Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, May 25, 2009

Canadian Thickening

I do not mean because of regulations or rules but due to brain problems

We complain about the Americans and the thickening of the border. Then the Government of Canada pulls a bonehead stunt just before the Homeland Security Secretary comes here and on a US holiday weekend too.

What a way to discourage tourists. Is Canada that desperate to force the Bridge Company owner to sell out that it has to cook the books too!

Notwithstanding Sean O'Dell, most people understand that border traffic has dropped dramatically since the highs of the late 1990's. Accordingly, the traffic argument for a new DRIC Bridge has failed.

If that reasonable and logical thought is what you are thinking, you are wrong. Canada is going to argue that although border traffic is down, we still have a capacity issue at the Ambassador Bridge. Forget that it is operating at around 50% capacity or less these days.

Canada will argue that even with reduced traffic, it takes a very long time for a traveller to get across the river. Accordingly, we need to spend billions on the DRIC Bridge.

Here is what Canada did just this last weekend to prove their point. They fixed the answer to ensure a negative result.

Canada arranged for a survey to be taken about how long it took travellers to come across the bridge and clear Canadian Customs. But that was not all. To ensure that the times were poor, the number of booths open and staffed was just a small percentage of those available. And on a US holiday weekend when high traffic could be expected into Canada because of the number of US visitors.

Nothing like discouraging them to come back again too. What is Canada thinking!

Of the 23 booths available, not counting the 6 booths for truck that Canada has never staffed yet making 29 in total (the exact number by the way that the DRIC Bridge will have to handle the vast majority of the traffic 30 years into the future according to their studies) at around 3-4 PM, I am told that only 8 car lanes and 3 truck lanes were open ie less than half the booths available.

Accordingly, the crossing time including clearing Canada Customs was about 3o-35 minutes. If the booths had been fully staffed, of course crossing times would be minimal.

But that would not help out Canada would it? It does help Secretary Janet Napolitano tremendously when Canada complains!