Most Europeans have more than a little difficulty in telling a US accent apart from that of a Canadian one. It's a bit like Ozzies and Kiwi's, until you've met a few, the differences aren't that apparent to the untrained ear. Some folk even think that the US and Canada are simply interchangeable terms for what is basically the same place.
Just recently, us Brits are beginning to wake up to the fact that all is not sweetness and light in Canadian / US relations. I've heard stories about border crossing difficulties from friends who have travelled from the UK and assumed that you can just stroll from one place to the other with no problems.
Earlier today, I came across this piece of information from another site:
To anyone from the USA thinking about entering Canada for this or any other purpose:
BE WARNED: If you have any criminal record, regardless of how old it is, even for an offense as minor as a DUI (drinking and driving), Canada will turn you away at the border !!! You will NOT be allowed entry into Canada unless you apply for a "certificate of rehabilitation" through the Canadian consulate in New York City.
I was told by an employee at the Canadian embassy in Washington DC that this policy is being strictly enforced in retalliation for George W. Bush's policies in the Middle East - most specifically, Iraq.
Wow, heavy stuff!
So what's going on here? Aren't you guys the best of pals? Is there such a difference in US / Canadian attitudes that crossing the border is a very big deal? What's the big problem between the two countries?
I wasn't aware that Americans had a problem entering Canada, but I used to be refused entry into the USA from Canada because of a minor marijuana conviction in 1977. ($1.00 street value). Last month I made my first visit to the USA in many years.
When I went through customs(Toronto International Airport) in May on my way to the US, I was questioned as to what I was doing, where I was going, why, who and how. I kid you not, I felt like I was being interrogated by the police, but instead it was by some snotty customs officer who looked at me down her nose the whole time like I was some sort of drug dealer. I even got the question, "Why do you have so much luggage?" I thought this kind of questioning uncalled for, but I've heard horror stories about how they can deny you access for the smallest implications, so I bit my tongue and pointed out that my ticket was for a month long trip and I do not pack lightly *LOL*
I think next time I will probably drive across the border instead of flying, from what I understand it is much less hassle.
As a born in Canada person with no criminal history I have no problems crossing the border. Mind you I haven't tried since 9/11.
My British born but now Canadian-citizen hubby needs his passport.
Since as long as I remember there weren't a lot of problems crossing the border. For years they would pull over every so many cars and ask for them to fill out a form and out of that every so many would have a search done unless they thought something was suspicious.
The only time I was ever stoped was once when I was wearing a bikini. (I didn't look then like I do now and actually did look pretty fine in it ). I think they got us out just to see the wares. Maybe they thought the bikini was trying to hide something
Most people will have difficulty crossing the border if they are not born in Canada. And most often I have had more problems getting back into Canada than I had getting into the US.
And I would strongly suspect that has changed a lot
Replica firearms are designed or intended to exactly resemble a firearm with near precision. You should be aware that replica firearms are classified as prohibited devices and you cannot import them into Canada.
I cross the border about five or six times every year, and have never had any problem at all, in either direction. Last year, I drove accross and they didn't even ask for my name or to see any ID. At times, though, I have heard that security gets beefed up a bit (like during wars).
I will be crossing again on Saturday, on the way to San Diego. I hope I didn't jinx it.
We've never had any problem going to Canada and you really get a "welcome to Canada !" feel, even from the customs officers. For us, the American customs officials have been a lot less welcoming and downright rude. I think it is unnecessary and doesn't add one bit to the security of the country (if anything, it guarantees that those entering do so in a bad mood).
BTW: The quote you have about going to Canada is, I believe, more to do with immigration than visiting (although it probably still applies to some extent). You can go for a holiday in Canada if you have been convicted but you have next to no chance of going to live there.