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Electronic border clearance

The Canadian government is introducing pre-travel electronic clearances for citizens of many countries otherwise exempt from visa requirements. It's called an Electronic Travel Authorization, coyly abbreviated to eTA, and begins March 15. The eTA is not exactly a visa, but rather an electronic extension of the visitor's passport. It must be obtained in advance. The bureaucrats warn that the clearance should be purchased before buying an airline ticket since it may be needed to board the plane to Canada. Charge is $7 Cdn, on a credit card. It's valid for five years or until the passport expires. US citizens are exempt.
The government website also specifies that the eTA is needed to transit to another flight through a Canadian airport.
Here's the official source: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp

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