Suddenly seniors and aboriginals couldn't possibly be criminals/terrorists/etc... in the eyes of our government. what at one time they were so freaked out about no longer applies for certain groups of people? just as long as they're not middle eastern i guess. I wonder if the seniors exemption applies also to seniors of middle eastern descent...
if some are being excluded, what's the point of doing it at all? This is ridiculous.
Canada seeks passport exceptions for seniors, aboriginals
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2007 | 11:46 AM ET
The Canadian Press
Canadian seniors and registered aboriginals shouldn't have to produce passports when they cross the border by car or boat, Ottawa has told American officials.
An alternative plan for emergency workers and medical evacuation cases is also needed, Canada said in an official response last week to U.S. plans requiring passports next summer from people entering the country by car or boat.
Canada wants passport leniency to extend to seniors, aboriginals who have certificates of Indian status, people with a Canadian seafarer's identity document and emergency workers.Canada objects to that deadline, saying it should be extended, and wants an explicit agreement that high-technology driver's licences could be used instead of passports.
Ottawa is also considering whether to devise a passport card like the one the United States is developing that would cost less but provide the same proof of identity and citizenship.
In June, U.S. officials issued a reprieve on passports from people entering at land and sea crossings until at least the summer of 2008. Canadian officials say it will be a scramble to cut confusion and reduce damage to trade and tourism before the deadline.
There have been long delays in getting passports on both sides of the border since the rules for air travellers were announced, forcing the United States to give its citizens a break until the end of September.
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It will be worse for the land and sea border crossings, Canadian officials said, because they account for more than 85 per cent of all cross-border visits and less than 60 per cent of those who make the trip have passports now.
In 2006, there were nearly 160 million cross-border visits and $710 billion US in two-way trade.
The United States has already said it will allow minors to cross with a birth certificate. But Canada wants the passport leniency to extend to seniors, aboriginals who have certificates of Indian status, people with a Canadian seafarer's identity document and emergency workers.
The break should extend to family members of medical evacuation patients, Ottawa said. There have been cases where family members of evacuated patients weren't allowed to get on U.S.-bound planes because they didn't have a passport, Canadian officials said.