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Thread: If yuh Driving to Canada This Weekend....

  1. #1
    Registered User NYC2BGI's Avatar NYC2BGI is offline
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    Nov 2002
    Brooklyn NY

    If yuh Driving to Canada This Weekend....

    You might run in to some trouble. Read this article.

    Long waits expected at U.S. border
    Sunny skies are a bright spot for the long weekend

    Travellers planning to visit the U.S. this weekend should expect to spend a lot more time at the border than usual because of planned job action by customs officers.

    Steve Pellerin-Fowlie, national vice-president of the Canadian Excise Union representing 4,200 front-line Customs Officers, says his members are upset about the fact that they're being asked to perform more duties but are paid much less than their American counterparts.

    Customs officers in Quebec and Ontario have been checking travellers and commercial exports heading into the U.S. something they don't ordinarily do at the request of the U.S. government, which stepped up security for the Democratic Convention going on in Boston. This request only extends until tomorrow, when the convention ends, but the customs union plans to continue stepped-up checks as part of the job action.

    The union's grievance centres around the extra duties they say they are being asked to perform. Ron Moran, national president of the excise union, said that about four years ago, customs officers were asked to start enforcing Criminal Code violations, but without any extra pay. They when they were asked to do the extra checks by the U.S. "this sparked a reaction," said Moran.

    Pellerin-Fowlie points out that, for example, that U.S. Customs officers are paid $61,000 U.S., while Canadian Customs officers are paid $48,000.

    "We don't even get paid on par with peace officers," Pellerin-Fowlie told in a telephone interview. "We've had a classification grievance for four years now, and we've simply not made any progress. We've had promises broken and we've been lied to. Our members are frustrated to the hilt."

    So, in a form of job protest, officers will be especially thorough in checking all traffic leaving Canada this weekend.

    "Our members will be very diligent in exercising their duties," Pellerin-Fowlie said.

    Asked if border waits could last as long as six hours, as has been reported, he said: "That's possible."

    It's a recipe for a frustrating experience for both officers and travellers.

    "Tempers are understandably higher than they've ever been," Moran said in a news release.

    Not only will travel to the U.S. be frustrating this weekend, but motorists could also be hit with higher cost of gas.

    Prices reached a 21-year high this week after fears of world supply disruptions because of problems associated with unpaid back taxes involving Yukos, Russia's largest oil producer.

    However, there was some easing of oil prices today after the Russian government announced this morning that it had lifted the freeze on the property of three of the oil giant's subsidiaries.

    But this doesn't hide the fact that increasing oil demand and a relatively tight supply make for volatile prices. This morning, the best prices at the pumps across Toronto were 65.5 cents. But that's expected to leap by the weekend.

    And as with any long weekend, the OPP will be out in force trying to stop unsafe vehicle and marine traffic.

    Last year, four people died in four separate motor vehicle collisions and another died in a boating accident, the OPP said in a news release today.

    Alcohol was a factor in three of the four motor vehicle fatalities and two of the victims were not wearing seat belts. The victim involved in the marine fatality was not using a life preserver when a canoe capsized.

    But all the news isn't bad.

    After a rainy, dreary week, the weather has taken a turn for the better, with mostly sunny skies and warmer temperatures forecast for the long weekend.

    Tomorrow is expected to be cloudy with sunny periods. There is a 30 per cent chance of showers late in the day, but the temperature is expected to reach a high of 25. Saturday, Sunday and Monday are expected to be sunny with temperatures near 30C, which is above normal for this period, according to Environment Canada.

  2. #2
    OnE eYe MoNsTeR InC. Cook's Avatar Cook is offline
    Join Date
    May 2004
    in my own world
    Small Ting as long as we reach T. Dot with no problems ah goh deal wit de security check.

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