Twenty five years ago, I was in Friday Harbour and watched several Coast Guard vessels check virtually every vessel that left the harbour one day. I was shocked, quite frankly. I feel one should be able to spend a day with friends, out on the water, without having armed intervention. I have been boarded by the U.S. Coast guard several times and finally just stopped heading south.
Now, my own country has adopted a similar policy. I understand that our government doesn't HAVE to comply with a request from the U.S. government to synchronize law enforce techniques, but apparently we have.
Do I believe there was pressure from Washington to do so....yes.
Last week, we learned on the news that U.S. law enforcement officials will be riding on Canadian vessels and our Mounties with be hanging out with the U.S.Coast Guard during enforcement exercises. If someone can explain to me why this is necessary, I would like to hear it.
I have heard, but not seen, that there are high speed inflatables that cruise the San Juan Islands with 50cal machine guns mounted on the bow.
Way too much policing. ps: I am enjoying reading this thread though.
It has been a subject I have been dying to discuss with my fellow boaters.
My apologies to anyone who has been offended. I fly to the U.S. regularly and love your country. I do, however, prefer a British style of law enforcement...so far, we are still allowed to question authority.
The US and Canada are friends. I am not sure I know of any country in the world that has as close a friendship as Canada and the US... with the UK a very close second if not equally as friendly. We do have common enemies. I certainly HOPE that they are "hanging out together" and working together. THe opposite of that would be frightening.
I have total respect for the US Coast Guard. They are some of the best men and women in the world, period (and yes, I am prejudice). Whenever a person gets himself in trouble, they are the ones that risk their lives (and quite often lose it) trying to rescue them. They have every right to board boats, and I am glad they do. The men and women I have dealt with have done so with honor and integrity and in a very professional manner. Perhaps this is due to the fact that I welcome them on board, offer them a coke or water, and thank them for their service and everything they have done for our country???
I have nothing to hide. You have nothing to hide (I assume). Let them on!! THank them. SHake their hand. Give them a coke or a water and invite them back anytime. I will say though... that this type of persona will make it such that they never come back again - which is our loss.
Regarding the 50 cal machine guns... what would you have them carry to protect themselves and the citizens they are entrusted to watch over? Harsh language? They are there to protect you - often from yourself.
I will tell you one thing: I am glad to have Canada to our north. I hope you are equally glad to have us to the south? We are like brothers that do not always agree, but we are still family. Comments that seperate us and draw lines of distinction do little to promote and foster that relationship. I hate the fact that passports are now required to cross between our country(s). I have often wondered if we could have worked out our differences and worked closer together in similar philosophies or border control and immigration, if that would not have come to reality? WIth that in mind, I do not mind a closer working relation ship between our two countries in every manner... especially the Coast Guards and Border Patrols. Maybe the day will come to pass when our kids can walk across imaginary lines without having to present detailed and documented proof of who we are. Right now that is a distant memory reserved to those who walked those lines before 2009.