LETTER – ‘Plate hate’ editorial strikes a chord with reader

Dear editor,

I was both delighted and saddened to see your editorial on ‘Plate hate becoming an epidemic on the Island’ (July 8). Delighted because the media is doing its part to educate everyone that the very presence of U.S. plates should not necessarily be a cause for alarm, saddened because here we are in the midst of a pandemic talking about licence plates.

I get it. The number of U.S. COVID cases is clearly off the charts. We have done a great job managing COVID in Canada and do not want to see our hard work and effort being maligned. It is unfortunate that there were a few bad apples who used the “Alaska loophole” to gain entry into Canada. But it is even more unfortunate that many have jumped to conclusions and, in so doing, have harassed and abused those driving U.S. plated cars.

A car with US plates may be owned by a U.S.-based Canadian, by an essential worker or someone who has immediate family here (and immediate family is very strictly defined). Or it could be a car driven by an international student or even a rental car.

I know the CBSA is, quite frankly, tired of the overwhelming number of calls they are receiving. I know this because my US common-law partner was just admitted to Canada after an hour of being grilled by three CBSA agents, one in primary, two in secondary. They decided he could enter our great land but pleaded with him not to drive his car!

So please, stop with the assumptions. Nobody is ‘sneaking’ into Canada. Maybe relax a bit and trust that the CBSA is doing their job!

Ellen Lazare,

Surrey

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