OTTAWA — The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, and Ryan Leef, the Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced that Canadian residents will be able to bring a rental vehicle into Canada from the United States. They were joined by fellow border Members of Parliament John Williamson, MP for New Brunswick Southwest; Russ Hiebert, MP for South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale; and, Guy Lauzon, MP for for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry.
A revision to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA) will allow Canadian residents to temporarily import a U.S.-based rental vehicle for non-commercial purposes for a period up to 30 days. To facilitate access to Canadian tourism destinations and provide more flexibility for travellers, Canada's Economic Action Plan 2012 will also eliminate taxes on these vehicles for Canadians who have been outside of Canada for at least 48 hours, effective June 1, 2012.
"Our government is making cross-border travel easier for Canadians," said Minister Nicholson. "For example, a Canadian taking a cruise from San Francisco to Seattle can now rent a car in Seattle and drive it across the border to visit Vancouver; or, when a Canadian is visiting the U.S. and their car breaks down or they experience a last-minute flight cancellation, they now can rent a U.S. vehicle and return home safely."
"This important change will provide more options for Canadian travellers and benefit the tourism industry," said Minister of State Bernier. "Our government's top priority is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, and what's good for tourism is good for Canada's economy."
"The inability of Canadian residents to bring rental vehicles into Canada has been a long-standing irritant to Yukon's tourism industry," added MP Leef. "This change is great news for Yukon – it will improve access to our tourism destinations, encourage new visitors and benefit the local economy."
The Government of Yukon Territory has been particularly concerned about this issue, noting that this prohibition has been an impediment to tourism. For example, when Canadians take Alaskan cruises, they are unable to enter Canada from Alaska in U.S. rental vehicles. Transport Canada has received many requests for this change from Canadians, and the new amendment addresses this concern in an effective way.
Today's announcement is another example of the Government of Canada's commitment to building partnerships and strengthening Canada's tourism sector as outlined in the Federal Tourism Strategy (FTS). For more information on the FTS, please visit our website at www.tourism.gc.ca