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Crossing Into Canada- Our Experience


Stamps1962
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Let me make it clear at the outset, especially to our fine members in Canada, this is not some mindless rant about that country or the fine folks who live there. We vacationed a few days at Lake Winnipeg this month, drove up from Nebraska. We had not been in Canada for ten years and expected that things would be a lot more stringent than our last visit. What happened was well past our expectations. We were detained for over an hour, our car was searched and we were asked endless questions over and over. Most of those focused on our finances, we were asked how much cash we had and I told them about $500- they didn't apparently like that answer.

It finally occurred to me that they thought we were trying to sneak across the border and apply for social services. I showed them three credit cards we had with us and they relaxed immediately, ten minutes later we were on our way. Wouldn't you think they could have asked about credit cards? Most people carry them on trips. I don't believe our being held up had anything to do with security concerns, lots of questions about how long I'd worked, when I retired, our sources of income, etc. I feel we were profiled due to our age, and felt that was confirmed when upon leaving and getting back our passports, the inspector said he was sorry we had to go through all this but "it'll happen again the next time you come back.'

It makes me not want to go back. Is there some new government policy about cracking down on welfare cheaters, or what? Hopefully no one will take offense at this, we like Canada and want to go back but this was not an experience we want to repeat.

 

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We're all 'criminal' Stamps. We get the same thing when we want to get over the stupid border into the US.. Unfortunately, we are separated by an invisible line that says this is one country and this is another... and we 'countries' have our rules and you are not allowed to pass into our country until you can show the big guys that you are a safe person.. It's so stupid. I got totally searched one time and was made to feel like a second class citizen. I'm not attacking the US or Canada...it just all soooo stupid. I understand that 'they' need to protect the 'countries' but surely there is a nicer way for Americans and Canadians to not be so hard on each other seeing that we live next door to each other...

 

 I am so sorry you had that terrible experience. Next time you decide to cross the silly 'border' and visit Canada.. you come to my house and I'll make you a nice cup of coffee!!!

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I'm reminded of a trip to Canada many years ago. Our dog was traveling with us, and the border cops were absolutely fanatic over his paperwork. We could have had coffee tins full of heroin or machine guns or a naked tied up child in the back seat, but all they focused on was one little pooch. Dumbasses.

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One other thing I didn't mention. We were intercepted by US customs officials on our side of the border- Homeland Security dudes seriously dressed to kill- flak jackets, reflective eyewear, those leather gloves with the knuckles exposed, you get the picture, they had dogs too. The head honcho asked for our passports and wanted to know why we were going to Canada. I replied we wanted to spend a few days at Lake Winnipeg, he handed back the passports and said that it seemed like a long way to drive for that. I was taken back at what was happening he then asked if there weren't any lakes near us we could have gone to (!) The guy then got on a walkie talkie and the more I think about it I think he flagged us as needing attention. The guy was a pompous bullying asshat. The woman in the kiosk on the Canada side was completely flat, no affect, that's when it became clear we were going to get extra attention. It sort of bothers me that the US people seemed to be calling all the shots, even running things.

 

Like I said, I bear the Canadian people no grudge, they were doing their job, whatever that was. I just wish they'd act with a little humanity- never a thank you, have a nice trip, nothing. Totally cold. And, thanks, Margee for the offer.

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Oh dear. I'm sorry to hear our guys gave you a hard time. To be honest, I just about wet myself every time I cross into the US--the US border guards invariably give me a hard time, trying to trip me up in my 'story' about where I'm going. It's nerve wracking going either way, in my experience!

 

I do hope you come back to the Great White North!

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Let me make it clear at the outset, especially to our fine members in Canada, this is not some mindless rant about that country or the fine folks who live there. We vacationed a few days at Lake Winnipeg this month, drove up from Nebraska. We had not been in Canada for ten years and expected that things would be a lot more stringent than our last visit. What happened was well past our expectations. We were detained for over an hour, our car was searched and we were asked endless questions over and over. Most of those focused on our finances, we were asked how much cash we had and I told them about $500- they didn't apparently like that answer.

 

It finally occurred to me that they thought we were trying to sneak across the border and apply for social services. I showed them three credit cards we had with us and they relaxed immediately, ten minutes later we were on our way. Wouldn't you think they could have asked about credit cards? Most people carry them on trips. I don't believe our being held up had anything to do with security concerns, lots of questions about how long I'd worked, when I retired, our sources of income, etc. I feel we were profiled due to our age, and felt that was confirmed when upon leaving and getting back our passports, the inspector said he was sorry we had to go through all this but "it'll happen again the next time you come back.'

 

It makes me not want to go back. Is there some new government policy about cracking down on welfare cheaters, or what? Hopefully no one will take offense at this, we like Canada and want to go back but this was not an experience we want to repeat.

 

 

I seriously would have turned around and kept my money in my own country if they don't want it badly enough not to treat you like a serial killer.

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One other thing I didn't mention. We were intercepted by US customs officials on our side of the border- Homeland Security dudes seriously dressed to kill- flak jackets, reflective eyewear, those leather gloves with the knuckles exposed, you get the picture, they had dogs too. The head honcho asked for our passports and wanted to know why we were going to Canada. I replied we wanted to spend a few days at Lake Winnipeg, he handed back the passports and said that it seemed like a long way to drive for that. I was taken back at what was happening he then asked if there weren't any lakes near us we could have gone to (!) The guy then got on a walkie talkie and the more I think about it I think he flagged us as needing attention. The guy was a pompous bullying asshat. The woman in the kiosk on the Canada side was completely flat, no affect, that's when it became clear we were going to get extra attention. It sort of bothers me that the US people seemed to be calling all the shots, even running things.

 

Like I said, I bear the Canadian people no grudge, they were doing their job, whatever that was. I just wish they'd act with a little humanity- never a thank you, have a nice trip, nothing. Totally cold. And, thanks, Margee for the offer.

 

 

I wouldn't bother going back I would write there national chamber of commerce and tourism and tell them that maybe even call and say you are never spending another cent of US money in their cold nation to the north and they are lucky to have such a strong ally protecting them in the south...

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There's people who regard this sort of thing as a problem-reaction-solution type of thing. You stress people out sufficiently, and in the right way, and they begin to want to have an implanted microchip.

 

Am not going to discuss further (due to past experiences of sustained discussion).

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Yeah, I don't know. It's been about ten years since I crossed the border (03 was the last time or maybe late 02 so it was post 9/11).  Of course, we were closer to Alaska and moving out of Alaska so I'm sure the area we went through is probably heavily trafficked by Americans and Canadians going in and out. We had to wait awhile and the car was searched but it seemed like pretty standard procedure. Same stuff happened when we came back up from Mexico back into the US on a trip. Of course, I am from a military family, so maybe i'm just used to having to go through long and sometimes annoying procedures. 

 

It is lame they asked about your finances. I don't think they asked my parents about it, but I'm pretty sure they were aware we were a military family being stationed in and out of Alaska. 

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Sorry to hear about your experience, Stamps.  I actually came through Canada Customs bright and early this morning, coming back from a music camp at the Peace Gardens on the Manitoba/North Dakota border, and it was the exact opposite -- Maybe 5 minutes and I was back on the road.  (It was almost too fast, in fact, and I had a "WTF?" feeling all the way to breakfast in Boissevain.)  Definitely don't regret shelling out for a passport.

 

While at camp I could have tagged along on one of the late-night cross-border bar excursions, but decided against it because I didn't want to face US Customs at 10:00 at night and have to explain why My hands were twitching.  "Uh... That's the Clarinet 4 part from Holst's Second Suite in F for Military Band, sir..." blush.png

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Let me make it clear at the outset, especially to our fine members in Canada, this is not some mindless rant about that country or the fine folks who live there. We vacationed a few days at Lake Winnipeg this month, drove up from Nebraska. We had not been in Canada for ten years and expected that things would be a lot more stringent than our last visit. What happened was well past our expectations. We were detained for over an hour, our car was searched and we were asked endless questions over and over. Most of those focused on our finances, we were asked how much cash we had and I told them about $500- they didn't apparently like that answer.

 

It finally occurred to me that they thought we were trying to sneak across the border and apply for social services. I showed them three credit cards we had with us and they relaxed immediately, ten minutes later we were on our way. Wouldn't you think they could have asked about credit cards? Most people carry them on trips. I don't believe our being held up had anything to do with security concerns, lots of questions about how long I'd worked, when I retired, our sources of income, etc. I feel we were profiled due to our age, and felt that was confirmed when upon leaving and getting back our passports, the inspector said he was sorry we had to go through all this but "it'll happen again the next time you come back.'

 

It makes me not want to go back. Is there some new government policy about cracking down on welfare cheaters, or what? Hopefully no one will take offense at this, we like Canada and want to go back but this was not an experience we want to repeat.

 

 

I seriously would have turned around and kept my money in my own country if they don't want it badly enough not to treat you like a serial killer.

 

You want to know how a serial killer would have been treated? Not only with a delayed and frustrated crossing. He/she would not have been allowed into the country, nor a return home. A known killer would have been arrested on the spot. If you don't wish to offend, please don't exaggerate, is my suggestion.

 

I sympathize with your frustration. But I don't get why Americans think it's worse if they have to go through a hassle coming into our country than if we have to go through the same kind of hassle going into their country. Like someone said, it's regular procedure. Over the past ten years security has tightened progressively. They do spot checks, too. A lot of really bad stuff gets smuggled up from the States and we must do what we can to protect our borders. I'm not sure what the above poster meant by the Americans protecting Canada.

 

Stamps, if you really want to know what was going on, I suggest you find reliable information re specific regulations. If you were told it will be this way every time, it could be you were dealing with a nasty prejudiced bully, or it could be that new regulations are in place of which you will want to be aware. You seem like a decent person and I am sorry you had to go through this. It's the snide remarks thrown out by some of the others that I find rather offensive.

 

As for your feeling that the Americans were controlling things...We in Canada constantly feel the Americans control our lives and livelihoods.

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Take off, ya hoser. :-)

 

Mister McKenzie, please put down the toque, the back bacon and the 2-4 and back away slowly. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

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Take off, ya hoser. :-)

 

Mister McKenzie, please put down the toque, the back bacon and the 2-4 and back away slowly. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

 

 

It's terribly sad that I had to look up those things you mentioned cuz I'm such a lousy world citizen. :-)

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Let me make it clear at the outset, especially to our fine members in Canada, this is not some mindless rant about that country or the fine folks who live there. We vacationed a few days at Lake Winnipeg this month, drove up from Nebraska. We had not been in Canada for ten years and expected that things would be a lot more stringent than our last visit. What happened was well past our expectations. We were detained for over an hour, our car was searched and we were asked endless questions over and over. Most of those focused on our finances, we were asked how much cash we had and I told them about $500- they didn't apparently like that answer.

 

It finally occurred to me that they thought we were trying to sneak across the border and apply for social services. I showed them three credit cards we had with us and they relaxed immediately, ten minutes later we were on our way. Wouldn't you think they could have asked about credit cards? Most people carry them on trips. I don't believe our being held up had anything to do with security concerns, lots of questions about how long I'd worked, when I retired, our sources of income, etc. I feel we were profiled due to our age, and felt that was confirmed when upon leaving and getting back our passports, the inspector said he was sorry we had to go through all this but "it'll happen again the next time you come back.'

 

It makes me not want to go back. Is there some new government policy about cracking down on welfare cheaters, or what? Hopefully no one will take offense at this, we like Canada and want to go back but this was not an experience we want to repeat.

 

 

I seriously would have turned around and kept my money in my own country if they don't want it badly enough not to treat you like a serial killer.

 

You want to know how a serial killer would have been treated? Not only with a delayed and frustrated crossing. He/she would not have been allowed into the country, nor a return home. A known killer would have been arrested on the spot. If you don't wish to offend, please don't exaggerate, is my suggestion.

 

I sympathize with your frustration. But I don't get why Americans think it's worse if they have to go through a hassle coming into our country than if we have to go through the same kind of hassle going into their country. Like someone said, it's regular procedure. Over the past ten years security has tightened progressively. They do spot checks, too. A lot of really bad stuff gets smuggled up from the States and we must do what we can to protect our borders. I'm not sure what the above poster meant by the Americans protecting Canada.

 

Stamps, if you really want to know what was going on, I suggest you find reliable information re specific regulations. If you were told it will be this way every time, it could be you were dealing with a nasty prejudiced bully, or it could be that new regulations are in place of which you will want to be aware. You seem like a decent person and I am sorry you had to go through this. It's the snide remarks thrown out by some of the others that I find rather offensive.

 

As for your feeling that the Americans were controlling things...We in Canada constantly feel the Americans control our lives and livelihoods.

 

 

If you feel they do then why not petition your government to find other trading partners. USA by a large margin is supporting your economy and you are in a large way the best trading partner USA has. Stop being so defensive and just accept we love our neighbors to the north and you us down here. Sure we don't see eye to eye but again California could conquer your country and the Canadian economy would basically not exist if not for the mutually profitable trade from USA and to USA. It is a good thing even if you all for some reason feel that way.

 

In reality you do control your lives and your government and if you don't that is on you and no one else in any other country period.

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There may have been a personal factor here. Over the years I have noted that I do not fare well in encounters with authority figures. This includes bosses, traffic cops, etc. I think I project something these people pick up on and misinterpret it. Nearly every time I get stopped by a cop (not often, last time was for a tail light out), they wind up running warrant checks on me. I just tighten up with fear. I think it's something to do with my childhood, raised by an abusive fundy dad. As an experiment on our return trip through US customs I told my wife to drive and be the primary responder- we sailed through. Maybe that's all it was.

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There may have been a personal factor here. Over the years I have noted that I do not fare well in encounters with authority figures. This includes bosses, traffic cops, etc. I think I project something these people pick up on and misinterpret it. Nearly every time I get stopped by a cop (not often, last time was for a tail light out), they wind up running warrant checks on me. I just tighten up with fear. I think it's something to do with my childhood, raised by an abusive fundy dad. As an experiment on our return trip through US customs I told my wife to drive and be the primary responder- we sailed through. Maybe that's all it was.

 

Hmmm...maybe you just look guilty....some people do....Wendyshrug.gif

 

 

Yeah, I always look worried. I've had complete strangers ask what I'm so stressed out about in my life. And there was one time, I actually thought I was having a good day and someone asked that!! It's unfortunate. 

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There may have been a personal factor here. Over the years I have noted that I do not fare well in encounters with authority figures. This includes bosses, traffic cops, etc. I think I project something these people pick up on and misinterpret it. Nearly every time I get stopped by a cop (not often, last time was for a tail light out), they wind up running warrant checks on me. I just tighten up with fear. I think it's something to do with my childhood, raised by an abusive fundy dad. As an experiment on our return trip through US customs I told my wife to drive and be the primary responder- we sailed through. Maybe that's all it was.

 

Hmmm...maybe you just look guilty....some people do....Wendyshrug.gif

 

 

Yeah, I always look worried. I've had complete strangers ask what I'm so stressed out about in my life. And there was one time, I actually thought I was having a good day and someone asked that!! It's unfortunate. 

 

 

Something like this?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v98CPXNiSk

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There may have been a personal factor here. Over the years I have noted that I do not fare well in encounters with authority figures. This includes bosses, traffic cops, etc. I think I project something these people pick up on and misinterpret it. Nearly every time I get stopped by a cop (not often, last time was for a tail light out), they wind up running warrant checks on me. I just tighten up with fear. I think it's something to do with my childhood, raised by an abusive fundy dad. As an experiment on our return trip through US customs I told my wife to drive and be the primary responder- we sailed through. Maybe that's all it was.

 

Hmmm...maybe you just look guilty....some people do....Wendyshrug.gif

 

 

Yeah, I always look worried. I've had complete strangers ask what I'm so stressed out about in my life. And there was one time, I actually thought I was having a good day and someone asked that!! It's unfortunate. 

 

 

Something like this?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v98CPXNiSk

 

 

Huh, maybe I do have that. I've wondered why people tell me to smile or ask what's wrong and I'm like, "Nothing." Then they get all offended like I'm lying or something and really nothing is wrong. But it's hard to smile all the time. Like some moments of life are just boring and shouldn't require any expression. 

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My experience crossing into Canada... of course, this was back a'ways...

"What is the purpose of your visit, ya hoser?"

"Work."

"What company, eh?"

"AT&T."

"Aboot how long do you plan to stay?"

"Three months. Here's my passport."

"I don't need that, ya silly yank. Enjoy your stay, right?"

 

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My experience crossing into Canada... of course, this was back a'ways...

 

"What is the purpose of your visit, ya hoser?"

 

"Work."

 

"What company, eh?"

 

"AT&T."

 

"Aboot how long do you plan to stay?"

 

"Three months. Here's my passport."

 

"I don't need that, ya silly yank. Enjoy your stay, right?"

 

 

 

No credit cards, pay stubs or Macy's receipts required?

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There used to be a website called 'Canada Customs Bitch Box' for people to post their experiences about how they were treated. It's still there but comments are disabled. I posted back in 2003 about a snotty girl we encountered and like most US residents posting a complaint I got pounded by Canadians about how they hated Americans, how arrogant we all are, etc. I didn't note at the time but my email address was showing. I started getting abusive emails from some scary dude in Vancouver ID'ing himself as a guard with Canada Customs. Lots of ranting about how he'd have detained us, sent us to jail, etc. I told him to go fuck off and it got worse. I could have just blocked him but I decided to see how long he would keep it up and after several messages I sent them as attachments to some PR contact in Ottawa with Canada Customs. I suggested this guy seems unstable and since he is harassing foreign nationals off his job perhaps he needs a talking to? I got one more from him, then nothing. Never heard from Ottawa but I think they did something.


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There used to be a website called 'Canada Customs Bitch Box' for people to post their experiences about how they were treated. It's still there but comments are disabled. I posted back in 2003 about a snotty girl we encountered and like most US residents posting a complaint I got pounded by Canadians about how they hated Americans, how arrogant we all are, etc. I didn't note at the time but my email address was showing. I started getting abusive emails from some scary dude in Vancouver ID'ing himself as a guard with Canada Customs. Lots of ranting about how he'd have detained us, sent us to jail, etc. I told him to go fuck off and it got worse. I could have just blocked him but I decided to see how long he would keep it up and after several messages I sent them as attachments to some PR contact in Ottawa with Canada Customs. I suggested this guy seems unstable and since he is harassing foreign nationals off his job perhaps he needs a talking to? I got one more from him, then nothing. Never heard from Ottawa but I think they did something.

 

 

 

Seriously ??? Arogant? I guess they had never met half of their own country persons. I have never met nicer or ruder people than from Canada. I swear it is just what it is. Seriously I have met Canadians that were so nice and friendly and others who actually thought the rest of us exist to service their feable whims.

 

By the way I am an American and I feel with the Canadians as well since most Americans do actually suck bad and are very arrogant but it is nothing but hypocracy for them to act any different than we do. It goes around and comes around the difference of who is worthy is in those that can take their come up in's.

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