Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm reading this morning in Cyberpresse that the European Union plans on slapping visa requirements on Canadians wishing to visa any of its member countries.

This is all part of the fallout from Canada's decision to force visitor visas for both Mexican and Czech travelers a few days ago in an effort to lower refugee claims from those two countries. In the first 3 months of 2009 Canada received 3648 refugee claims from Mexico and 653 from the Czech Republic.

So, because we don't feel like processing these refugee claims and having these people stay in the country while we do so, we'd rather have them fill out visa applications which will take time to process and anger our trading partners? Sounds like flawless reasoning on the part of our government.

Just to put this in perspective, over 250,000 Mexicans travel to Canada each year and, according to Statistics Canada 705,000 Canadians traveled to Mexico in 2004. It we're ready to jeopardize this mutually beneficial industry to stop a few bogus refugee claims.

As for Canadians potentially needing visas to enter the EU? by the same Stascan 2004 survey almost 2,500,000 million Canadians travelled to Europe that year... So we stop the "flood" of applications from the Czech Republic (see my second paragraph) and required its citizens to request visas in order to come here regardless to the inconvenience this may cause to almost 2,500,000 million Canadians.

We'll wait and see what the EU does in response to Canada's change of stance on Czech travelers; they have already been quoted as talking about retribution and the Czech have recalled their ambassador to Canada. In the meantime, don't make any travel plans because you never know what might happen!

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