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Canadians Not-So-Polite Now That Americans are Sneaking Across the Border

Our usually-friendly northern neighbors are growing annoyed with us.

Canada is home to some of the softest stereotypes in the entire world.

What I mean is that, of all of the innocent caricatures that we draw for ourselves of the world around us, we hardly ever see Canadians as “edgy”.  We view Russians are hearty and a little bit dead inside.  The French are hypercritical, almost snobbish to some.  Australians are always ready for the plot of an action movie to kick off.  Americans…well we’re the cowboys.

But Canada?  Sure, there are some rugged, lumberjack-adjacent vibes going on, and we always seem to think that the entire population takes shots of maple syrup in the morning, but the most aggressive thing about Canadians is how overly polite they are.

Not anymore, apparently.

From a recent op-ed at

I was packing for my road trip from Colorado to Alberta, Canada, when the text came in from a gentleman I’d been helping with groceries during the pandemic.

“The Canadians are actually doing damage to vehicles with United States plates on them,” he cautioned, giving me my first inkling that it wasn’t just public health officials who were serious about keeping Americans out of Canada, where the death rate from the coronavirus has been roughly half that of its southern neighbor.

As a dual citizen I was entitled to cross the border, closed to most Americans because of the pandemic. With an octogenarian father in Calgary who had been largely isolated during the stay-at-home orders, I was willing to submit to Canada’s mandatory two-week quarantine in order to visit.

Authorities did take a bit softer approach.

But my friend’s warning proved prescient. Some concerned residents who fear that the virus will be spread to their communities have been taking matters into their own hands, spurring so many reports of intimidation that the premier of British Columbia, John Horgan, reminded angry Canadians to “Be Calm. Be Kind” at a July 27 news conference.

Addressing those Americans who are in Canada legally, he said: “With respect to those who have offshore plates and are feeling harassed, I would suggest perhaps public transit. I would suggest that they get their plates changed. I would suggest that they ride a bike.”

Canada has imposed a rigorous schedules of fines for those who refuse to heed the warnings regarding pandemic travel, with penalties ranging from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.

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