US/Canada relations????

Well I will make myself vulnerable and expose my ignorance and my worries!!!

I started out by writing a rant but it’s more than that so I edited myself and post here and expose my ignorance of the situation (or lack of understanding) and hope for the best

Are the relations between Canada and the US going bad. I feel that since that horrible date in September, things are getting from ok to not so good to bad. I don’t know who’s right or wrong or if there is a right or wrong in this, but will it get worse before it gets better… or am I just paranoid? :confused:

I personally like crossing into the States whenever I feel like it. Go spend a weekend in Boston, or a few days in New York without any problems at the border or without needing a passport.

Hopefully this subject has not been beaten to death already, and if it has please tell me where

Thanks for your help in understanding this situation

I don’t think our relations are souring. We have our disputes just like any neighbours. For example, the U.S wants to impose tariffs on Canadian lumber, and we’re always and forever squabbling over salmon.

On the other hand, we’ve been great partners. Heck, a lot of my Jeep Cherokee was made in Canada. And lest we forget, Canadians opened their hearts and their homes after the terrorist attack of September 11th, 2001.

Canada also allowed Americans to fight the European War before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Americans went to Canada to join the RCAF or RAF so they could fight Hitler’s forces in 1940.

And speaking of WWII, I’m reminded of the film The Devil’s Brigade. The Canadians and Americans hated each other at the start, then became as close as brothers. That’s what we are now: brothers. Canadians populate our television screens and movie screens. I had a neighbour in L.A. from Canada (he’s in Palmdale now), and I work with a Canadian lady from Toronto. I worked with another Toronto-ite a few years ago too.

Canada is quick to support the U.S. and sometimes the U.S. is slow to thank them. But just let anyone try to mess with Canada, and the U.S. will support our northern neighbours in a heartbeat.

Since the recent attack, border crossings have become more difficult. I was in my Jeep with California license plates, I had a California driver’s license, and the U.S. border guard still wanted a second form of ID. It saddened me, as I think that Canadians and Americans should be able to visit one another’s country as easily as a Californian might visit Las Vegas. Border crossings are a casualty of the attack. I hope someday sanity will prevail.

It’s been stated on the SDMB already, but I’ll say it again: We appreciate Canada. Canada is not forgotten. Canada is our friend.

I agree wholeheartedly with Johnny LA.

However, if the recent 60 Minutes story about Canada and Al-Qaida has any truth to it, there may be considerable concern …

“*A former high-ranking Canadian intelligence official tells Steve Kroft that there are at least 50 terrorist groups, al- Qaida among them, operating in Canada whose members could easily slip into the U.S. across the undefended 5,500-mile border. *”


Never mind the fact that there is conclusive proof that terrorists were and probably still are operating in the US :rolleyes: .

Oh, and Johnny, it is a Torontonian not Toronto-ite.

Thanks. I didn’t know, so I just chose one.

I started typing out a response before adam’s, but in my caffeine-drprived state I started going off on a tangent so I backed out of it. Basically, I said that there are terrorist organizations operating in the U.S. from al-Qaida to the IRA to the KKK to clinic-bombers. As the article says, Canada, like the U.S. is a free country. That’s a good thing. While I’m not sure what we can do to get rid of these terrorist organizations without putting a strain on our freedom, I think that the U.S. and Canada and other countries can and will work together to overcome this evil.

So while there are indeed terrorist groups in Canada, they are also in the U.S. Remember that the pilots who crashed the aircraft were trained in the U.S. There can be no finger-pointing between us.

Canada and the U.S. are neighbours, and rivals, and friends. No matter what minor squabbles we have about lumber or fish or acid rain or smuggled guns, we’ll always be there for each other.

I bet part of the reason you feel so is the newsmedia whose stories that make the front pages are generally negative and confrontational.

I’d still bet that no two neighboring countries have a friendlier attitude then the US and Canada. Certainly none with as many people or with as long of a border as we do.

P.S. I like Canada. If it weren’t so darn cold it would be a viable alternative home for me.

You know I read the entire thread just didn’t put two and two together. Replace “I bet” with “You can see that.” Also put “would be the only viable” in place of “would be a viable.”

If you want to know how strong Canada/US relations are, consider the aftermath of the friendly-fire incident in which four Canadians (our first combat deaths since Korea) were killed by an American F-16.

I have not heard ONE complaint about the U.S. over this. Not one. Even our government is falling short of complaining, but rather is asking for an inquiry to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It may even turn out to be Canada’s fault, for not providing its soldiers with IFF gear (A transmitter to identify friendly troops on the ground).

I think relations between Canada and the U.S. are closer than they’ve been for a long time. If we didn’t have the corrupt moron Jean Chretien in power, they’d be even closer.

I don’t know if I’d blame Canada for the fratricide incident, even if the soldiers did not have the proper IFF equipment. After all, it was the American who actually pickled his load on them. It was a mistake, and there may have been mitigating circumstances; but I feel the pilot is, as FAR 91.3 says (not that it applies to Canadians outside of U.S. airspace or the military), “The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority to, the operation of that aircraft.” IIRC, the pilot made the decision to drop. If he had been ordered to drop I’d cut him some slack.

But you’re right, Sam. There haven’t been the recriminations one might expect. I did read one article that mentioned Canada would be burying her latest dead, and they’re not appreciated by anyone outside of Canada; but I think most people in Canada know that this was a tragic mistake of the kind that are made in wartime, and people in the U.S. feel rotten about it.

JOOLS, if you’ll allow me to turn your question back on you: Why do you feel U.S./Canadian relations are souring? Just curious.

IMO, while Americans of course know that Canada is another country (duh), they do not consider Canadians to be “foreigners,” in the sense of possession that aura of romantic exoticism that sets of those who are different from us. Canadians are much like Americans, just like Americans are much like Canadians. (Qualification for nitpickers: Yes, this is a gross-overgeneralization. I know.) I think there are deep cultural and historical ties that would prevent a deep schism between the two countries.

I have heard from a few Canadians on this Board, and saw a report on CBC, to the effect that some Canadians do not feel the U.S. was sufficiently regretful about the deaths of those Canadian soldiers – which I think is an unfortunate perception that doesn’t reflect the reality of the American public – we do regret their deaths, very much.

Beyond that incident, I haven’t seen much sign of worsening relations, and I’m curious why you think they’re headed downhill.

As someone who has just returned to the States from a long weekend in Montreal – my first trip by air since last August, which was to Toronto – I have to say that I did not find border crossings/customs any more difficult than on my many, many other forays into Canada and back over the last 13 years. I certainly saw no indications, in this process, that relations between Canada and the United States have significantly altered.

Sorry to be a legalistic pain in the butt, but INS is just now starting to enforce regs that have been in effect for aeons; neither a driver’s license nor auto registration are proof of U.S. citizenship or of the right to enter/remain in the U.S. That’s why the second form of ID. Your U.S. birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or other evidence of valid immigration status (such as a work/student visa) should do the trick for that purpose. If INS hadn’t been sleeping at the wheel for so long, Sept. 11 may well never have happened.

So show your ID with a smile; I’m usually quite the liberal, but this really is a matter of national security. I’s been far too easy for far too long, as evidenced by Illinois’ licenses-for-bribes scandal, to get a driver’s license in many places without adequate documentation of your identity and your ability to drive without killing people.

Eva Luna: But how does a birth certificate prove citizenship? My friend (who lives in Washington just four miles from the border and thus knows more about it than I do) showed the U.S. border guard a photocopy of his birth certificate. I can create birth certificates by the dozen on my computer.

I could have shown the border guard my pilot’s license, but I didn’t think of it because U.S. pilot’s certificates do not have photos on them. (It didn’t occur to me until afterwards that neither does a birth certificate.)

I disagree that 9/11 might not have happened if “INS hadn’t been sleeping at the wheel”. AFAIK, the terrorist pilots’ paperwork were all in order with the appropriate visas and supporting documents.

An original (or certified copy, with the seal of the governmental authority that issued it) of a U.S. birth certificate proves U.S. citizenship, except for those extremely rare cases where someone has gone to the State Department or a consular officer and formally renounced U.S. citizenship. I’ve never heard of a border guard who would accept a photocopy, but all things are possible.

As for the pilots’ paperwork being in order: it depends on how you define being “in order.” I’m sure you heard about the approvals of change of status from B-2 visitor to student status for Mohammed Atta and one of the others were approved a few weeks ago, more than a year after they were filed, and several months after the applicants were quite publicly dead. As it stands right now, if a person is in valid immigration status of some sort, he/she can file for an extension or change of status on the last day of validity, and have up to 240 days to remain in the U.S., perfectly legally, before INS gets around to looking at the change/extension application. Frequently INS takes longer than that to even look at the darn thing. Green card and naturalization applications, depending on the jurisdiction where they are filed, can sit around for up to 3 years before anyone at INS looks at them. There are many, many opportunities to monkey with the system.

I know the system better than most; I worked for the Office of the Immigration Judge for more than 3 years, in refugee resettlement for a year, and now work for an immigration law firm (although I should probably state that I’m not a lawyer). For example, a few years ago, one could file for political asylum, and the backlogs were several years long that you could have years of legal work authorization until INS got around to looking at your application, even if its content was complete crap. Things are supposedly somewhat more efficient in that area now, but the DOJ certainly has a long way to go.

It blew my mind to find out that nobody was entering outstanding deportation orders into any kind of centralized law enforcement database, even those for people who had been ordered deported for severe and violent criminal convictions.

…Oops, forgot to mention that to enter the U.S… on a U.S. birth certificate, you need to prove that the birth certificate is yours, so you need photo I.D. in addition. (Driver’s license does the trick.) A U.S. passport can be used as proof of identity and citizenship.

Also, Canadians can use birth certificates in combination with photo I.D. to enter the U.S.; they are exempt from the passport requirement. Married women who have changed their names should show the marriage certificate as well.

Funny story; a few years ago, at the airport, my grandma, my cousin and I were traveling to Toronto. The person at the check in desk asked for our certificates/passports. My grandma gave her her passport, my birth certificate, and a photocopy of my cousin’s birth certificate (we were both about 14 at the time). They would only accept the photocopy if it were notarized. So the desk attendent went to her notary co-worker and had her stamp it :D.

As far as relations between the US and Canada, my family certainly hasn’t noted any sort of deterioration. My mom and grandma are French-Canadian, and we stay in touch with some relatives in Ontario (Pedawawa peoples) and Quebec. We’ve noticed nothing.

Sides, US-Canadian relations have already come to fruition with my sister and I.

To answer you Jodi…

To answer your question JODI as to why do I feel that the relations are getting worse… well maybe someone did see right by saying the media had something to do in it. Basically information overload . I knew we were hitting a « rough patch » but never thought more of it. Then this weekend, I don’t why (maybe because I was broke and stuck at home :eek: ) I watched a lot of television Canadian and American (yes including the 60 minutes report) and they seemed to all be quite alarmist, that if things don’t get better soon, it could hurt relations, import/export and of course the border between our countries, I was in a state of shock… not understanding why… Because Bush did not publicly acknowledge the incident in Afghanistan??.. well Jeez it’s not as if our Prime Minister never made any mistakes… .(we have two books yes TWO BOOKS of his fumbles in french… and he is from Quebec) ( I KNOW OVERSIMPLIFICATION). One of the reporters (a Canadian one) when as far to say that what happened was criminal… Jeez man how??? Of course he never explained himself after someone else told him that get a criminal charge you had to show intent… which of course nobody believes there was!!! Then to get away from that uneasy feeling that was growing, I decided to watch some hockey BIG MISTAKE, I mean animosity between players is normal but “booing” the national anthem of other countries… that’s low and disrespectful (no matter who started it… there is no reason for that). Then you read message boards (not necessarily here), and you read horrible things about how the Americans have treated the Canadian. Well as a Canadian, I never felt any of it. So you start wondering… Am I that dumb??? Am I that naive to think that yes we are hitting a rougher patch but not enough to break the bond. Like most of you, I always thought we were family, so yes we fight but deep down we are there for each other. I am sure that if something bad would happen to Canada, the US would be right there helping us…

Obviously I am aware that some things have to change, on both sides… but the world we live in has changed a lot in one year, and we have to adjust but it will take time and changes are rarely a smooth ride…

I’d like to thank all of you for setting me right… panic is over… and will go to New York (or Boston) as I intended this spring

To summarize that long winded “explanation”… why i feel this way… information overload

… that’ll teach you to watch the news, jools!

Aside from the fact that the pilot of that F-16 should have his ass handed to him, I can’t say I’ve felt any increased hostility toward Americans (or as I call them, “the cousins”).

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit, that was totally out of line and, yes, “low and disrespectful.” But we still love you, eh? :wink: