Much has been made in the news about Australia's new travel advisory to Canada, issued on Dec. 5, 2007. So I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon. (Wonder what took the media so long to see it, and who tipped them off?)
The advisory, in big bold typeface, warns Australians to "exercise caution and monitor developments that might affect your safety in Canada because of the risk of terrorist attack." Yes, because Canada is so much more dangerous than Bali where Australians have gotten blown up, not once but at least twice. Well, there was the arrest several years ago of a terrorist at the Canada/US border, then the mass arrest of bomb plotters in Toronto, and wasn't there a kidnapping and murder a few decades ago. Yup, we're obviously the snowy resort equivalent of Bali. Even worse, we seem to be able to catch them before they go ka-boom. Terribly dangerous that level of efficiency and effectiveness.
Because Aussies are a bit daft and may consider Canada as safe as Australia, their government reiterates the warning, loudly proclaiming them to "Pay close attention to your personal security and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks." You just never know when the next Jane-Finch gang banger will hunt down and target an Aussie as he's shopping for the warm clothes he didn't realise he'd need in the Great White North, the moniker being a bit obtuse for his sun-soaked head.
In big bold letters they continue to urge the smart Aussie traveller to get travel insurance (first thing that makes sense on this site), register his travel and contact details because you just never know when Canada will blow up into all-out war like Lebanon did a couple of years ago and the Australian government will have to get their citizens out quick, and lastly subscribe so he can get up-to-the-minute breathless warnings about the dangerous Great White North.
Scrolling down the page, I expect to find the summary. But nope, another repeat of the warning that Canada is a terrorist attack risk (did Al-Quaeda tell the Australian government something about us that they didn't tell our own or post on the web?). BE CAREFUL!!!!
Eventually they settle into reality, stating that our crime rate is the same as theirs (I wonder...), that you gotta be careful driving in snowy conditions (something our own governments need to bonk Ontarians over the head with), that wind chill is nasty (but they don't explain what it is, not very helpful, but then they did need to expend all their energy warning about the terrorist risk). And then they go off into la-la land again. BC is an active earthquake zone. Really? How come none of my west coast friends have been telling me about all the shaking going on over there? Where are the juicy details? Sheesh. And you gotta watch out for those bush fires that pop up all over the country at any moment, even in the winter apparently, because the speedy way our authorities warn and evacuate people is waaayyyy too effective. Lastly, don't forget the tsunamis that crash against our Pacific coast, sans any warning of course as Australia must think Canada doesn't subscribe to the tsunami warning system. Maybe they're not aware of it themselves... 'Twould be useful for their own country, I would think.
Now then, about our laws. Apparently, they're rather harsh compared to Aussie standards. That rather boggles my mind. At least the Australian government will help their citizens if they get in trouble, more than I can say for our own government.
It is amusing looking at how a fellow Commonwealth country views us. I'm sure they're just as amused by Canadian government advisories against visiting Australia...Are there any?