Friday, June 03, 2005

Defended borders

Canada gives Peace Garden to United States in honor of longest shared, peaceful border; International Peace Garden Foundation

When I was growing up in Buffalo, New York, we learned a proud mantra: "Canada and the United States share the longest undefended border in the world."

No more. Not only has the US made crossing the border problematic for Muslims, but now it seems our ever-vigilant Transportation Safety Administration wants lists of passengers on flights within Canada. Seems Canadian airlines flying between Canadian cities cross the US border everyday. Overflights take the shortest route between Toronto and Vancouver, for example. According to Reuters Canada: "Of the 160,000 Canadian flights that enter U.S. airspace every year, around 120,000 are traveling domestically."

The Liberal Transport Minister Jean Lapierre assures Canadians that he is going to try to negotiate with Washington. Other politicians have more to say:

Washington is pushing its way into Canadian security matters where it doesn’t belong, charged New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton. “This is certainly a step towards the kind of deeper integration between our two countries that I think a lot of Canadians are concerned about.”

Yet even as the politicians protest, it all seems a little pro forma. The US is going to do what it is going to do and Canadians will concede, as they accept that they must. Their airlines will either turn over their passenger lists or fly further north. Resignedly, the Toronto Star concludes "Ultimately, air travellers will pay."

I'm think we all pay, condemned to live with partially rational fears, bullying bureaucrats, expansive US imperial arrogance, and more and more defended borders and minds.

1 comment:

lisa garrigues said...

Great blog! You've got a lot of informative stuff and insightful comments!

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