Hold off on refusing to unlock your phone for border agents for now, at least until the issue has been resolved by the courts
Proponents say preclearance will facilitate the flow of people and goods between the US and Canada. Under preclearance, a traveller passes through US customs in Canada, so they do not need to do so once they enter the US, and vice-versa. There are US preclearance areas in eight Canadian airports, along with some train and ferry crossings in BC, and plans to expand this to more Canadian airports and train stations. Canadian preclearance zones would also be established for the first time in the United States.
Even if your child is not among those who are likely targets at the border, imagine how she would feel if a classmate, friend or teacher were subject to a humiliating search, separation from the group or refusal of entry. How would she react? And how should teachers deal with this?
Canadian groups headed to America have two choices: Stump up $2000-$5000 in border fees and union dues and wait weeks for a permit, or go without and risk a two to five year personal ban from the US. Whether it's a one night show played for beer and beds or a full arena tour makes little difference to the costs and paperwork involved.
Canada and the United States share the longest and most lucrative unmilitarized border in the world. It spans nearly 9,000 kilometres. There are 120 official crossings. Some 400,000 people move back-and-forth across that border every day. So does two-way trade valued at $2.4-billion every day. At one and the same time, we want the border to be safe and secure while trade across it remains a major source of economic growth and prosperity. If security concerns linger, the border thickens and the legitimate movement both of people and goods becomes more difficult.
Armed American police officers will now be able to stop Canadians, in Canada, inspecting, checking and asking questions. The Conservatives will tell us that an armed American cop in Canada is all about trade, jobs and security, not sovereignty. If this is true, then can we not expect to see Mounties stopping Americans on the Buffalo side? I don't believe Canadians want American police operating and carrying guns in Canada. It's just not right. Harper did promise though that when he's done, we won't recognize Canada. Perhaps we can all reminiscence about that when stopped and questioned by an American police officer, in our own country.
The wife of a migrant worker, whose arrest by Canadian officials was filmed by camera crews in Vancouver, has started a petition
Despite the slow pace that summer brings, there is still a lot of news, entertainment and interesting tidbits to read about. From illegal chocolate eggs to water bottle wallets and internet addictions, here are the things that caught my attention this week.
If the United States already accepts passport cards and EDLs as passport alternatives for border crossing to Canada, couldn't other options be explored to allow our border security personnel to quickly confirm traveler identities, using convenient devices many of us carry with us every day?
The terrorist attacks had a profound effect on me, and on the way that the world looked to me. The U.S.-Canadian relationship changed profoundly at that moment, struck by a monster who had probably never thought about it. My career as an American Canada-watcher changed that day, too.