A cold shoulder fron Canada

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by philny1, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. philny1

    philny1 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2006
    Canada gives cold shoulder at the border to Americans with DWIs
    LARRY OAKES, Star Tribune

    INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MINN. - Yanks with youthful indiscretions, beware: That faded citation for driving drunk or smoking pot might not keep you from becoming president of the United States, but with post-9/11 border security, it might keep you from visiting Canada.

    Americans have traditionally crossed into Canada with just a few friendly questions and a wave. But stricter anti-terrorism measures and Canada's already tougher stance on crimes such as drunken driving have resulted in many average Americans getting the cold shoulder at the border.

    Just ask Bob Hohman, 54, a computer network security analyst from Roseville.

    Hohman said he quit drinking after two drunken-driving offenses in the 1970s. By 2004, the convictions were such ancient history that he didn't think twice about disclosing them on a questionnaire at the Canadian border station in Walhalla, N.D., where he and his brother tried to cross on the way to an annual goose hunt.

    "When the border agent saw these entries, he informed me that I would not be allowed to enter Canada," Hohman said. The agent said it didn't matter that he had crossed annually for at least 10 years or that he hadn't had a drink since 1979.

    "I was kind of astonished," Hohman said. "I was like, 'C'mon, all of a sudden I'm not worthy to be in your country?'" Hohman said he and his brother drove to a different border crossing, steeled their nerves, didn't mention his record and crossed "without further incident."

    More questions asked

    Drunken driving, a felony in Canada, has long been on the list of crimes that can "deem" a foreigner "inadmissible." But in the past, experts say, border agents were less likely to find out about a foreigner's drunken driving record, either because they didn't ask or because they didn't have extensive criminal history databases to check.

    That's changing, according to Lucy Perillo, president of Canada Border Crossing Services, a Winnipeg-based company that helps foreigners -- most of them American -- run the gantlet of paperwork required to get permission to enter Canada with even a minor criminal record.

    "The number being denied [entry] is increasing, and it's directly related to more questions being asked," Perillo said. "If you have a DUI or you wrote some bad checks or shoplifted or smoked some pot, you're probably going to need a [special] permit to come into Canada."

    Despite the heightened scrutiny, the Canadian government denies that it's refusing entry to more Americans. "We haven't seen an increase in individuals found inadmissible," said Derek Mellon, a spokesman for the Canada Border Services Agency, though he said he was unable on short notice to provide statistics supporting his statement.

    "The requirements to enter the country have not changed," Mellon said. "We continue to welcome millions of American travelers every year to our country."

    A way to rehabilitate

    Canadian immigration officials say that in many cases, would-be visitors with minor records are provisionally admitted -- either by paying about $200 in U.S. money for a temporary permit or paying the same amount and following a months-long process to "rehabilitate" their record permanently.

    But being held up at the border or in the bureaucracy can be humiliating for the visitors and frustrating for the lodges, outfitters and other Canadian businesses that cater to them.

    "Now I do not admit to being arrested when I cross the border, but it is very stressful," said Randy Kutter of Princeton, who had drunken-driving offenses in 1981 and 1986. He was denied entry in the fall of 2005, while trying to cross into Canada at Baudette, Minn., on a fishing trip.

    He said he paid about $240 for a one-time visitors permit and later paid a similar fee to start rehabilitating his record -- a process requiring copies of the original charging documents. "I then spent two days running around to different courthouses and found there were no records left," Kutter said. "I eventually gave up."

    Kutter and Hohman were among more than a dozen Minnesotans who responded to an inquiry on StarTribune.com about being denied entry to Canada.

    They included a woman with a drunken-driving charge that was reduced to careless driving. She was traveling with her boss to a business meeting when she was denied entry. She and most others shared their information on the condition that their names not be used. Several said they had visited Canada many times before without a problem, though they had had the same record.

    Some, such as a Twin Cities businessman who had flown to Montreal more than 30 times before being denied entry, said his drunken-driving offense came up when an immigration official ran his name through a computer.

    More information shared

    That may be happening more often in the future. As part of the Canada-U.S. Smart Border Declaration, a sweeping agreement drafted in 2003, Canada and the United States are developing shared databases of criminal history data on each other's citizens, in the name of anti-terrorism.

    In 14 years in the business, Perillo said she has seen minor criminal records delay honeymoons, force fishing or hunting parties to cancel trips and lose deposits, and cause Canadian resorts to lose business. In general, she said, the older and less serious a charge is, the fewer problems a traveler will encounter.

    Several times in recent years, Thunderbird Lodge on the United States side of Rainy Lake has accommodated fishing parties who turned around at the border because one of their members was denied entry to Canada, said Mary Jane Haanen, co-owner of the lodge, just outside International Falls, Minn.

    "You hate to benefit from the misfortune of a business in Canada," Haanen said. "But at least we've been able to help them salvage their trip."

    Larry Oakes • 1-218-727-7344
  2. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Jan 20, 2004
    HEll! that ain't nothin

    I just received, today in the US Mail, the following from the United States of America, Social Security System for validation of information from a meeting with the local office that I had with them last week:

    My name is Roy XXXXXXXXXX
    My social security number is XXX-XX-XXXX
    My Date of birth is XXX xx, 1943
    I am not a citizen of the United States. (highlights are mine)

    To top that off they think I'm a girl:rolleyes:
    They want some kind of Documentation of US Citizens born a broad.:D And that's the only humorous part about this.:mad::mad:

    What a helluva thing to find out at this stage of life!!

    If I ever got into Canada could I get back?

    Just what I always wanted to be. A man with out a country!:mad:

    I wonder how I ever got that high level of clearance in Rickover's Navy????

    This could make one want to be a Democrat, just to learn how those who dreamed up all this damn bureaucracy did it.

    Independence is a good thing. However, it would be nice to do the medicare thing just to be able to buy more booletts.;)

    Sorry for the rant.

    Maybe this otta be in the Humor forum.

    Last edited: Jan 20, 2008

  3. philny1

    philny1 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2006
    Cold shoulder

    Just received this from a friend of mine.
    Last year hunting caribou in Quebec we were three hunters short in our camp. I found out the next day one of the hunters was denied entry into Canada. The other two hunters decided not to travel without the other guy. They all had their 6000.00 paid in full.
  4. yotefever

    yotefever Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2006
    I've been fishing to canada several times and will not go back. With the $50 or so you have to pay to take your gun across the border to hunt and the fact that I hunt with handguns and I can't take them across the border makes me want to just stay home in the good old USA. I do hope to jump over canada and hunt AK.
  5. ilscungilli

    ilscungilli Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    A long time ago (1985) I did a float plane fishing trip, and the outfitter didn't get us "camping permits". Long story on that, but the fish and game girls, gave us a hefty fines, which we promptly ignored. They swore out a warrant for my arrest, which I actually find kind of amusing. I have managed to avoid several business trips up there with the phrase "I can't go back, there is a warrant for my arrest". No one ever asks why!
  6. buffalorancher

    buffalorancher Writers Guild

    Mar 14, 2006
    So is it best to keep your mouth shut and hope they don't look?
  7. ilscungilli

    ilscungilli Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    I don't think they really care that much for minor infractions. They sent me a letter in 1987 telling me that "If I ever decide to return to Canada ..", but that was the extent of it. The ticket was from around Kenora, OR and I did go fishing in Saskatchewan in 1990, without any problems, but as the original poster said, things are a little different after 9/11 up there.
  8. Mule

    Mule Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2006
    Canada is on the ball----- good thing they recognize that the Islamist are notorious drunks and boozing fools----- good correlation with those DUI's and having C4 packed in the trunk. Boy I feel so much safer now!!!!!!!!

  9. Troy

    Troy Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2001
    Another Perspective

    Seems the bait is set, okay, I will bite . . .

    Don't suppose you guys are aware of all the BS your Government makes law abiding citizens of other countries go through to get virtually anything that can be used to attach to a firearm, including reloading components and scopes. Ever read through your ITAR regulations?

    My brother went down to the US several summers ago and had his car ripped apart and then got to put it back together when they were done destroying things. Some ignorant DEA officer at a border crossing stereotyped him because he was Canadian and as a result were looking for pot, they got it all wrong in that they did not understand he was from Saskatchewan and not BC. This was right around the time the brilliant Liberal government in Canada was talking about the decriminalization of pot.

    My favorite crossing the border story was when I went down with my brother when I was younger. The first commands were for us to turn of the vehicle and produce our IDs, the whole time the border guard had his hand on his sidearm. After returning from inside the office, which is when I assumed he ran my ID, he came back and accused me of having a criminal record. I denied the allegations as this was BS and have a clean record and again he told me that I had a criminal record and again I told him that he must be mistaken. This guard then denied us access to the US.

    Funny things those border guards at the 49th.
  10. BHP9

    BHP9 Well-Known Member

    Dec 4, 2007
    A criminal act can stop you from going to the US from Canada too. It's always been that way.

    In Canada, you can apply for your record to be cleared after 5 years of keeping your nose clean. DO YOU HAVE THAT SYSTEM IN THE US? If so, use it, because once your record is expunged, you can legally answer NO to having a crimal record.
  11. bedrock

    bedrock Member

    Sep 9, 2007
    Phil - I'm not sure what your point is but it's a two way street regarding a DWI. An Impaired Driving, as we call them in Canada is a criminal offence. I hear almost every month of someone with an impaired being refused entry into the States. It's even mentioned in our ads on radio and TV that you may be refused entry to the States. I asked a US customs agent about entry with an impaired some years ago and he said "Hell we don't worry about that, if we did nobody would go either way". I had one 25 or so years ago and have never had a problem entering but you never know. Things have changed since 9/11.
  12. philny1

    philny1 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2006

    I saw this in the Rochester NY paper the day I posted it here. I was surprised, had no idea this was happening at the border.
    My point is---To alert any US sportsman planing on a trip to Canada to what they will encounter at the border. For them to realize something from their past may well come back to haunt them. Perhaps something so trivial that it been forgotten or at least never thought to pose a problem.
    As I said I had no idea this was happening. Since then I've run across another similiar artical, USA Today I beleive that included stats on the numbers of US citizens crossing the border. I'm relying on memory now, the #s were 44 mil in 04 has dropped to 29 mil in 06. So I guess the word got out.
    During a conversation with a friend this subject came up. He mentioned on a recent trip his son was detained. When he came back to their vehicle, he explained he was denied entry for an incident that happened when he was 14 years old. But for $200.00 all was forgiven for a week. Plus for another fee, $240.00 comes to mind, his record could be rehabilitated. Interesting.
    Personally, at my age, time I kill all the game in the US I'll be to old to start in Canada. On top of that I'd just as soon spend my $$$$$ where I made it.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2008
  13. Moose hunter

    Moose hunter Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    I bet those numbers are down even more with the U.S dollar being weak. When you used to get $1.40 Can for $1.00 U.S i would think that made a big difference in the number of people crossing the border into Can. The people we have to blame for this pile of %*** are the ones who caused 911. We soon will need pasports to travel by car across the border. Gone are the good old days. Its been like that for years that if any Canadian had a criminal record they could not enter the U.S. I guesse some people dont think a d.u.i as a criminal offense even though it causes many deaths each year.:(
  14. Flybuster

    Flybuster Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2007
    I thought they legalized marijuna in Canada a couple of years ago?