1.1 The Equalized Travel Plan provides centralized administration for the logistics associated with the round-trip transportation of participants from the region’s designated airport 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 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 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.
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 the anticipated number of participants in the Plan for the year. The deadline for payment of the deposit shall be in December. The balance shall be paid by a due date established by Youth Science Canada.
2.3 If a region reduces the number of participants before the payment deadline, a refund shall be credited, less the deposit, for the cancelled flights.
2.4 Regions may request an increase to the number of participants, within their allocation, by April 30. These requests shall be fulfilled subject to availability, additional fees and taxes.
2.5 The Travel Plan shall be responsible for transportation of participants to and from the CWSF destination airport only on the official arrival/departure dates established by Youth Science Canada. All regions are expected to travel on the official travel dates.
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 designated for air travel shall confirm their departure airport as part of annual affiliation. Changes to the departure airport prior to April 30 may be accommodated, subject to additional fees and taxes.
3.3 Regions designated for air travel will normally receive a tentative flight schedule by March.
3.4 Regions shall confirm passenger names in the online registration system within 7 days of the end of their regional fair, or by April 30, whichever is earlier.
3.5 Regions designated for air travel are responsible for transportation to their designated airport.
3.6 Regions shall be responsible for all baggage fees.
3.7 Youth Science Canada will not be responsible for additional costs associated with lost tickets, missed connections or other unforeseen events.
4 Overnight Travel Accommodations
4.1 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.
4.2 Finalists shall be accommodated in separate rooms according to gender. Supervising adults shall not share rooms with finalists unless they are a parent/guardian of the finalist.
4.3 Regions requiring overnight accommodation may claim actual meal costs, not exceeding the designated maximum.
5 Surface Travel
5.1 Youth Science Canada designates which affiliated regions shall use surface travel based on an approximate six-hour surface travel radius from the CWSF site.
5.2 Regions located more than six 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 if Youth Science Canada is notified upon affiliation.
5.3 All regions using surface travel pay the same travel fee as regions travelling by air.
5.4 Regions designated as surface travel shall indicate their preference between YSC-organized and self-organized surface travel as part of affiliation.
5.5 YSC-organized surface travel shall be by commercial provider (e.g., VIA Rail, charter highway coach, etc.)
5.6 Self-organized surface travel may include:
- regularly scheduled commercial surface travel (e.g., bus)
- rental of a passenger van (maximum of approximately 500 km each way and 1 vehicle per 5 or fewer CWSF participants)
- use of personal vehicles (maximum of approximately 500 km each way and 1 vehicle per 3 or fewer CWSF participants)
5.7 Use of rental or personal vehicles must include:
- Driver(s) with a valid license to operate the vehicle
- Liability insurance coverage to a minimum of two million ($2,000,000)
5.8 All surface travel must remain within Canada.
6 Travel Deviations
6.1 A travel deviation is a request for a change in travel (e.g., late arrival/early departure) for one or more participants to accommodate participation in another event, family plans, etc.
6.2 Travel deviation requests are managed and approved by the Travel Coordinator.
6.3 A travel deviation request shall be approved if all of the following conditions are met:
- for finalists under 18 years of age, the Regional Coordinator has received a written request from a parent/guardian;
- a Travel Deviation Request Form is submitted by the Regional Coordinator to the CWSF Travel Coordinator; requests from anyone other than the Regional Coordinator (e.g., a parent) will be redirected to the Regional Coordinator;
- finalists and project displays will be present from the start of judging to the end of public viewing;
- the region accepts responsibility for the organization and cost of additional transfers to/from the CWSF destination airport;
- the region accepts responsibility for all additional travel costs (i.e. change fees, increased airfare, etc.); and
- a minimum supervision ratio of 1 delegate to 5 finalists is maintained for the region at the CWSF and during travel.
7 Expense Claims
7.1 Following the CWSF, regions using self-organized surface travel may submit a claim to Youth Science Canada for eligible expenses including:
- regularly scheduled commercial surface travel (e.g., bus) tickets
- rental of a passenger van – paid invoice and fuel receipts (maximum of approximately 500 km each way and 1 vehicle per 5 or fewer CWSF participants)
- use of a personal vehicle - total km x Youth Science Canada approved rate (maximum of approximately 500 km each way and 1 vehicle per 3 or fewer CWSF participants)
- other surface travel expenses approved in advance by Youth Science Canada.
7.2 Regions designated for surface travel may not claim meals and/or overnight accommodations.
7.3 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.
7.4 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.
7.5 All claims for expenses incurred under this policy must be submitted and received by Youth Science Canada by June 30 of the CWSF year. No reimbursement will be made after this deadline.
7.6 All expense claims must include copies of receipts supporting the amounts claimed. No reimbursement will be made for claims without receipts.
8 Project Shipping
8.1 Regions are responsible for the shipping of any project materials that cannot be transported in baggage or as hand luggage. Fees associated with shipping are not covered under the Equalized Travel Plan.