Boating in Canada News

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8 September 2011

Fishing along the Canadian border just got complicated

Canada Border Services went overboard June 29, 2011 by fining Roy Andersen, an American boater in the St. Lawrence, $1000 for fishing in Gananoque Narrows (just across the border in the middle of the river) without reporting to customs. It was either "pay on-the-spot" or CBSA would have handcuffed them and towed the boat to shore.

According to MP Pierre Polievre, the CBSA refunded $999 of the poor guy's fine. One has to wonder what the federal government needed to keep that extra $1 for - I'd love to see the paperwork on that. So far, CBSA has been too proud to back down on this fiasco, which would have solved everything. They "improved" the so-called rules to allow people cruising along the border to phone in, instead of going to a border port. Big deal. You still have to check in if you are simply cruising in the river. Result? No one will come anywhere near Canada - to shop, fish, spend the night, or anything else. Who needs the hassle?! It makes you wonder why anyone would buy a boat. The days of freedom on the water are long over.

There is only improvement that would keep borders open to legitimate travel, but closed to criminals -- just go back to the previous practice of requiring border check-in only after docking or anchoring in Canadian waters. Just like the US border does. Just like it's been for decades. The border in the St. Lawrlence River is invisible for heaven's sake!

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