Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

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Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by spurcap » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:44 am

So, I got my private licence in Canada in 2008. Shortly after I got an FAA private certificate on the basis of my Canadian licence as I was thinking of flying while down in the US but never did. After about 2010 I never did any flying - life got in way (aka lack of money). Now, I want to get back into flying but also live in the US now. Trying to think of my best path forward keeping in mind I will plan on flying only N-number airplanes. I have read as much as I could but can't get a straight answer on what currency requirements I need to meet....

TLDR -- flying in US on basis of Canadian licence - do I need to meet US or Canadian medical and currency requirements?

In more detail, thinking of the following ideas:

Option #1 - Get current again in Canada - I understand I need to re-write PSTAR, get new Class 3 medical, and one way or another spend enough time in the plane with an instructor to get competent (I would prefer this to be more or less time). It is unclear to me if doing this in Canada would get my licence current again and then allow me to use my "based on Canadian licence" FAA certificate to fly in the US?

Option #2 - Unclear to me if this is the case, but it is possible that to use my FAA certificate I need to meet the US requirements. My reading is that this is a BFR (flight review) and a FAA 3rd class medical. Perhaps the fact that I am "not current" in Canada does not matter as it is actually the US currency and medical requirements I need to meet. If this is the case, Option #1 likely does not allow me to legally fly. I can't figure out which of these is the case and have read conflicting information online.

Option #3 - The most costly but legally clear .... Time is time that I have logged getting my private a decade - I get 3rd class FAA medical, I go to a flying club here, attend ground school, write the FAA private exam, do as much flying as needed to get ready for the FAA private checkride, take checkride and get a stand-alone FAA private. The ground school part of this would be a good refresher and not sure how much additional flying time I would need in this option vs. just flying anyway for the sake of being safe and getting the club comfortable in my flying anyway. But obviously there are some hoops to jump through (1 written/1 practical exam). If I follow this option, I can always come back to Canada and take a medical, write PSTAR and do a flight review if I wanted to fly "C" airplanes. If I were regularly flying the US this checkride would likely be more of a formality than substantive like it would be in Option #1, I Expect.
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by Cessna 180 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:12 pm

Since your FAA cert is on the basis of a VALID TC license, you'll have to get recurrent in Canada again if you want to go the easy way.

Basically,
1. get recurrent in Canada. New medical, the works. (this alone plus a flight review down south makes you legal to start flying there, there is no expiry for the private valid on a canadian license).
2. apply to the fsdo of your choice for them to verify your TC license again
3. in the mean time, get a class 3 FAA medical
4. write the Private Pilot Airplane Canadian Conversion (this one specifically, not the regular Private exam) (no need for ground school but id recommend Gliem's online study course or others)
5. if you have an instrument rating, write the Instrument Canadian Conversion (this one specifically, not the regular instrument rating exam)
6. once you've been verified by the FAA, make an appointment with the FSDO (some may farm this out to examiners who charge, otherwise its free), and they should issue you a temporary certificate on the spot. Bring your logbook and a completed form 8710-1, and a class 3 medical or higher, as well as your verification letter from the FAA and your canadian license booklet (with current medical).
7. complete flight review with a CFI.

that's the easiest way and you'll have a stand alone FAA certificate, never to worry about the TC license again.

the hard way if you don't want to travel to canada.

1. get class 3 medical
2. start consulting with an instructor as you will have to complete a private check ride.
3. write private and instrument exams (as necessary) (no need for ground school but id recommend Gliem's online study course or others)
4. complete private check ride and instrument check ride (as applicable)

you shouldn't need much additional training as you likely surpass the requirements and may just need to brush up on a few things.

this is all based on my experience converting my commercial certificate down there, but it's generally the same for a private.

best of luck!
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by photofly » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:58 am

“On the basis of” licences are an ICAO thing and require the underlying licence to be current, but due to the US/Canada bilateral agreement, getting a full us licence only requires one exam in the US.

Does your US certificate actually say on it “issued on the basis of”? It's stunningly unlikely that you *don't* already have a full US certificate - I have never heard of an "on the basis of" licence between the US and Canada because gettting the real deal is so easy.


If you don’t already have a full US airman’s certificate, see here for the procedure to follow:
https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/med ... 1-135A.pdf

Getting an FAA certificate doesn’t require currency/recency. And you absolutely don’t need to do a check ride.

However you most likely already did this procedure in 2008 and if you did, it doesn't need to be repeated.

Either way, once you have a US Airman Certificate, US recency and medical rules apply regardless of any other licences held. (Hours flown worldwide count towards recency/currency requirements in both countries however.)
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by spurcap » Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:12 am

Thanks for the replies.
My US license says "on basis of Canadian..."
When I got it I didn't have to write any tests (not required for private). They just verified my Canadian license and medical. From reading the FARs further I understand that either a medical from country of issuance or FAA medical is valid to meet FAA medical requirement BUT there is also a requirement to have a VALID foreign license and from a Canadian perspective your license is only valid when you have a valid medical ... apparently some other CAAs are not the same.

So I get that part. But I still am confused as to whether Canadian currency requirements are needed to have a valid license. Currency requirements are needed to fly legally but can't find in CARs where it says a license is not VALID because not current. My thinking here is that there is a chance a Canadian medical, FAA medical and BFR in the US could be sufficient to fly N-numbered planes.

Interested in the point on the US BFR meeting the flight review requirement in Canada. I had assumed it would need to be signed off by a Canadian FI. Any further info on this? I think either way to be legal to fly in Canada I would need to write pstar as well but unclear if this is necessary to exercise US certifcate on the basis of...

Overall with all this uncertainty I am starting to wonder if getting a stand alone certificate is easier. Have to do a check ride and ground school / written test but preparing for both would also act as the refresher training I would need anyway to do BFR. And saves a Canadian medical at minimum. If I also legally need to do PSTAR and Canadian flight review then getting a stand alone certificate might be a no brainer.
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by photofly » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:01 am

spurcap wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:12 am

Overall with all this uncertainty I am starting to wonder if getting a stand alone certificate is easier.
Always
Have to do a check ride and ground school / written test
No, no you don’t.

READ the document.
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by spurcap » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:18 am

Thanks yes I see the procedure changed in 2015.

But isn't that predicated on me having a valid TCCA license? And do get valid I would need to do the Canadian 5+ year requirements above?

If I don't want to go to Canada and do PSTAR, flight review, medical I was thinking a check ride and written would be required no?
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by photofly » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:13 am

spurcap wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:18 am
Thanks yes I see the procedure changed in 2015.
i don’t think the procedure has changed in 20 years...
But isn't that predicated on me having a valid TCCA license?
You said you have a valid licence. You don’t mee the recency requirements but that doesn’t alter your licence validity.
And do get valid I would need to do the Canadian 5+ year requirements above?
Five year requirements are for recency, which is not required.
If I don't want to go to Canada and do PSTAR, flight review, medical I was thinking a check ride and written would be required no?
Follow the procedure in the document! Does it say anything about a PSTAR, flight review, medical? It even says no additional practical practical test is required! in boldface!
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by Beefitarian » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:32 am

You seem to be getting decent advise so I can just post my hairless nonsense.

Traveling back to Canada and deciding where to get your currency back might be the hardest part.

As long as you fly regularly and don't have a school that is too busy for you the flying should go fairly well. You just need to demonstrate your skills to private license standard. No formal test. Don't panic, the first flight will be bad but it most likely will get better pretty soon.

I had a little trouble with the PSTAR but I believe it was partially a lack of effective studying.

I would definately go talk with a flight training unit or two near you and see what they have to say, since that is likely where you will fly in the future, I think their opinion will be helpful.

Also it's a great excuse to go hang around an airport, talk about flying and see some planes.
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by Beefitarian » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:38 am

In addition to going to the nearest airport with a school. Definately read photofly's link.
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by photofly » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:13 am

Beefitarian wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:32 am
Traveling back to Canada and deciding where to get your currency back might be the hardest part.
No need to do this. To do what you want, there’s no requirement ever to set foot in Canada again!

No need for a PSTAR either. You do need to take the FAA equivalent, for the licence conversion though.
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Kirk: This is a dangerous mission. Likely, one of us will die. The landing party will be me, Spock, McCoy, and Ensign Ricky.
Ensign Ricky: Aw, crap.

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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by spurcap » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:59 pm

I did read the link. The only reason I thought the process might have changed is that when I did it in 2008, I received a private certificate with "on the basis of" language and did not write any test. The link you sent implied a Canadian specific test. I had read before an older version of the agreement between Canada and the US on this so was wondering if something changed....

From CAR 421.26:
(a) An applicant shall hold a Category 3 Medical Certificate valid for a Private Pilot Licence - Aeroplanes:
(i) where an applicant holds a Category 4 Medical Certificate for the purpose of a Student Pilot Permit, the applicant shall upgrade to a Category 3 Medical Certificate prior to making application for the Private Pilot Licence - Aeroplane.
(b) The licence is maintained by a valid Category 1 or 3 Medical Certificate.

This is seperate from the recency requirements to exercise the privilege of the licence.

I agree that there is no recency requirement mentioned. I was thinking my choices were either getting current in Canada or do nothing in Canada but you are correct there also a potential to get a new valid licence (and medical?) but not do any recency requirements. On the medical point - I can read CAR 421 to state that Canadian licences are not considered valid when your medical is expired. But could be mistaken... On that note - will I be able to renew my aviation document booklet without a valid medical? Nothing indicates that on the form to renew but not 100% sure.

The thing that was leading me to believe this before was from (http://fsims.faa.gov/PICDetail.aspx?doc ... ,Ch2,Sec14) - this was written in 2014 so that led me to believe the document you sent reflected a change.:

E. Medical Endorsement or Certificate. A person applying for a U.S. pilot certificate must submit evidence that he or she currently meets the medical licensing standards for the foreign pilot license on which the application for the pilot certificate is based (refer to § 61.75(f)). Some foreign CAAs enter periodic medical endorsements on their foreign pilot licenses that affect its currency (e.g., Germany, Austria, Kenya, Cyprus, Canada, Guatemala, Trinidad, Tobago, Singapore, and Sri Lanka). Therefore, if the foreign pilot license must have a medical endorsement to make it valid, an FAA medical certificate alone will not satisfy the regulations. In cases when a medical endorsement is not used, a current medical license from the person’s foreign medical examiner or a current 14 CFR part 67 medical certificate will satisfy the requirement. If the person’s foreign pilot license shows a medical endorsement, the person should enter the word “Endorsement” on FAA Form 8710-1, section I, block R, or the equivalent class of medical certificate. If using the Integrated Airman Certification and/or Rating Application (IACRA), enter the date of that endorsement in block S. If the name of the examiner who administered the medical endorsement is unknown to the applicant because the foreign CAA administered the physical, then simply state “CAA” in block T.
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by spurcap » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:01 pm

No need for a PSTAR either. You do need to take the FAA equivalent, for the licence conversion though.
Not sure I follow - I already have a US private certificate. Are you thinking I need to go through the process again?
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by spurcap » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:07 pm

Beefitarian wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:32 am
You seem to be getting decent advise so I can just post my hairless nonsense.

Traveling back to Canada and deciding where to get your currency back might be the hardest part.

As long as you fly regularly and don't have a school that is too busy for you the flying should go fairly well. You just need to demonstrate your skills to private license standard. No formal test. Don't panic, the first flight will be bad but it most likely will get better pretty soon.

I had a little trouble with the PSTAR but I believe it was partially a lack of effective studying.

I would definately go talk with a flight training unit or two near you and see what they have to say, since that is likely where you will fly in the future, I think their opinion will be helpful.

Also it's a great excuse to go hang around an airport, talk about flying and see some planes.
Thanks and agree with talking with people, etc. The only reason I was thinking of "formal testing" was if I had to go through enough informal testing to get up to speed again, I was wondering if I could cut red tape/currency in Canada by doing a quick formal checkride (for which if I can't pass I shouldn't be flying anyway). As many of the helpful posts here suggest this may not be necessary and I can just do the "informal" checkride process part of the US BFR. That said if I needed to come to Canada to get a medical done (not many CAMEs around here, I looked) then part of me would lean to either going through the PSTAR/flight review process in Canada whether required or not from a US perspective to get myself "current" in Canada as well or just not coming at all and just make sure I get FAA privilenges that aren't link to a Canadian licence/medical. Really everything seems clear other than the necessity of having a Canadian medical in order to have my current FAA certificate valid.
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by Beefitarian » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:20 pm

There has been two ways for Canadians to get paper permitting them to fly N registered planes for decades.

A) The one "on the bases of your Canadian license."

And

B) A stand alone FAA certificate that Photofly is talking about.

If you have a stand alone you don't need a Canadian license unless you fly a C registered plane in Canada.
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by photofly » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:22 pm

spurcap wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:59 pm
I did read the link. The only reason I thought the process might have changed is that when I did it in 2008, I received a private certificate with "on the basis of" language and did not write any test.
There are two different processes. You did the wrong one.

The “on the basis of” is for holders of any ICAO country licence.

Additional to that process, there’s *another* process per the bilateral US/Canada treaty, applicable only to TC licence holders (and for FAA certificate holders to get a TC licence) which is described in the document I linked to. You don’t need anything except what is described there. This process gives you a full certificate.

Tell the FAA (if anyone asks) you want to ditch your “on the basis of” certificate and apply for a licence conversion (in full) under the bilateral treaty.

You do need an FAA exam created specifically for Canadian licence holders to convert, as described in the document.

When converting the other way (as I did) to convert from FAA certificate to a TC licence, the PSTAR is the equivalent exam, but you don’t need that.

To exercise the privileges of your new airman certificate you will need an FAA medical and to meet the FAA currency rules. Nothing will depend on Transport Canada.
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by Beefitarian » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:31 pm

Maybe I am reading the whole thing wrong.

If I had a certificate allowing me to fly on the basis of my Canadian PPL and have not flown in nine years it won't be valid. Therefore I can't use the FAA certificate.
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by photofly » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:43 pm

It will be valid, but you won’t meet the recency requirements, so your conclusion stands. You would need to take the PSTAR and a flight review with a Canadian instructor (absent a ruling from TC on who can conduct the review).

But if you get a full US certificate via the bilateral treaty you can do everything in the US, easy. And the exam is on US air law, so more relevant.
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Kirk: This is a dangerous mission. Likely, one of us will die. The landing party will be me, Spock, McCoy, and Ensign Ricky.
Ensign Ricky: Aw, crap.

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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by nbinont » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:59 pm

spurcap wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:07 pm
That said if I needed to come to Canada to get a medical done (not many CAMEs around here, I looked) .... Really everything seems clear other than the necessity of having a Canadian medical in order to have my current FAA certificate valid.
If you aren't living in Canada, Transport Canada will allow you to use an ICAO Medical Examiner to do your Canadian medical (read: FAA Doctor) and submit it to Transport Canada for their evaluation. It's a much slower process (months), because the Doctor doesn't have the Canadian stamp to renew your medical on the spot - that has to be done by Transport Canada based on the Doctor's report. If you do is this way, make sure you know what tests Transport Canada will look for (ECG, etc) and what forms the Doctor needs to send Transport Canada.
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by spurcap » Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:11 pm

photofly wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:43 pm
But if you get a full US certificate via the bilateral treaty you can do everything in the US, easy. And the exam is on US air law, so more relevant.
I think I am understanding why I have not been following what you were explaining (apologies). You are working on the assumption that I apply for a new certificate that is not like my current one "on the basis of Canadian licence PA***** but rather unrestricted/unlinked certificate that I qualify for by passing the written test/having a Canadian licence (without a medical).

From the bilateral treaty AC Section 10, it clearly says that you start the process by filling out form AC8060-71 which is the same form used for other countries/the one I filled out in 2008 in order to get my "On the basis of..." certificate. So the part I am not following is if I do this why will the result change from what I currently have unless the process/treaty has changed such that they now issue "unrestricted" certificates while they used to issue "on the basis of" certificates to Canadians. I think you mentioned the process hasn't changed in 20 years but from reading the AC again, maybe this has something to do with it:
Expansion of the IPL Agreement. In 2014, the FAA and TCCA further expanded the
terms of the IPL to include the airplane category, including all associated classes and the
rotorcraft–helicopter category and class rating at the private, commercial, and ATP
Certificate/license levels. Additionally, the following ratings or qualifications are included in the
IPL: instrument rating, type ratings, and night qualification addressed under part 61 and the
Canadian Aviation Regulations (CAR) Part IV. The FAA and TCCA have agreed that they may
amend the IPL to allow conversion of other licenses or certificates in the future.
The above doesn't seem to relate to my issue but it is interesting that there were changes to the agreement in 2014 and maybe this somehow changed the policy/agreement?

But it is worth noting there appears to be two ways to get a licence based on a foreign licence in the FARs ... FAR 61.75:
§61.75 Private pilot certificate issued on the basis of a foreign pilot license.
(a) General. A person who holds a foreign pilot license at the private pilot level or higher that was issued by a contracting State to the Convention on International Civil Aviation may apply for and be issued a U.S. private pilot certificate with the appropriate ratings if the foreign pilot license meets the requirements of this section.

(b) Certificate issued. A U.S. private pilot certificate issued under this section must specify the person's foreign license number and country of issuance. A person who holds a foreign pilot license issued by a contracting State to the Convention on International Civil Aviation may be issued a U.S. private pilot certificate based on the foreign pilot license without any further showing of proficiency, provided the applicant:
But see FAR 61.75(c):
§61.71 Graduates of an approved training program other than under this part: Special rules.
(a) A person who graduates from an approved training program under part 141 or part 142 of this chapter is considered to have met the applicable aeronautical experience, aeronautical knowledge, and areas of operation requirements of this part if that person presents the graduation certificate and passes the required practical test within the 60-day period after the date of graduation.

(b) A person may apply for an airline transport pilot certificate, type rating, or both under this part, and will be considered to have met the applicable requirements under §61.157, except for the airline transport pilot certification training program required by §61.156, for that certificate and rating, if that person has:

(1) Satisfactorily accomplished an approved training program and a proficiency check for that airplane type that includes all the tasks and maneuvers required to serve as pilot in command in accordance with the requirements of subparts N and O of part 121 of this chapter; and

(2) Applied for an airline transport pilot certificate, type rating, or both within the 60-day period from the date the person satisfactorily accomplished the requirements of paragraph (b)(1) for that airplane type.

(c) A person who holds a foreign pilot license and is applying for an equivalent U.S. pilot certificate on the basis of a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement and associated Implementation Procedures for Licensing may be considered to have met the applicable aeronautical experience, aeronautical knowledge, and areas of operation requirements of this part.
So this is starting to make more sense. My certificate was issued in accordance with FAR 61.75 but you are saying that I can follow the AC and get one issued under FAR 61.71(c) that has no link to my Canadian PPL....
If this is the case, that is great. Still not sure I follow why by filling out the same form 11 years ago, I got a FAR 61.75 licence but there must be something I am missing.

Where I am at now, I think my main open question is whether 1) I will be able to get a new aviation document book that isn't expired without a valid medical in Canada; 2) whether a Canadian licence without a valid medical is considered "Valid" for the purposes of meeting the FAA requirement for conversion (the distinction being is it just a valid licence that I can't exercise the privilege of because I don't have a medical or a licence not valid without a medical). But the decision tree seems to work itself out....

1) Apply for new aviation document book (free to apply, only pay for a passport photo) -- they either give me one or say I need a medical. Answers that question.
2) Take FAA 3rd class medical.
3) If document book issued in #1 send license validation form to FAA with new document booklet and hope we are correct in thinking I can get a licence under FAR 61.71(c) that has no restriction/link to Canadian licence after writing Canadian specific FAA exam and going to FSDO.
4) If I get unrestricted licence it is clear that all I need to do is maintain currency in US and FAA medical ...
5) As bonus,can submit FAA medical to Ottawa and then if I am back in Canada visiting while actually knowing how to fly I can take a flight review and PSTAR and be Canadian current to.

If in step 1 they say I can't get a document booklet without a medical, proceed to step 2, then step 5 (the medical submission part), then go back to step 1. Then continue from step 3.
If they give me a document booklet, but licence not considered valid without a medical, I am sure this will get caught when I sent it to FAA in which case I can submit my FAA medical to TCAA and clear that up then.

If for whatever reason, I get through step 3 and end up getting a shiny new card from the FAA that still says "on the basis of Canada PA****" then 1) I know they consider my Canadian licence with FAA medical sufficient to issue the certificate which answers that question and then I can go and meet the FAA recency requirements ....
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Re: Getting back into flying - Canadian licence in USA?

Post by photofly » Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:55 pm

spurcap wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:11 pm
<about a billion words redacted... they sure took a long time to type, were they important?>

Where I am at now, I think my main open question is whether 1) I will be able to get a new aviation document book that isn't expired without a valid medical in Canada;
You will. In fact you must, otherwise the CAME has no booklet to stamp, if you decide you want to get a Canadian medical.
2) whether a Canadian licence without a valid medical is considered "Valid" for the purposes of meeting the FAA requirement for conversion
It is.

I did mine the other way - I never got a US medical, just a new plastic card from the FAA, then a Canadian licence from it, then a Canadian medical after that.
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