Tuesday, 18 August 2009

On arrivals

I now found out that my nephew will be called Edward David, and judging by the evidence he has arrived home. The evidence being this photo that my brother posted on Facebook.
My nephew seems to have arrived with more and longer hair than my niece did. My brother thinks he has our family's generous nose.
Margaret is obviously recovering very well!!!
Whereas my brother seems to be wiped out!!!
Actually, I am joking. They all seem to be in fine form.
These pictures and a few more are up on my photo site under Edward David.

On visas
Not that I need one in the foreseeable future, but after Margo's last post, I looked up how difficult it is for a Canadian to get a visa for Turkey. A quick look in Wikitravel revealed that it costs 45 Euros, but seems to be fairly straightforward to acquire. However, the cost seemed relatively high compared to the cost for an American traveling to Turkey. I wondered if there wasn't some sort of diplomatic tit-for-tat going on between Canada and Turkey, but I found nothing in particular.

In the process, I came across the fact that Canadian immigration comes across as relatively picky in its entry requirements. In particular, the fact that people from a surprising number and variety of countries need something called a "temporary resident visa" to even set foot in this country to take some pictures, eat some poutine and buy some maple syrup (i.e. for tourism). Maybe that is the diplo-bureaucratic speak, but it comes across as heavy-handed. The requirements of the visa (including the layout of the application) just don't seem that friendly or welcoming. Maybe they aren't as stringent as they sound, but they could be written in a more jovial manner.

I know from various sources, including an uncle who worked in immigration (admittedly in the UK, but he was reasonably well informed about this country) that Canada in practice really very open to travelers. However, I feel Immigration Canada should put on a friendlier face, at least on their website!!!

I also have serious reservations about the weaselly "third safe country agreement" Canada signed into about making would be refugees apply for their status in the "first safe country". There is a surprisingly limited number of countries you can fly to Canada from via direct flights, and notably two of them have recently had visa requirements slapped on them (Czech Republic and Mexico). The net result of the high-minded sounding treaty, is that it becomes a darn sight harder to apply for refugee status in Canada.

Similar laws have been used in the past to keep out "unwanted" immigrants from Canada. I regard them as a source of shame.

Anyhow, here's to Edward David!!!! Time for another boat drink minus umbrella!!!

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