View Full Version : My Canadian Odyssey: Part 5

07-09-2008, 10:56 AM
Last August, I headed back through the Midwest to Sarnia, Ontario. I couldn't help but feel a sense of relief that all the paperwork to obtain a work permit for Canada finally appeared to be in order and I could head to my job site. That was tempered by the knowledge that things had already kicked off at the job site and I was behind the eight-ball.

The Blue Water Bridge was a welcome sight once more. This time, it didn't come with the Rip Van Winkle feeling that I'd had the previous month. I made it a point to get something to eat at Tim Horton's to ensure I wouldn't starve while waiting to clear the Customs gate and Immigration.

Being summer, it took at least a half-hour to get to the Customs gate, owing to tourists. I told the Customs officer that, to borrow a phrase, I "knew the drill" and had to go to Immigrations to get the work permit. Armed with The Yellow Slip, I headed over to Immigration once more.

I started to feel a little apprehensive about this, even with what promised to be the proper documentation from the Canadian "labour" ministry. I tried to assuage myself..."What could go wrong now?"

Well, here's what could go wrong. The School Marm.

Dang...doesn't this lady get a day off or sleep????

She gave me the stern schoolmistress look once again, but I whipped out the documents and showed her that these came from the Canadian government. She read over the documents, and even engaged in a little small talk about how I was caught by my employer not being prepared (a mix of good cop/bad cop but also some real bitterness on my part). She then told me to come back in 15 minutes.

What a relief! Although, there wasn't really anything I could do. They had no vending machines there, and I didn't want to try to cut across the Immigration and Customs inspection area and the toll gate on the other side to go to the Duty Free store (where Coffee Lodge is) and freak anyone out (remember, these folk wear body armor and carry weapons), so I just stayed in the building and tried to not be bored.

I finally received said work permit. In her stern manner, she went over the terms & conditions of the permit, such as not being able to hold any other job or go to school while I was there (like I was going to have time for either), and to give Immigration advance notice if I needed to stay beyond the 12-month period of the permit.

You can imagine how relieved I was to walk out of there with the work permit. As I headed out of the parking lot and drove into Sarnia for the first time since 1970, I'd hoped that this would be the last problem I'd have with crossing the border into Canada.

The key word here is "hoped." Yep, you know what that means. Part 6 to follow!

07-09-2008, 11:10 AM
Oh gosh!! Can't wait to find out what else happened!

07-09-2008, 12:53 PM
Okay, I am also waiting to read part 6.