Canadians heading to France face travel uncertainty, warned to be 'vigilant'
Flights scheduled to Paris from Pearson airport in Toronto, Trudeau airport in Montreal
Canadians travelling to and out of France faced the prospect of travel disruption in the wake of that country's decision to close its borders following multiple attacks in Paris.
French President François Hollande announced that borders would be closed and he was declaring a state of emergency in light of the string of attacks.
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However, France's foreign ministry said airports in that country would remain open and said train travel will continue.
Two flights left for Paris from Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Friday. Other flights are scheduled to depart later today from Toronto and Montreal.
Air Canada said it will waive any fees for passengers wishing to cancel or rebook flights on Friday or Saturday.
Greater Toronto Airports Authority spokeswoman Siobhan Desroches told CBC News that anyone in need of information on flights in or out of France should check for the latest information.
"The GTAA is urging all passengers scheduled to fly out of Toronto to France to check with their airline before heading to the airport," she said.
*It's up to the airlines to announce whether the flights are cancelled," Desroches said.
Canadians in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/France?src=hash">#France</a>: for emergency assistance, contact us at email@example.com or call collect at 1-613-996-8885 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/paris?src=hash">#paris</a> 2/2—@TravelGoC
Due to events in Paris, we ask all passengers flying to France to check their flight status with their airline.—@TorontoPearson
At YYZ waiting for flight to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Paris?src=hash">#Paris</a>. Hearing about <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ParisAttacks?src=hash">#ParisAttacks</a>, I won't be angry if flight is cancelled. Could be much worse. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/perspective?src=hash">#perspective</a>—@FamilyHarmony
The Canadian government continued to provide updates on Twitter with phone numbers for Canadians in France to call for emergency assistance.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/France?src=hash">#France</a>: State of emergency was declared in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Paris?src=hash">#Paris</a>. Remain indoors and follow the advice of local authorities <a href="https://t.co/JGsYfssX3z">https://t.co/JGsYfssX3z</a>—@TravelGoC
Canadians in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/France?src=hash">#France</a>: shootings, explosions in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Paris?src=hash">#Paris</a> caused several casualties. Be extremely vigilant 1/2—@TravelGoC
<a href="https://twitter.com/CBCToronto">@CBCToronto</a> I'm boarding this flight as I type this.—@FamilyHarmony
"Be extremely vigilant," the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development warned on Twitter.
Canadians in Paris are being advised, as well, to "remain indoors and follow advice of local authorities."
Canadians seeking information are advised to contact Foreign Affairs either online at firstname.lastname@example.org or they can call collect at 1-613-996-8885.
Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion expressed Canada's support for France in the "fight against terror," and said help is available to Canadians abroad.
"Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada's Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa and the Embassy of Canada in Paris are endeavouring to determine if Canadian citizens have been affected," Dion's statement said.
"Canadian citizens in Paris requiring emergency consular assistance are being advised to contact the Embassy of Canada in Paris at +33 (0)1 44 43 29 02," the statement said.
The state of emergency in France applies to all of that country's mainland territory and to Corsica.
Under French law, the state of emergency can be decided in the event of "imminent danger following serious breaches of law and order."
The state of emergency allows state authorities to forbid the movement of persons and vehicles at specific times and places. They can also define protected areas and safety areas where the movement of persons is controlled.
With files from The Associated Press