TORONTO – Girl Guides of Canada says it will not approve any new travel to the United States.
The organization says it decided to cancel future trips due to uncertainty over whether all of its members would equally be allowed to enter the U.S.
It says in a statement that the organization values providing safe, inclusive and accepting experiences to its members, including when travelling.
Although the U.S. is a “frequent destination” for its members, the organization says all trips including travel that requires connecting through an American airport will not be approved.
The statement says provincial advisers on international travel will contact a small number of groups that were already approved for trips to the United States about how they should proceed.
A nationally sponsored trip to a camp in California that was scheduled for this summer is also being relocated.
“This was a very difficult decision to make,” the statement says. “We hope that members will appreciate this reflects our commitment to inclusivity and equal opportunities for all girls and women.”
The organization is not the first to ban children’s trips to the United States.
Several schools and school districts across Canada debated going ahead with trips south of the border following the first executive order issued by President Donald Trump that imposed travel restrictions to citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.
A Winnipeg junior high school cancelled a trip by its track team to Minnesota in January because it wasn’t certain all students would be able to cross the border.
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 U.S. travel or handle each trip on a case-by-case basis.