Former US Presidents clueless about Canadian border rules

Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush managed to amaze an audience at a town-hall style meeting in Toronto.

As of this past Monday, all Canadians trying to cross the border to enter the US will need a passport, much to their annoyance. When asked about the passport situation, both past Presidents showed their total lack of knowledge of the situation and were both unaware of the new rules.

Speakers in the audience were quick to point out that we have been friends with the Canadians for centuries, and that these new rules are slowly chipping away at the foundations that form our friendship.

It really is amazing to see how not one, but two Presidents admit to a total lack of knowledge of something so vital. Bush was in power just 5 months ago, and Clinton is married to the Secretary of State – and neither of them even knew about the new rules. Bush even mentioned the EZ pass, which is of course a wireless tollway payment system, not a border crossing card. He probably meant to refer to the Nexus Card program.

Still, it would be a wise idea for future Presidents visiting our neighbors up north to brush up on their homework before speaking, especially on a topic that is annoying so many Canadians.

Apply for a U.S. passport card on February 1

Starting tomorrow, U.S. citizens can fill out an application for a passport card which will “facilitate entry and expedite document processing at U.S. land and sea ports-of-entry when arriving from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda,” according to the U.S. Department of State’s website.

The card basically carries the same rights and privileges that the standard passport book offers, but it may not be used for air travel. It also houses the ever popular RFID chip which will “link the card to a stored record in secure government databases.” No personal data will be stored in the chip, however.

Cards are expected to ship in Spring 2008, and cost $45 for new applicants.