LETTER: Border crossing irks traveller in Osoyoos

LETTER: Border crossing irks traveller in Osoyoos

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The following is a complaint regarding Canada Customs border crossing in Osoyoos.

A number of years ago I had problems at the above border crossing.

The Canada Customs staff at the time were very rude and incompetent.

I, and probably many others, wrote to then Prime Minister Stephen Harper in hopes that he would correct the customs problems.

Prime Minister Harper did correct the customs clearance problems without delay.

Customs officials became very friendly and competent in customs clearance in a straightforward manner.

I noticed in Edmonton when arriving from an international flight we were greeted by a very attractive, intelligent lady in a customs uniform saying, “Welcome to Edmonton, Canada ladies and gentlemen.”

In June of this year, a companion and I went to Omak in Washington State.

In a JCPenney store, I came across pants and shorts that have a very flexible waist, which seemed to eliminate the need of a restrictive belt.

I purchased a pair of the shorts and we purchased two 750 ml bottles of wine. We declared the wine and clothing.

I found the shorts to be excellent for my use. On July 11, 2018, I went back to Omak with the intention of purchasing long pants with the same flexible features as the shorts.

I purchased two 750 ml of wine that was made in California for convenience. I was aware that the same wine was available in Osoyoos. I went back to Osoyoos through customs.

I was surprised there was no estimated time to clear customs at the border crossing.

I presented the first customs officer with receipts of my purchases. I was told that it was illegal to bring wine across the border and I could take the wine back for a refund.

I told the official that I did not wish to do so as I would have to go back through U.S. Customs and I was tired. He directed me to a garage complex of some type.

I parked fairly close to another vehicle and a Customs official told me to park in another parking lane farther away.

I noticed a couple who appeared to be very decent people in their mid-70s. They appeared to be very upset and in distress. I started to talk to them and see if I could help.

I was interrupted by a Customs official who turned out to be no name but number XXXXX.

Number XXXXX told me that it was illegal to bring back wine and it was illegal to bring back anything duty-free unless I had been in the U.S. for 48 hours.

I replied, “I have brought back a couple of bottles of wine many, many times.”

Canadian Customs number XXXXX said nothing but proceeded to issue a demand for $31.46 in Canadian funds. Number XXXXX did not return the receipts.

As I am an American citizen, I don’t understand as to why I am required to pay duty on goods produced in the United States.

I wonder what happened to the fine people who appeared to be in their mid-70s. Hard to believe they could be criminals.

I understand that Canadian citizens who have used marijuana in the past may be refused entry to the U.S. If Justin Trudeau used marijuana in the past, will he be refused entry to the U.S?

Perhaps Justin Trudeau will invoke the War Measures Act just like his father Pierre “Truedough” did.

Jim A. Welsh, Edmonton and

Osoyoos

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