JLS (jlsjlsjls) wrote,

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I'd laugh ...

... if I didn't know how many idiots will believe what this guy says: Alienation at home, criticism from abroad.

Just for clarity:

A) There is no such place/neighbourhood as "South Toronto." The May 2003 Gathering was practically dead centre of the southern edge of Toronto ... anybody notice any terrorist groups?

B) It's U.S. Customs that inspects the identification of persons entering the U.S. ... any terrorists get in, it's THEIR fault, not Canada's.

From my own travels, I can tell you that U.S. Customs is far more lax letting me in than Canadian Customs is letting me back home when it comes to air travel. Land crossings have been even worse ... the first time I drove to the U.S. after 9/11, the U.S. Customs guy didn't even look at my identification (I was holding it out to him and he wouldn't take it); other land crossings except one have been barely a glance at the I.D. The exception was U.S. Customs at Sault Ste. Marie/Michigan (my regular crossing point is at Coutts on the Alberta/Montana border), where they searched the car (and it was only a visual search, although they were helpfully offered permission to be more thorough if they wanted to) because I said I was only going to be in the U.S. for about 24 hours, then I was crossing back to Ontario via a different route ... the concern that time was that I was smuggling drugs, NOT that I was a terrorist.

Crossing back into Canada ... well, Canada Customs has a photo of my car + license plate, both of which reside in Customs' database ... when I enter Canada, they enter the plate number, pull up a cross-referenced scan of my driver's license and birth certificate and compare my face with the license photo (scans of the I.D. of previous travelling companions are also in the computer). Americans driving into Canada are all required to park, enter the Customs/Immigration office, show I.D., fill out paperwork, and have an interview with an Immigration officer ... I've never seen an American get waved through (except for a friend travelling with me who had a Canadian work permit, and whose crossing record was cross-reference to my file). As an added treat, a Customs officer strolls through the waiting room and wanders 'round the parked cars with a drug-sniffing dog.

So tell me, which country do YOU think is the greater security risk?

P.S. Pre-9/11, I was personally appalled to see that not only could anybody wander right up to the departure gates at American airports (and, as inspectors proved the day after one of my departures from O'Hare, get on the planes without being questioned) ... in fact a security guard at baggage inspection got annoyed with me and my traveling companion when we tried to show our boarding passes. I took my first flight in 1982, and even back then, NOBODY got past Canadian airport security's baggage inspection station without a boarding pass that matched up to a flight scheduled in the next three hours ... no way did friends/family accompany a passenger to the gate or anywhere near the planes.
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