Friday, November 21, 2014

An update after a long, long time

I'm back after a long hiatus...... obviously a lot has happened since 2007.  Among them: the Peace Arch border crossing pictures are ancient history.  The Department of Homeland Security and General Services Administration demolished the previous port buildings and constructed a brand-new facility with state-of-the-art security features.  Canada's Border Services Agency similarly reconstructed its Douglas port of entry facilities.

The Conservative Party of Canada has a majority government under Prime Minster Stephen Harper.  All of the NATO countries are facing a military resurgence of the air and land forces of the Russian Federation, the free world also phases the dramatic surge of the ISIS terrorist movement in the Middle East, and there have been deeply worrisome exchanges between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

While I'm not investing as much time on Can-Am politics as in the past, I remain concerned that our nations maintain healthy international relations.  We know that the heightened border security measures on the U.S. - Canada border, in contrast with the weak border security on the U.S. - Mexico border, has created some distance between individual citizens and families in border areas.  Before the final imposition of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative in June 2009, Canadian and American citizens were not required to provide a passport or "passport equivalent" in order to travel between the countries.  Also, for a handful of communities which either are immediate neighbors or which actually straddle the U.S.-Canada border in New England States (think of Derby Line, Vermont and Stansford, Quebec), the international boundary line is now strictly enforced.  


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