Should I Register with Global Affairs Canada?
The Coronavirus, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, floods, volcanoes, and riots. These are just a few of the natural disasters and emergencies that have triggered global affairs Canada to reach out to Canadians living abroad. It's a great system that, albeit not flawless, the Canadian government, regardless of who is in parliament, has he used in the past. However, it has one major flaw. Well, maybe not a flaw, but certainly a limitation and it's this, it only works if Canadians register. You can register before you go abroad or after you set up, but it's free both in terms of cost and risk.
Currently, only a small percentage of Canadians who live abroad have actually registered. This has some interesting implications. First and foremost, in the case of an emergency, the Canadian government office nearest your location will not be able to contact you. Second, and perhaps more importantly, there is no way for the Canadian government to know exactly how many Canadians live in your area without a significant percentage of Canadians in the area registering.
There's the chance that Global Affairs Canada might think that there are very few Canadians in the region when in actuality there might be a significant number. It's estimated that just a small percentage of Canadians register. Because of that, when the Canadian government is looking to allocate resources to a specific region for an emergency, they're going to be left short of what actually might be required. It's also important to note that the number of known Canadians that are registered in an area also impacts decisions that are made even in nonemergency situations. Resources for consular services are based on necessity, so it stands to reason that if the country knows that there are a large number of Canadians in a specific area, they'll allocate more resources there. Now, some may say, I don't want to register because I don't want the Canadian government tracking me down.
Really? Do you really think you're that important?
And it's often these people that are the first to complain that there's little communication between the government of Canada and the community. Look, I'm not going to make excuses for errors that the government may have made in the past. Some of these situations are a lot more complex than what some people might think, but the bottom line is this. Communication is a two-way street and in a world where most people would rather the government not be initiating contact, it falls on us to make that contact first. It just makes sense, and registering online is so simple.
For your sake and for the sake of other Canadian ex-pats in your region, we suggest that you go and take five minutes and register.
This article is a transcript from our YouTube video: https://youtu.be/4dQ5VsPq0yE
Please watch the video and subscribe for more.