I was banned from Canada for ten years and didn't even know it!
It was a result of that Obstruction of a Public Officer charge outside Area 51 in the mid-1990s. You remember: I was arrested for pushing down the door locks of the vehicle I was riding in when the county Sheriff tried to seize the video tape we were carrying. It was an act of civil disobedience, because all film and video seized previously was never returned or accounted for. I fought the law, and the law won, but the stakes were pretty low. In America, it was a misdemeanor charge, which doesn't seriously count against you when applying for work or even for a security clearance.
In Canada, however, it gets you the Death Penalty.
Turns out, Canada's border regulations are so strict that any American convicted of ANY crime beyond a speeding ticket is automatically banned from entering the country. I found out about this about a month ago when I happened to pass through a corner of Ontario while driving across the continent. (It was a "short cut" I thought.) Canadian Customs called my aside for the Third Degree. They let me pass but only because more than ten years had passed since my conviction.
I am retroactively outraged! Who does Canada think it is? It's swaggering around like it was a real country that people wanted to go to.
Now don't get me wrong: Canada is a very nice "country," but an optional one. It's one of the indistinct Belgiums of the world, not like a France or Germany or anything (which I have never had any trouble getting into). If Canada fell off the face of the Earth, it would be tragic for all the Canadians, BUT WOULD ANYBODY ELSE REALLY NOTICE?
Turns out even George Bush might have been technically banned from Canada due to his previous DUI conviction, so I'm in good company (sort of). Peace activists have been barred because they were arrested for some minor act of civil disobedience in the States.
Apparently, this has always been true, but now Canadian Customs has computer systems linked to the FBI, so they can actually check for convictions. If you've been convicted for littering within the past ten years, you might not get in.
To be fair, it also works the other way. Via email, I heard a sad story from a Canadian who was foolish enough to cross the Area 51 border in the 1990s (or the Nellis Range border in the Tikaboo Valley). He didn't get far, was caught and paid a fine in Lincoln County Kangaroo Court, but the next time he tried to enter the U.S., he couldn't. That's a lot more of a burden, because the United States, to a Canadian, is not an optional country.
I still say "Screw It!"—Canada, that is. I'll visit Europe instead and spend my (very limited) money there.
Give me a call when you have a grown-up country, eh?
BTW: I am so (retroactively) angry with Canada that I joined the I Hate Canada Group on Facebook.
jajajajja, really liked this one!!! really true what you say about "If Canada fell off the earth..." jajjaReplyDelete
great post, thanks!ReplyDelete
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If Canada fell off the face of the earth where would you awesome americans get your oil?ReplyDelete
Sounds like the words of a typical ignorant American who thinks the whole world revolves around America. Don't get me wrong, I live next to the border and have lots of good American friends who even they themselves admit that there are too many Americans who think that the world revolves around them. Why do you think so many Americans pose as Canadian when they travel?....because the whole world knows how rude and ignorant so many Americans are (don't care if you believe me, but it is in fact true). As for nobody noticing if Canada were to disappear off the face of this earth.....you couldn't survive without us dumbass. Where do you think a vast majority of your oil, lumber, power and other raw materials come from? Just goes to show how stupid and ignorant you really are....by the way, did you hit the 25 foot wall of snow at the border? ...as you probably already know, us Canadians are all Eskimo's living in Igloos and hunting seals with spears for food. Had so much snow the other day that I needed my snowshoes when I went outside to send smoke signals to the next village. If anything, the rest of the world would be more than happy if America were to disappear off the face of this earth. Then maybe we could populate it with respectful, polite citizens who aren't all overweight. Eh.ReplyDelete