Travel Advisory: Beware of cold weather and rabies in Canada
Have you heard this about Canada: Rabies runs rampant, the air is so cold it can damage your lungs and drivers blast through red lights with such frequency that it’s a “serious concern?”
Take it all back, not at all true, but that’s what a handful of travel advisories say about the country.
–Government websites from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia are issuing online advice to travelers that offer a somewhat skewed picture,” says CanWest News Service.
“Having a sense of humor is a really good thing in this industry,” said Michelle Hynes, executive director of Tourism Nanaimo.
The US Department of State, in an online consular information sheet, refers to Canada as a highly developed nation, but goes on to warn of ice and snow creating hazardous driving conditions.
It also says rapid lane-changing without signaling and tailgating are common.
It cautions that “drivers should be aware that the frequency with which motorists run red lights is a serious concern throughout Canada.”
In the UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth office warns its residents to cover their mouths to protect their lungs in extremely cold weather and describes the Interior of British Columbia as a tornado zone.
The Web site also says rabies is a problem in most of Canada.
“You can’t help that stuff like that gets out there,” said Ms Hynes. “It could just be that some fellow from the (US) State Department was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he noticed two or three people ran a red light in the community he was in and decided that this was a problem in Canada.”
Said travel agent John Ruttan:
“I suspect a lot of them are convinced we’re living in igloos.”
Report by David Wilkening
Thursday, March 29, 2007
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