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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

Nearing the end of its four-year mandate, the Liberal Party remains in firm control of the federal government, though its standing with the public has diminished significantly since allegations that the government interfered in an investigation regarding SNC-Lavalin. This has raised the prospect that the opposition Conservatives will win the upcoming scheduled October 2019 federal elections or that the Liberals will not obtain a clear majority. Government relations with some provincial governments have grown strained, especially with the new United Conservative government in Alberta, a trend that is likely to continue. Canadians mostly support the government in its attempts to manage the recent US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade renegotiations and Canada’s broader relationship with the US. Regulations continue to differ significantly between provinces and barriers continue to impede interprovincial trade.Right-wing protests have intensified, particularly surrounding illegal immigration in Quebec, sparking sporadic left-wing riots in opposition. Risks of protests by indigenous and left-wing activists targeting natural resource projects, which are moderately likely to include low-level property damage, as well as intermittent jihadist plots, remain.Canada’s real GDP was revised downward a touch to 1.9% in 2019, owing to expectations of softer-paced growth in both household spending and fixed investment. Real GDP growth for 2020 will remain at 2.0%, with the economy maintaining a 1.9–2.0% cruising speed through the forecast horizon.The Bank of Canada will remain on the sidelines for the time being, holding the policy interest rate at 1.75% as the Governing Council continues to point to lingering risks weighing on growth. As economic activity picks up in the coming months, the bank is expected to raise rates in the second quarter, with one more hike this year occurring in the fourth quarter.
Last update: July 26, 2019

Operational Outlook

The operational environment in Canada is attractive and stable, and has attracted significant levels of foreign investment, although some restrictions remain on foreign investment. The overall environment is pro-business, although this marginally differs by sector. 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. Some provinces have higher levels of regulation than others. The federal-provincial nature of the government entails comparatively high levels of bureaucratic complexity.

Last update: May 11, 2019

Terrorism

Moderate

Although some of the most high-profile attempted and realised terrorist attacks involve homegrown jihadist sympathisers, right-wing domestic terrorism is rising. 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 and anti-globalisation activists.

Last update: June 21, 2019

Crime

Despite the problems posed by drug and human trafficking and the activities of organised crime gangs, Canada overall remains a very low-risk country with respect to crime. According to Statistics Canada, in 2017, police-reported crime (measured by both the crime rate and a crime severity index) has fallen by 23% since 2003; property crime has decreased by 39%. The provinces and territories with the largest crime were Nunavut, Yukon, and the Northern Territories.

Last update: May 10, 2019

War Risks

Although maritime sovereignty and resource disputes exist with numerous countries, armed conflict and shoot-down risks are very low. 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 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.

Last update: May 10, 2019

Social Stability

Elevated

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 private and government 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: May 10, 2019

Health Risk

Low

Vaccines Required to Enter the Country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Vaccines Recommended for All Travelers

Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).

Vaccines Recommended for Some Travelers

Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.

Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.

Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Very 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: April 5, 2019

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: April 5, 2019

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: April 5, 2019