The Journal Register (Medina, NY)


August 10, 2011

VALLEY: Where do you draw the line?


Every year I call the Ministry of Natural Resources Department in Ontario and purchase my Canadian fishing license — an expensive transaction. But I do so because I fish the St. Lawrence River. And as most people are aware, somewhere in the middle of the river is the border that separates the U.S. from the Great White North. And since there’s no visual evidence of said border, I’m never quite sure where I am — country-wise.

The process isn’t that simple because you can’t just buy a Canadian license, you are also required to fulfill other obligations. First, you have to secure an Outdoor Card, which is good for 3 years,. If you don’t buy it, you can’t get a fishing license. Next, you have to sign an affidavit promising to never utter a disparaging word about curling, Paul Anka or the CFL. And finally, you are mandated by standard-operating-procedure to say/ask “ay?” after every other sentence.

Like I said, it’s not easy.

This year, after I had already bought the license, it was announced that the license holder is obligated — by Canadian law — to notify authorities every time he enters that country’s waters. (“Announced” by way of a newspaper report that an American fisherman was fined $1,000 for wandering over the border without “proper” notification. At least, that’s the way I found out about it.)

Apparently, Canada doesn’t understand the concept of why an American buys a Canadian fishing license and the scenario that is tied into it. It’s not that hard to figure out: If someone from the U.S. buys a Canadian license, then that person is probably going to fish in Canadian waters. And obviously, if that person is going to fish there, then that person will be entering Canadian waters. Duh!

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