience is likely to be peaceful, although some destruction of property is moderately likely at larger-scale protests. Environmentalists have become increasingly concerned by the development of oil-sands projects, and numerous legal challenges have been mounted and protests initiated.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Health Risk

Low

Vaccinations required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: November 27, 2013

Natural Risks

High

Due to the fact that Canada is vulnerable to an array of natural risks, travelers should take certain precautions depending on the season in which they plan to visit.

From the end of autumn until the arrival of spring, major snowstorms and below-freezing temperatures can cause disruptions to transportation and daily life throughout the country. However, local governments and populations are well equipped and experienced in dealing with winter weather. Local forecasts are available at the Weather Network website

From May until September, tornadoes can strike central regions, particularly in southern Ontario (25 per year on average), Alberta (ten), southeastern Quebec (six), and Saskatchewan (14), with a peak of storms in June and July. Further information is available on the Canadian government's Environment and Climate Change website

Tropical storms and their remnants can hit the northeast of the country (e.g. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland). The North Atlantic hurricane season extends from June 1 to November 30. See the US National Hurricane Center website for information regarding tropical storms. 

Canada experiences annual summer wildfires that can disrupt travel, communication, and electricity infrastructure. A major forest fire Alberta and Saskatchewan provinces in May-June 2016, forcing the evacuation of Fort McMurray, Alberta, and leading to the suspension of flights at the city's airport (YMM) for several days. The fire destroyed more than 2000 buildings in Fort McMurray and in total affected 590,000 hectares (1,500,000 acres) of land.

The province of British Colombia and the Yukon Territory (west) are situated in an active seismic zone. There is also the risk of a tsunami hitting coastal British Colombia in the event of an offshore earthquake.

Last update: February 13, 2018

Transportation

Moderate

While primary and secondary roads are generally in good condition, winter snows can make driving difficult, particularly for individuals not used to such conditions. Make sure cars are equipped with snow tires if traveling in the country in the winter months. Roads, including major highways, may be closed in the event of snow storms or avalanches.

Public transportation and taxis are safe nationwide.

Snow storms also regularly result in flight delays and cancelations, as well as other transportation disruptions.

Last update: February 13, 2018

Practical Information

Climate

Canada's climate varies by region.

In the south, summers are hot and dry and winters cold but often sunny between snow storms. Milder temperatures return in March-April. During the months of May, June, and September days are hot but nights are cool. Colder weather returns in November.

In the west, along the Pacific coast, the climate is mild and wet; winters are very rainy and temperatures are pleasant in the summer.

In the Rocky Mountains, conditions are cool, dry, and sunny in the summer months.

The east experiences hot summers and cold winters.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +1
Police: 911
Fire Dept.: 911
Ambulance: 911

Electricity

Voltage: 120 V ~ 60 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: November 20, 2013