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Canada should make up its mind....

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Biker, Feb 1, 2003.

  1. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Unbelievable.. Screaming about Canadian sovereignty one minute, and <a href="http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/PEstory/TGAM/20030131/UEXITN/national/national/national_temp/5/5/26/" target="blank">wanting to be totally exempt from another country's entrance requirements</a> the next.

    Can't have it both ways. Want Canadian sovereignty? Super. Stop your bitchin' about border security and let the US do its job. Want to become the 51st state? Come on in, but quit your whining about loosing your identity. Come to think of it, becoming the 51st state might not be a bad idea. Lord knows the immigration issue needs a serious kick in the pants.

    The longer I live here, the more I'm convinced the government is totally clueless and so far out of touch with reality that folks on an acid trip make more sense.
  2. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    The reason is simple. The sheer volume of trade and traffic, which includes: commerical truck traffic from US companies, Canadians visiting the US to spend money, and Americans coming to Canada for the same reason. According to this table and this article from the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there are over 220,000 entries per day (more than 200 million per year) into the US from Canada. BTW, accord to the BTS info, there are about 660,000 entries per day from Mexico!

    Presently, the border staffs can't even handle the "light" random checks now in service on the US/Canada border without huge backlogs in traffic.

    In order to do the checks as suggested, the border (in <b>both</b> directions... remember, the objective of this screening is to check people both entering and leaving the country... including US citizens) would turn into one big parking lot. I read a while ago (can't find the source now, sorry) that each check -- who you are, where you're from, where you're going and when you'll return... all info then entered into a compupter system) is expected to take 3-10 minutes per vehicle... the more people in a vehicle, the longer it will take.

    Let's see, let's say 5 minutes average checking time, multiplied by 200,000 entries per day = 1,000,000 minutes. Divide that by 60 (minutes in an hour) and you get 16,667 <b>man hours</b> of checking time <u>per day</u>. Right now there are some 3,500 officers staffing all US/Canada border crossings; let's say at any given time that approximately 500 of these officers will be off for vacation, "weekends", illness, personal time off, etc. , leaving 3000 officers (you could argue 100 more or less, but round numbers are easier). 16667 divided by 3000 equals about 5.5 man hours each. Sounds workable, right? But remember, many of these officers won't be "working the crowd"... for example, at the Windsor/Detroit Ambassador bridge, there's a compliment of about 50 assigned officers... but only 15 processing stations, of which usually only half are open (US Customs says they don't have the personnel to open more... in fact, post 9/11, only by using National Guard troops could they staff all inspection booths).

    The above picture presumes cars come in a steady, regular stream... which they don't. Factor in that border crossings have no "waiting areas"... cars come in and just get in line... if the line gets too long, they just back on on the roads. Picture several hundred, if not thousands of cars, trucks, etc., waiting for their 3-10 minutes turn at one of maybe 15 processing booths. Oh, and that 3-10 minutes doesn't include those people/vehicles which are pulled in for intensive checking... which takes more officers and time.

    And that's if everything works exactly as planned, there are no hitches, that most people take only the lower amount of time to be processed, etc. It ignores the fact that that things don't work as planned (Murphy's laws again), that there are busy days when 2 to 5 times the normal traffic will move across the border (holidays and the like), that the super-fast computer system to contain the information has yet to be developed, etc.

    Ok, numbers can be silly. But this does illustrate the problem. You folks woudn't have to worry about closing your borders... this would effectively do it all by itself. And odds are that a terrorist with a fake passport and good "agent" skills would still be able to get through, as they have in European countries with similar checks.

    <small><b>Edit: Correction for "creative math"... thanks to Copzilla's eagle-eye</b></small>
  3. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    Enron math there, Advocat... You don't divide your manpower by three for the shifts, the shifts still comprise a single day of workload.
  4. Ugly

    Ugly Fish is Brain Food

    The Canadians are racing hard to match the feckless French in irrelevance.
  5. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    Well, the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics' U.S. Merchandise Trade with Canada and Mexico by Surface Modes: 2000 and 2001 shows (values in millions of dollars):

    Total U.S. trade with Canada by truck $234,824
    U.S. imports from Canada by truck $117,130
    U.S. exports to Canada by truck $117,694

    All of which would be affected by border tie-ups. Seems like it should be relevant to both countries.
  6. Domh

    Domh Full Member

    The canadians are in an excellent position to isolate politically while enjoying excellent trade with the most active and agressive economy in the world.

    They can also enjoy that large countrys military protection.

    If they cant effectively enjoy and capitalize on their pretty sweet seat, they are truly clueless.

  7. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    I suspect initially there would be the normal snafu at the crossings, but as folks got entered into the database, things would eventually smooth out. Folks that tend to cross the border do it more than once.

    There's also the new system that will allow you to swipe your "card" at the border and go right through, bypassing the normal customs check.
  8. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    You're right... but it's not the Entry/Exit database (which citizens of the 7 terrorist nations have to register in) which I'm referring to. There are plans (at least as announced earlier) are to query <b>everyone</b> passing through the border and place their information in a tracking database... who you are, where you're going, when you'll be leaving/returning.

    This tracking system will be instituted shortly for air and sea travellers, US to Collect Data on Visitors. As the article mentions, at the moment this won't apply to car or truck traffic, but the proposal (which Canada is arguing against) is that eventurally all visitors entering at any border point would go through the same routine, <b>everytime</b> they cross the border... this is what is going to take 3-10 minutes per vehicle and create the parking lot.
  9. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    I honestly don't have a problem with it. Yeah, I'll be a grumbling and complaining whenever I have to cross the border, but then again, I'll probably be one of the ones using the quick pass system, too.
  10. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    At the moment, the quick pass system is only available to those who cross the border 5 days a week.

    And even if you have a pass, you still have to get access to the proper line once across the border... which will be difficult if 2000 cars and trucks are lined up ahead of you just to cross the border in the first place.
  11. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Betcha they make a lane just for that. Of course, it's getting off the QEW and across the bridge that makes things so fun when crossing at Ft Erie.
  12. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    Not for the moment, anyways. Once you're across the border, there will be a special lane, but crossing the border in the first place... you take your chances with everyone else. If the traffic is backed up two miles, you wait in line.
  13. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    I suppose we could tell the tree huggers to bugger off and build a nice new big bridge or two.
  14. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    The Canadians are already more irrelevant. Annoying as the French are, we still want ther brie, camembert and even some wines so we have to put up with their whining. We don't need anything from Canada so can ignore them completely -- except when their damned geese crap all over our parks and such, when we can complain loudly..
  15. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    Which you do so well! :haha:
  16. John R. Beanham

    John R. Beanham Typical Aussie Male

    OT, but when we arrived at LAX from Australia the 747 was full with about 50/50 Americans and 'others'.

    They had about 16 officers processing the Americans and ONE processing the peasants.

    When the Americans had been processed the Customs/Immigration people all went home. It took 3 HOURS to get through the gate.

    "not happy, Jan"


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