Published: Fri, March 17, 2017
Global | By Doris Richards

Canadian Girl Guides to Cancel US Visits After Trump Travel Ban

Canadian Girl Guides to Cancel US Visits After Trump Travel Ban

The Girl Guides of Canada are cancelling all travel to the United States because of fears girls might have trouble at the border due to travel restrictions enacted by President Donald Trump.

In an announcement, the organization said no new trips to the USA would be approved, and any troops with existing plans would be contacted with next steps.

The Girl Guides of Canada, essentially Canada's version of the Girl Scouts, is refusing to approve trips to the US because of President Trump's travel ban executive order.

In a joint statement by global commissioner Sharron Callahan and director of provincial operations Holly Thompson as reported by the CBC, the scouting organization notes that "While the United States is a frequent destination for Guiding trips, the ability of all our members to equally enter this country is now uncertain".

The Girl Guides of Canada has chapters in provinces across the country and some 70,000 members.

The Girl Guides issued a statement, calling it a "very hard decision to make".

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The group's ban on travel to the USA includes any flights that have a connection through an American airport.

Exact figures of how many trips that are already planned were not available, but Kiriliuk said in a year between 700 and 800 girls travel to the US and various other worldwide locations. The group also announced that a trip to a camp in California planned for this summer would now be held elsewhere.

Kiriliuks said the Girl Guides don't want to take the risk with all the uncertainty. "We're an inclusive and a diverse organization, and this is just an extension of that".

The Greater Essex County School Board in southwestern Ontario decided in February to cancel a handful of trips over concerns of safety and equity, while districts in southern Vancouver Island debated whether to ban all or handle each trip on a case-by-case basis.

The release does not specifically mention the new 90-day ban on citizens of six mostly Muslim nations but in the statement, the organisation said that "we know our members value the safe, inclusive and accepting space that Guiding provides". It also suspends admission of refugees for 120 days.

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