Canadian political leaders are feeling rather cranky about the U.S. government's plan to charge their citizens $5.50 just to cross the border and drink beer with us. The new fee also applies to Mexican travelers, but they don't seem to be complaining as much—maybe because they're used to getting screwed by the American government.
The fee has nothing to do with the U.S. seeking some sort of payback for, well, I don't know, but is mainly about raising revenue so that our broke and pitiful nation can continue fortifying its borders. Though some Canadian government leaders say all the complaining is hypocritical, because Canada charges travelers admission, many others don't really want to hear about our penniless status:
Gerald Keddy, parliamentary secretary for international trade, said the Conservative government is "disappointed" and hopes the U.S. "will recognize the error of their ways and that free and open trade is the way out of this economic depression, not into it."
"It's absurd," [NDP MP Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre)] said. "We don't charge them a fee to come and visit Banff. Why are we paying five and a half bucks for the honour of visiting the United States? It makes my blood boil as a Canadian Member of Parliament, frankly."
Martin said the Conservative government "should stand up on their hind legs and frankly tell the Americans, what for?
"This is a provocative insult to Canadians and I expect our foreign affairs diplomats and representatives to push back and push back hard.
At a time when America's feverishly trying to import shoppers from China, Brazil, and other "cash-rich" countries by plying them with coupons and bullshit, this new visitor tax seems discriminatory. Will such favoritism lead Canada to declare war on the U.S.? We'll find out soon. In related: America is now the world's lamest amusement park.
[The Star. Image via AP]