Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On Crossing the Canadian Border with Two Laptops, Two Bottles of Wine, But Not Your Wife

A few years back, I was heading into Vancouver to give a speech. At the Canadian border, the border guard asked me what the purpose of my trip into Canada was.  I told him that I was there to give a speech.

This got me escorted into an interior room with no windows and a fan slowly turning overhead. I thought I was in a bad B movie. Eventually a woman walked into the room and began quizzing me:

Woman: Why are you coming to Canada?

Me: To give a speech about the economy.

Woman (In an accusing tone): We think you are running seminars in Canada?

I laughed at the absurdity of this off the wall accusation.

Me: Well you can call the hotel where I am giving the speech, or the seminar operator, and see for yourself that I am here to give a speech and that is the beggining and end of it.

She looked at me suspiciously, while holding my passport in her hands.  She went to a small table in the corner of the small room and bizarrely said, "I am allowing you to stay in Canada for five days."  She picked up a a rubber stamp, stamped my passport indicating the date by which I had to depart Canada.

At this point, all I can say is that I am glad I didn't have in my possesion two laptops and two bottles of wine when I crossed the border. Privacy expert J.J. Luna did. Here is his report:

I’ve entered Canada many times, always with two laptops, and never a problem until December 26th. At the Canadian border crossing (Blaine, Washington), a young woman scowled at me in response to every answer I gave to her questions, especially when I told her I have never been arrested. (Apparently she thought there are only two kinds of travelers, those who admit they’ve been arrested, and those who lie about it.) I was told to park my pickup and enter the building—the dreaded “secondary inspection.” What followed was one the most miserable experiences I’ve had in recent memory.

“Give me your keys,” said an older, heavy-set officer, “and then sit over there.” From where I sat, my pickup was not visible. Eventually I was called back to the counter and the questions began.

“Why do you carry TWO laptops? Why are your keys connected to a Kubotan? How many flash drives do you have with you? Why doesn’t your wife travel with you? Are you going to be around any young children? What’s the name of the man you plan to meet in Ucluelet? Have you ever met him? No? Then how did you know about him? Why do you carry a Bible and some religious magazines, when you also carry two bottles of wine? (I quoted some pro-wine Scriptures at this point, which put an end to that line of questioning.)

In days gone by, I survived two interrogations by Generalissimo Franco’s Secret Police but this session with Canadian Customs and Immigration was even more depressing because I knew they were going to go through hundreds of my supposedly private files.

My Asus PC Eee, my backup Vaio, and the two flash drives require passwords. I was forced to reveal them. Then both the man and the young woman disappeared into a back room with my computers and flash drives and left me sitting out there alone with nothing to read and nothing to look at, for 55 minutes. That was the worst part.

True, I keep client lists, tax returns, confidential letters, and most of my pictures on a secure laptop at home that is never connected to the Internet and never leaves home. Nevertheless, there were hundreds if not thousands of files on those laptops and flash drives. Was this going to ruin all the work I’ve put into keeping my private affairs private? My mouth went painfully dry.

Finally, the man reappeared. He handed me the computers and flash drives and allowed me to leave. No “Sorry to bother you,” much less “Welcome to Canada.” But had they copied both hard drives? Would the U.S. Customs and Immigration be notified to check me out when I returned? I carried $4,000 in cash, stuffed inside a glove in the tool compartment below the rear seats. They hadn’t mentioned the money. Had they not found it, or had they taken it? If so, what recourse would I possibly have? I feared I was about to kiss four big ones goodbye.
Read the rest of Luna's report here.


  1. I have a canadiaan passport and received similar stupid treatment when returning from Jamaica after a week of holidays. I was asked how I plan to get home and I responded that the officer exceeds his authority by asking this stupid question. A secondary inspection folowed and after that I was allowed to leave. If you are a third world illegal immigrant you are far better treated .

  2. probably they are trying to discourage immigrating to canada??

  3. thats how British commonwealth colonies treat people - like the dirt they believe you are

  4. They cannot be trying to discourage immigrants from coming into Canada. Most of the people on the front desk jobs are ex-immigrants!!!!

  5. Well, the man submitted to this interrogation.
    Apparently, he thought giving his speech was more important that his privacy, including tghat of data in his laptops.

    Like HELL (I) I would submit to this.

  6. For people visiting Canada...remember, you are visiting our country; you don't have a right to be here. We don't want your guns, your child molesters, your kiddie pornographers, your escaped convicts, nor anything else that is bad from the US.

    So get over it, the border guards ask questions in order to root out the bad people because they don't carry special signs with their evils listed on them.

    For Canadians coming home from known drug producing or transit countries...people smuggle drugs all the time. It doesn't matter their race, age, or marital status...all kinds of people will try to earn a few thousand dollars carrying drugs. If you go to one of these countries, expect to get a second look on your return to Canada....

    And everybody...just because you say you aren't a criminal doesn't mean that you might not be one...guess what...criminals lie.

  7. All of this has happened before and it will happen are all being controlled and manipulated..and they....the controllers and winning.......No people are more hopelessly enslaved...then those who think they are free.......

  8. As a Canadian it pains me that this is the reality at our border crossings. Besides the obvious fact that many of those who staff our borders are addicted to their authority, this is also proof positive that open societies are slowly becoming extinct.

  9. "For Canadians coming home from known drug producing or transit countries...people smuggle drugs all the time. It doesn't matter their race, age, or marital status...all kinds of people will try to earn a few thousand dollars carrying drugs. If you go to one of these countries, expect to get a second look on your return to Canada....

    And everybody...just because you say you aren't a criminal doesn't mean that you might not be one...guess what...criminals lie."

    Well, I guess we know what happened to the presumption of innocence in Canada, don't we! I don't know what whoever said this was, (presumably a Canadian citizen), but whoever it was, he was obviously a traitor to every value a REAL flesh & blood Canadian holds dear! Two of these values are equality before and under the law and the presumption of innocence. These are values for which I as a True Canadian would give my very life to uphold. ANYONE in Canada who is not willing to uphold, honour and abide by these principles is an outlaw and a traitor to the Canadian people, who ought to be arrested and tried for the crime of treason for not honouring them. In this I would INCLUDE the so-called (fascist) government of Canada or its agents!

    Th day is coming up fast, that the people of Canada are going to reclaim their birthright and live as a free people in a just society!

  10. The rights of Canadians are well protected by the Supreme Court, and someone who does get caught smuggling will be afforded those rights, however, getting INTO the country if you are not a citizen means that you are agreeing to the questioning and examination. You have to prove that you are admissable to Canada. Citizens returing to Canada are subject to the Customs Act which provides for the examination.

    Everything has to be done according to the law, and Parliament passed the law, so there is no treason in obeying the law. If a law is unconstitutional then the SCC will strike it down. As with the old labout adage, obey now-grieve later.

    So the people of Canada voted for their Members of Parliament who passed a law. That's democracy. Don't like it, don't come to Canada. Of if you are here, go live somewhere else or become PM and abolish the law.

    Notice that we don't have the same problems on the Northern Border that the US has on the Southern Border. I think our system works.

    Don't want to have a hassle crossing the border then get you act together before you arrive, know where you are going and why, and don't be an idiot and argue with the officer. Got a problemm, obey and file a complaint. If you are a jerk then your complaint won't go anywhere, but if you have clean hands then something will be done.

  11. "The rights of Canadians are well protected by the Supreme Court"

    Tell that to Omar Khadre! The Supreme court of Canada has ruled that he must be brought home, yet the prime minister of Canada is still allowed to commit treason against all Canadian citizens in refusing to permit it.

    "Citizens returning to Canada are subject to the Customs Act…"

    This is the source of all the problems in Canada, The USA and most of the "countries" in the western world. There is an egregious duplicity involved here that has fooled people for centuries. For purposes of comment, I'll stick with the case in Canada, but it can easily be extrapolated to the US, or just about any other country (there are exceptions).

    There are TWO Canada's, one is a privately owned corporation, a legal fiction called "Canada" whose subjects are legal fictions called "citizens." (I am not one of those so-called "citizens" and therefore do no serve as an employee of that corporation - neither am I subject to its various rules & regulations called "statutes")
    There is another Canada, a great nation of people who proudly call themselves "citizens" (I count myself among them). These are NOT corporate legal fictions, but living, breathing people.
    If you choose not to identify yourself as a legal fiction, but instead as a native-born Canadian national, not affiliated with corporation Canada CANNOT lawfully make you subject to things like the "Customs Act." You are then entitled to all your inalienable rights, which include a presumption of innocence, equality in law, security against unlawful search & seizure, the right to privacy, the right to travel freely & without hindrance, etc.

    "Everything has to be done according to the law…"

    I agree completely!

    "…Parliament passed the law…"

    Too bad you don't know that what Parliament passes isn't law…You only think it is!

    "I think our system works."

    If you are talking about the system of "corporation Canada", I couldn't disagree more strongly! That system sucks and is currently dying. It is the author of its own demise.

  12. Canada has become a police state.

  13. "That's democracy. Don't like it, don't come to Canada."

    I'm a native of the land commonly called Canada. I DO NOT live in a democracy. I live in a nation governed by the rule of law (not the same definition presumed by the Canadian constitution, which is a formalist definition used in commercial law, which is the law that governs corporation Canada). The REAL rule of law (as it applies to REAL, living people, is the rule of the law of people, called natural law, the law of universal jurisdiction upon which all legitimate law is based. THAT is the rule of law I live under and would happily die to preserve. It is the law that protects your inalienable rights against even the tyranny of the majority called "democracy". I don't care if the vote is 34 million to one, the votes of 34 million people CANNOT lawfully establish things like "eminent domain" against the private property of one man. That's the LAW, so take your presumed democracy and shove it! Tha true nation of Canada is NOT a democracy, it is NOT a "constitutional monarchy", it is a REPUBLIC whose people have been conned into thinking it is what the corporation says it is.

  14. It's hilarious to see Canucks referring to the 'law' to justify this barbarity; almost everything that was done by the Third Reich was done pursuant to the 'law'. Almost every barbarity that the US is perpetrating in its quest to rid the world of brown children, is within the 'law'. Giordano Bruno was executed (for heresy) - and it was 'law'-ful. Galileo was subjected to the Inquisition... and it was lawful. Tyndale was executed for translating the Bible into the vernacular... and it was 'law'-ful.

    And of course everyone who is punished for violating some stupid law which is then repealed... well, they don't get so much as a "Yeah, oops. We were really wrong on that." (e.g., alcohol prohibition - which enabled the rise of organised crime as we know it).

    So let's just say that folks who think that we should all kiss the whip of the tax-parasite class, can go jump in the lake: the 'law' is a fiction, especially when it only applies to us peons. Time we showed the political parasite class who pays for its palaces.



  15. "Time we showed the political parasite class who pays for its palaces."

    All we have to do is quit giving them our money! They can have that usurious crap they try to hand us & stick it where the sun don't shine! I deal with PEOPLE, NOT banks!

  16. Another country to cross off your vacation list.
    "God keep our land glorious and free!
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee."
    Something of a contradiction there.

  17. "O Canada, we stand on guard for thee."
    Something of a contradiction there."

    There is no contradiction. All we have to do is know who we really are, what Canada (or whatever country you live in) really is, and to know enough to make the distinction between lawful reality and legal fiction.

  18. Its about time,finally americans are being treated the same way as canadian are crossing the US border. Except the US border guards are far more brash,arrogent,ask moronically stupid questions and are generally more unprofessional,as well we canadian [maybe traveller from other nations too] risk being physically assaulted by these cowboy types....yeah...lets build a big iron curtain

  19. Customs purposely fills these positions with extremely aggressive if not psychologically/emotionally unstable dolts many of whom are abusing steroids and instills them with god complex. When a person is on the border you are in an international security zone where they can do anything they want ... harrass you, steal from you, detain you, beat you unconscious

  20. "…everything that was done by the Third Reich was done pursuant to the 'law'"

    This is the crux of the matter. as long as you think that what some clown tells you is law (because you don't know what real law is), you are going to be beaten, used, bombed and murdered by people who claim the authority to enforce the law while having no sense of law themselves. In truth, law isn't written; it isn't what they tell you it is; it is what you KNOW in your heart to be law; it has an existence more real than anything tangible. All the thugs, lawyers, legislators or judges of the earth can't prevail against real law with all their nightsticks, legalese, statutes and rulings. The true spirit of law is justice & compassion. ANY system of purported law that lacks both of these isn't law at all and crumbles to dust before the force of a sincere heart.

    From your childhood, there was a little voice telling you what was and wasn't fair, what was right and what was wrong. Your conscience was telling you what the real law is. The source of real law is the compassionate conscience of a living soul. So quit believing that the crap that gets fed to you is "law". You instinctively know what real law is the moment you hear that quiet little voice that thunders at the outrage of injustice anywhere. If you want to think of God in either the literal terms of the religious man, or the metaphorical terms of an atheist, it makes no difference; you can't deny the truth that the human conscience is the voice of God and it speaks the law of God. All you have to do is relay what your heart tells you and NOBODY will be able to deny the truth of it because you will be speaking with the authority of real law.

  21. Along with the Godlike power to speak real law comes the moral obligation to enforce it and to fight injustice at every turn as a matter of duty. This can be done with bullets & bombs, but in truth it wouldn't be lawful; the innocent are bound to be harmed and one principle of law is that the innocent may not be made to suffer for the crimes of the guilty. Besides, we all know that two wrongs don't make a right and fighting fire with fire only makes more fire. We all know fire is generally better fought with water. Far better to fight war with peace, hate with love and injustice with law. When you learn to wield these weapons, the revolution will be over before it starts and you will have won.

    Believe it or not, each of you has it in you to save the world and the moral duty to do it, so what are you waiting for? Failure to act could put you to trial for dereliction of duty on Judgement Day! Only shoot in self defence to save your life; quit bombing people you don't even know because some "superior" told you to. "Just following orders" didn't wash at Nuremberg and it doesn't wash today. Quit being the triggerman for a gang of criminals. Quit being a coward too afraid to say "NO!"

  22. People have always had problems with "the authorities", but they forget that the root word for "authority" is "author". Look up the definitions of those words and you will have the answer to "What gives them the authority?" It turns out that you are the author of your misery because you consented to let them assert your own authority over you. In truth, they have no jurisdiction over you. If they claim to, tell them to prove their claim. NONE of these clowns know the law. They even think they get their authority from a pile of crap they never even read called the "Customs Act!"

    So the next time one of these losers who doesn't know the law he took an oath to uphold tries to assert authority over you, ask him where his authority comes from. If he says "the Customs Act", ask him if he's read & understood it. If he says "No.", ask him how he can enforce a law he never even read to understand. If he says "Yes." (He's probably lying), then call his bluff and ask him what the word "Act" means in the Customs Act. In all probability that'll stop him in his tracks and you can watch his so-called "authority" disappear in a puff of smoke.

    Important in all of this is the knowledge that you are not your legal person, in fact you are hot a person at all…you HAVE persons, one of which is "Mr." Whateveryournameis as listed on the passport. It is your legal person and the citizen-ship given to you to sail as captain of the vessel. YOU are NOT a citizen (of a corporation called Canada), "Mr. Whateveryournameis" is the citizen and wholly owned property of the government of Canada, which is fully liable for it.

    Don't EVER let them get away with calling you "Mr." If you do, you're cooked!

    (You could play with this a little, especially if the conversation is recorded, with something like "See here Mister; are you claiming you have authority over me?" If he doesn't refute the (admiralty) presumption of lower rank and at the same time says "yes" you can use it against him in court when you sue him.)

  23. Another option is to become a "World Citizen" like Garry Davis:

    If you want, you can even repudiate citizenship in your (fictional) country (as Garry did in the 1940s) and become a strictly World Citizen.

  24. It seems obvious that external pressure is taking place to avoid likely 'scammers' thus actual evidence about where the income comes from and police records are essential. I disagree there should be a class A and class B of foreign nationals as to visas and paperwork.

    UK Visitor Visas