1.1 The Equalized Travel Plan provides centralized administration for the logistics associated with the round trip transportation of participants to the CWSF host city. Travel arrangements are made by Youth Science Canada. The best possible group rates through a travel agent are obtained at the time of booking.
1.2 The objectives of the plan are to equalize the cost of travel for regional CWSF participants across Canada in any particular year and to protect against significant fluctuation of travel cost to the regions and Youth Science Canada within a particular year. This plan ensures that all regions have access to affordable travel, regardless of the location of the CWSF, and makes participation from remote regions possible.
1.3 Participation is mandatory for all affiliated regions, including the CWSF Host Committee’s region.
1.4 Participation in the plan is restricted to finalists, delegates, alternate delegates and support adults.
2.1 A travel fee shall be determined after consultation with commercial air and surface carriers, designated travel agent(s), and considering recent participation patterns, the distribution of participants across Canada and the location of the CWSF. This fee shall be announced to regions no later than October 1 in the year preceding travel.
2.2 The travel fee shall be payable to Youth Science Canada and comprises two payments, which may be combined with other fees:
- All regions shall pay a non-refundable deposit based on their expected number of participants in the Plan for the year. The deadline for payment shall be in December.
- The balance shall be paid by a due date in March established by Youth Science Canada.
- Funds for travel will be credited, less deposit for cancelled flights, if participant numbers are reduced before the deadline as established in the annual Affiliation Guide.
2.3 Regions designated for air travel will normally receive a tentative flight schedule in March. No changes of departure city are permitted after the payment due date in March unless previously approved by the travel coordinator. No changes will be made after airline tickets are processed. Youth Science Canada will not be responsible for additional costs associated with lost tickets, missed connections or other unforeseen events.
2.4 Regions shall confirm passenger names in the online registration system within 7 days of the end of their regional fair, or April 30, whichever is earlier.
2.5 All regions are expected to travel on the official travel dates as established by Youth Science Canada.
Requests for travel deviations (late arrival/early departure) will only be considered if requested in a timely fashion (i.e., within 7 days of your fair or before the tickets are processed). Final authority for approval rests with the Chair of the NPAC.
Criteria for approval include:
- request is made by the regional coordinator to the CWSF Travel Coordinator with a copy to the applicable Zone Rep and NPAC Chair,
- finalist(s) will be present from the start of judging to the end of the awards ceremony (no exceptions);
- requested change is accommodated within the Travel Plan; any increase in airfare will be invoiced to the region;
- region accepts responsibility for the organization and cost of transfers to/from CWSF destination airport.
- Regions will be responsible for all extra cost associated with an approved travel deviation request (i.e. change ticket fee, increase airfare, etc)
- Travel deviation requests for delegates, alternate delegates, or support adults separate from finalists are not permitted.
2.6 Surplus funds generated by the travel plan in any particular year shall be partially credited to the regions in the next year and partially retained to stabilize the travel costs in future years. A deficit generated by the travel plan in any particular year will reduce the accumulated surplus and, if necessary, may be charged to regions in the next year.
3 Air Travel
3.1 Youth Science Canada shall arrange for economical air travel giving consideration to fares, scheduling, and flexibility as well as airline deposit requirements, change fees, incentives and refund policies. Regions shall not have a choice of airline.
3.2 Regions shall be responsible for all baggage fees.
4 Surface Travel
4.1 Youth Science Canada designates which affiliated regions shall use surface travel based on an eight-hour surface travel radius from the CWSF site. . Regions requiring surface travel greater than 5 hours shall arrive at least 24 hours before the start of judging. All regions using surface travel pay the same travel fee as regions travelling by air.
4.2 Youth Science Canada shall coordinate or arrange commercial surface travel (e.g., VIA Rail, Coach Canada, Greyhound) unless otherwise specified.
- Commercial surface travel is required for regions greater than 200 km from the CWSF site to ensure appropriate liability insurance coverage for Youth Science Canada and the supervising adults.
- Commercial surface travel is strongly recommended for regions within 200 km of the CWSF.
4.3 Except where commercial surface transportation cannot be arranged by Youth Science Canada, the use of personal or rental vehicles to transport CWSF participants (other than the driver’s immediate family members) greater than 200 km shall not be permitted.
4.4 Regions that are more than eight hours surface travel distance from the CWSF site and who desire, for their own convenience, to use commercial surface travel, may be permitted to do so, providing Youth Science Canada is notified upon affiliation.
5 Expense claims
5.1 Following the CWSF, regions permitted at affiliation by Youth Science Canada to make their own surface travel arrangements may submit a claim form to Youth Science Canada for eligible travel expenses to and from the CWSF site. Eligible expenses include:
- commercial surface travel (e.g., rail, highway coach) tickets
- rental of a passenger van - paid invoice and fuel receipts (maximum of 400 km and 1 vehicle per 5 or fewer CWSF participants)
- use of a personal vehicle - total km x Youth Science Canada approved rate (maximum of 400 km and 1 vehicle per 3 or fewer CWSF participants)
- other surface travel expenses approved in advance by Youth Science Canada.
5.2 Regions designated for surface travel may not claim the following:
- meals and/or overnight accommodations.
5.3 A region’s total surface travel claim shall not exceed the cost of commercial surface or air travel for the region, as determined by Youth Science Canada.
5.4 Regions electing to make their own travel arrangements without written approval from Youth Science Canada shall not be eligible to claim expenses and shall be responsible to Youth Science Canada for all costs associated with unused travel.
5.5 All claims for expenses incurred in a calendar year under this policy must be submitted and received by Youth Science Canada by June 30 of that calendar year. No reimbursement will be made after this deadline under any circumstances.
5.6 All expense claims must include original receipts supporting the amounts claimed, where applicable. No reimbursement will be made to claims without receipts.
6 Overnight Travel Accommodations
6.1 YSC in its best efforts will limit the travel time for regions.
6.2 Where it is necessary for Youth Science Canada to include an overnight stay during air travel, the region shall be responsible for making reservations, paying the bill and submitting an expense claim with receipts to Youth Science Canada for reimbursement.
6.3 Finalists shall be accommodated in separate rooms according to gender. Supervising adults (e.g., delegates and alternate delegates) shall not share rooms with finalists unless they are a parent/guardian of the finalist.
6.4 Regions requiring overnight accommodation may claim actual meal costs, not exceeding the designated maximum.
7 Cancellation or Changes to Airline Tickets
7.1 The travel agent is not authorized to make any changes to the travel arrangements without Youth Science Canada’s approval.
7.2 No changes will be made after tickets are processed.
8 Project Shipping
8.1 Regions are responsible for the shipping of all project materials. Oversize or overweight items may not be accommodated as luggage and may need to be shipped by courier or commercial shipper. CWSF volunteers and other contractors may refuse to move oversize or overweight items in accordance with local health and safety guidelines; regions may be required to make special arrangements for these items.
8.2 Projects to be shipped by air must be properly packaged to prevent damage, and arrangements must be made to ship by air cargo or by courier to the CWSF site. Regions are responsible for all shipping costs.
8.3 Each air carrier determines its own baggage regulations and may charge for extra or oversize pieces of luggage. These charges are not covered under the Equalized Travel Plan.
9 Local Transportation
9.1 The Travel Plan shall be responsible for transportation of all CWSF participants only on the official arrival/departure dates.
- When the arrival/departure point is in the host city, the local organizing committee shall be responsible for transportation of all CWSF participants between the host city arrival/departure point (i.e., airport, VIA station) and the CWSF residence/campus.
- When the arrival/departure point is not in the host city (e.g., CWSF in Peterborough, arriving in Toronto), the Travel Plan shall be responsible for transportation of all CWSF participants between the arrival/departure point (i.e., airport, VIA station) and the CWSF residence/campus;
9.2 Regions are responsible for the cost and coordination of transportation between the host city arrival/departure point (i.e., airport, VIA station) and the CWSF residence/campus for any finalist with an approved travel deviation (i.e., finalist is arriving late and/or departing early).
9.3 Youth Science Canada shall be responsible for the cost and coordination of transportation between the host city arrival/departure point (i.e., airport, VIA station) and the CWSF residence/campus for other CWSF participants (i.e., YSC staff, NPAC, NJC) arriving/departing outside of the “official” arrival/departure dates.