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Provincial Information in British Columbia
 
Taxes

The provincial sales tax is 7% except for Liquor which is 10%. An additional tax applied to most goods and services, the GST is an additional 7%. There is a program for visitors or tourists called the FORIEGN VISITOR REBATE (follow the link for details) which provides a rebate on GST taxes on certain expenditures.The claim must be made within 60 days.

Tipping

Tipping is expected for good service at a rate of 10 to 15% of the before tax total.

Language

Canada's official languages are French and English. In British Columbia the predominant language spoken is english.

Climate

The Vancouver area rarely has snow. The winters tend to be wet and cool, the summers are shirtsleeve and very comfortable but don't discount the possiblity of rain. When it's sunny in Vancouver, it can last for months. Once you leave the lower mainland the weather becomes more extreme (and more like the rest of Canada) and somewhat dryer. Outside of Vancouver in the Coast Mountains snow is the norm throughout the winter months.

Holidays

British Columbia shares the same holidays as the rest of Canada (see the VISITING CANADA section) with the exception of British Columbia Day which falls on August 7th in the year 2000 and August 6th in 2001.

Driving

You are permitted to turn right on red lights (once you've come to a stop and ascertained the way is clear). British Columbia is very strict in ensuring pedestrians have the right of way, so be alert when driving. Approach crosswalks and street corners with caution. Much of British Columbia is mountainous and driving conditions can deteriorate rapidly. In many areas snow is possible at any time of year. Check for road conditions and closures before setting out.

Provincial Information

Government

Regional Information

Vancouver Coast and Mountians - Southwestern British Columbia

Weather

Marine Forcasts

Temperatures - Vancouver

Although the average temperature in the summer months seems almost cool, the Vancouver area is definately T-shirt country in the summer. Be prepared for rain at any time of year but don't be when the sun shines, it shines, sometimes for as much as a month straight.

MONTH	  HIGH	LOW	HIGH	LOW
Jan 	  6C	1C	42.8F	33.8F
Feb	  8C	1C	46.4F	33.8F
March	  11C	3C	51.8F	37.4F
Apr	  14C	5C	57.2F	41F
May	  18C	8C	64.4F	46.4F
June	  21C	11C	69.8F	51.8F
July	  23C	13C	73.4F	55.4F
August	  23C	12C	73.4F	53.6F
Sept      19C	10C	66.2F	50F
Oct	  14C	7C	57.2F	44.6F
Nov	  9C	4C	48.2F	39.2F
Dec	  7C	2C	57.2F	35.6F

While it rarely snows in the city of Vancouver other areas of the Coast and Mountains may get plenty. Road closures on route to Whistler or the interior are certianly not impossible. Best to check before you go.