Friday, December 03, 2004

Why Is Canada So Snotty

My little brother is in the same line of work that I was in, he's a machine tool electrician. A machine tool electrician works in a job shop, his sole function is to put that spark of life into the machine tools that factories use to build automobiles and outboard motors for yachts. Champfers, welding robots, conveyor belts, rotating tables, electrified monorail, junction boxes and panels. All of these things and a zillion more are the meat of the machine tool electrician.

Once the job shop completes these amazing prodigies of modern automation, they taken apart into sections and shipped to the plants that contracted for them. General motors, Ford, John get the idea.

Once these tools reach their destination, a contingent of people from the job shop usually goes along to put it back together. This is called field work. Usually, engineers, electricians and builders will go out and perform maintenance on tools that had been purchased some time ago.
This is called service work.

My brother is a great machine tool electrician; much better than I ever was. He is sent out regularly to all corners of the United States on service. He's spent months in Mexico on service. He's even gone to Canada regularly. We build a lot of machine tools for Canadian companies.

Last night he got his paperwork in order because he was to go up there for the day on service today. It's only a short drive across the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit.

Well things didn't work out as they should have. He and his fellow worker were stopped at the border and asked why they were crossing, as is customary. When they told the agent that they were coming across to do service work for a client, they were denied access. The reason given was that it violated NAFTA (Don't ask me how) and that they would be stealing jobs away from Canadian workers. If this was so...then why did the Canadian company do business with that particular American job shop in the first place??? Because the Canadians don't build those products!

How childish can a country collectively be?

I'm sick of how we bend over and kiss the asses of countries like Canada while they crap on us every time they get the yen to squat.

If the Canadians are so damned worried about the job security of their should we. Let's all be petty. I like petty. First we round up all Canadian citizens in the American entertainment industry and ship them back up north. Let's see them get fat off of purely Canadian audiences. It won't happen....that's why they all come down here. I won't miss them. All they do is make money off of us and then trash our ways of doing things anyway so let's cast the snakes from our bosom.

Then we stop importing Canadian products...all two of them. After all, every LaBatt's Blue you guzzle is depriving American brewers of dollars.

We can just close down our borders all-together. Why not? No more blue hairs streaming across the border on charter buses to play bingo!

I know this is silly. It's really all hyperbole. My point is Canada had better start thinking long and hard about who her best friend is. Not to rub her face in it....but Canada would dry up and blow away without the benevolence of us evil Americans.

And I know that NOT all Canadians are so vitriolic towards us. I'm speaking of the Countries general attitude in regard to us, not of the individual canadians that are still friendly.


I spoke to my brother to clarify some of the finer points and these are the facts as he gave them to me....

1.) It was not a border guard but rather an emigration official to whom they were handed over by the customs people.
2.) After leaving them for an hour, this emigration official returned and told them that it was a violation of NAFTA to allow them through since their paperwork said that it was a rented machine that they were going to tear down. She did not bother to explain why it was perfectly okay to let employees in from the same company to put that machine together in the first place nor did she cite any particular NAFTA regulations to them.
3.) My brother and his co-worker were then advised that if they protested the decision or chellenged it officially they would be barred from entry into Canada for one year.
4.) They then had to sign papers so they could be released back across the border.

Take this stuff for what it's worth.....I think it's humiliating to honest workers and frightening. They were treated like criminals for absolutely no reason at all except for sheer petulance.