Canadian Montys

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As in "Python." As in "Run away! Run away!"

Four Canadian border crossings were shut down Sunday as about 60 of Canada's unarmed border guards walked off the job after they were warned that a person classified as "armed and dangerous" may be headed into Canada.

The walkouts—permitted when the guards perceive threats to their personal safety—began mid-afternoon and stalled northbound border traffic for hours.

Can this possibly be true, that guards are allowed to leave their posts if they hear about "threats"?

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  1. How embarrassing for them.

  2. How… Canadian.

    I smell bull thought, this is probably a cover for some labor dispute.

  3. If you’re not going to allow the border guards to be armed, would you really expect them face armed and dangerous criminals?

  4. Don’t worry. Some of the “guards” will have actual guns to protect themselves a year from now, and the rest should have theirs in ten years.

    O, Canada!

  5. What’s the point of having unarmed border guards in the first place? That’s just stupid.

    *shrug*

  6. What exactly are they guarding if they can leave when it gets dangerous? Are they just there to torment people who break obscure or minor laws? (i.e. bringing too much liquor back, having only one rather than two forms of ID, etc.)

  7. The Border Guards want to be armed. For years the previous Liberal gov’t pooh-poohed that idea – armed Canadians! How un-Canadian!

    The current Conservative government says it will arm and train the border guards but it will take until 2010 for that to be complete.

    The guards were warned (presumably by US authorities) that a couple of armed bad guys from California (armed Californians – how un-Californian) were heading for Canada. This caused the guards to feel threatened, and under current labor (or “labour” if you are reading in Canadian) practices they are permitted to bugger off whenever they feel threatened.

    They (and their union) claim that once armed they will be able to handle these kinds of threats… (does that mean armed, they will not feel threatened by thuggish Californians?) Coming soon gunfights at the Canadian border?

    I don’t personally have any objection to them being armed, in fact I don’t much object to anyone responsible being armed, I just have a problem with the sissy way they are going about it. Why not, if they are so concerned, just call a freakin’ strike and be done with it!

    Meanwhile their supervisors who don’t have a union (or don’t feel so threatened) step in and longer waits ensue at the border.

    David makes an interesting point – what exactly does the government think these folks are guarding, unarmed, and able to just bugger off whenever they might be feeling threatened? And is Canada any safer from armed Californians when only supervisors are manning (and womanning) the border? Are supervisors armed, or going to be?

    Such a Canadian issue!

    Most recent CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp) news item:http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2006/09/25/guards-return.html

  8. Ha Ha Ha Ha HA Ha……….
    Take off, eh?

  9. Perhaps the guards are really more along the lines of “visa and customs clerks”, with actual guarding provided by a different outfit, such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Rifles/Police or local police?

    To wit, at US airports, I do see armed personnel around (mostly local police, right after 9/11 National Guardsmen in fatigues, maybe there are TSA armed agents now), but I’ve never noticed a holstered sidearm on the guy who stamps my passport (though to be honest, I haven’t looked), the guy who asks for my tariff declaration, or the Ag guy with the beagle who asks about meats and fresh veggies.

    If it’s a division-of-labor/work rule issue, well, it’s still pretty silly, but I don’t imagine the border to be unguarded.

  10. Let’s go in and get that Albertan oil before we have to deal with armed guards at the border!

  11. Keith is absolutely correct, they arent really border guards, they are customs agent (ie. tax collectors). And by the way some of those at the border are people who could not get into police. Others are temp and part time university/college students. And far too many of them seem to always be having a bad day.

    You have to consider the fact that in order for you to get a gun on the US side, you probably go through training as well as psych profiles etc…. On the canadian side its going to end up as an afterthought. Well we already hired as many dimwits as we can… hmm lets train them to shoot and give them guns. Are these people going to be subject to the same regulations as police now, what about labour/union practices? If history serves any indicator all these concerns will be addressed as problems arise, not proactively.

    They should have left the customs agents as they are, and simply spent the money on hiring more RCMP (mounties) officers at every check point.

  12. Happens all the time. The Canucks are going to be given guns though. It’s going to take about ten years to get ’em.

  13. Oh c’mon, eh.

    It’s just another variation of Parkinson’s old law: this time, absenteeism expands to take advantage of the labour rules available.

    Betcha from now on there’ll be a crazed, armed Californian tryin’ to get to Canada every Friday, about 2, eh?

  14. My father, who lives in the US, dated a Canadian woman for several years. (They met online, of course). He made about a half dozen trips to Canada by car. My father is 5’6″, overweight, wears glasses, and is in his fifties. He is quite harmless looking. On more than one occasion he was subjected to searches of his vehicle and luggage in which the border guards evinced extreme suspicion of his clearly labeled diabetes medication. God only knows what would have happened if those morons had guns.

  15. Canadian?

    Are you sure they weren’t French?

  16. When I hear the term “border guard” I see images of East Germany and the Soviet Union.

    Will someone tell a behind the times old codger when we started calling Customs and Immigration agents “border guards”?

    It’s quite possible that the Canadian government never bothered to arm Customs and Immigration agents because they did not see them as having a police function that required it.

    I seem to recall that on the US side some INS agents were armed and so were some Customs agent but not all orf them. I have not been near the border since the services were combined by DHS so I don’t now how they treat this issue now.

    Oh and John D, French jokes are sooo funny.

  17. These guys were not “Border Guards”. They are “Border Clerks”. Giving them guns would be like giving the people behind the counter at the DMV guns.

    The border crossings DO have armed police officers, and they did not abandon the border crossing.

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