Planning a trip?
There was a time not long ago when a trip across the border from the United States to Canada was accomplished with a wink and a wave of a driver’s license. Those days are over.
Take the case of 55-year-old Lake Tahoe resident Greg Felsch. Stopped at the border in Vancouver this month at the start of a planned five-day ski trip, he was sent back to the United States because of a DUI conviction seven years ago. Not that he had any idea what was going on when he was told at customs: “Your next stop is immigration.”
Felsch was ushered into a room. “There must have been 75 people in line,” he says. “We were there for three hours. One woman was in tears. A guy was sent back for having a medical marijuana card. I felt like a felon with an ankle bracelet.”
Or ask the well-to-do East Bay couple who flew to British Columbia this month for an eight-day ski vacation at the famed Whistler Chateau, where rooms run to $500 a night. They’d made the trip many times, but were surprised at the border to be told that the husband would have to report to “secondary” immigration.
There, in a room he estimates was filled with 60 other concerned travelers, he was told he was “a person who was inadmissible to Canada.” The problem? A conviction for marijuana possession.
It seems Canada understand border security, how about you?