Letter from the Editor Issue 70

Spring 2009 CSANews Issue 70  |  Posted date : Apr 30, 2009.Back to list

Happy spring! And I hope that your taxes are filed and your gardens are blooming. The first goldfinches showed up today, along with a cranky, but beautiful, woodpecker. Things have much improved since our last issue, with the stock market rebounding and several initiatives by the federal and provincial governments helping to normalize our economy. There are undoubtedly some tough times ahead, but we can and will handle them.

Having crossed back and forth across the U.S./Canada border about a dozen times this year, I thought that it was time to tell you about my NEXUS experiences. We have recommended it in past issues, but I was slow to follow up as I expected it to be quite a time-consuming process. Nexus is a high-security identity card that uses your eye's iris as a means of identification at Canada/U.S. border crossings. To obtain this card, you must make an appointment at one of the NEXUS offices, usually found at the major airports. Here, both U.S. and Canadian officials will question you on your background and perform a document search on you to satisfy them that you are a "good" guy or girl. They also take "pictures" of your eyes.

So, I finally downloaded the forms from the following website and made my appointment: www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/trusted_traveler

It only took about half an hour to complete the interviews and it was a very simple process; I later received my new NEXUS card in the mail. Talk about whirlwind tours through the airports. In a dozen border crossings, there was no such thing as a lineup. You walk to a machine, answer four questions, look in a mirror, and you are done. I bypassed literally hundreds of people waiting in line, especially in Toronto. When arriving at customs and immigration coming back into Canada, it is the same process – go to a machine, answer some questions, look in a mirror and you are done. There were some very minor waits at the screening booths prior to boarding, but these were really inconsequential.

This is a wonderful card to carry if you fly to the U.S. and back and I have several stress-free airport visits under my belt to verify the card's value. Every traveller should have one. I hope to see you peeking in that machine one day soon.


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