Canadian trips, and past comvictions and your job!

Just heard through the grapevine that Crowley is firing anyone who has a past criminal conviction and can’t crew going to Canada.

The back story is since the US has engaged TWIC and all this ‘user friendly’ crap and started enforcing it on foreigners coming in too, Canada has been (for the last couple years) upping the ante (so to speak) and over enforcing the regs on incoming US seamen.

“Transporte du Canada” has hired a private security firm (ala lockheed martin and TWIC) to enforce and control this issue for the Canadian immigration. On their immigration form the actual question reads: “Have you been convicted in the last 5 years.” But it is being enforced if you have ANY convictions, ever, no age limit or expiration! Since both countries cooperate, since the crew manifest is sent there 24 hours ahead, When you arrive they know exactly who has what record and who lied on the pre-arrival questionnaire. [I]Even if you read the question properly, it is being interpreted as applying to ANY record, ever! [/I]The first immigration violation is a 200 dollar fine. The second offense is permanent expulsion, subject to jail upon return! This is serious stuff.

There is a process to have your record proven to have been (in the words of Transporte Du Canada) “Rehabilitated.” It takes about 3 to 9 months for all the paperwork to be processed, and gathered. YOU have to do much of the leg work and written requests. It costs about 1000 bucks. It involves a police background check, and FBI background check, letters from the court of conviction attesting to completion of: 1.sentence, 2. restitution, 3. incarceration, 4. rehabilitation, 5. therapy. Then you have to send this to Transporte Du Canada to be assessed and approved. Once this is done, you can go to Canada. But until then… You may be unemployed!…des/5312E3.asp…ries/rehab.php

This post is not to argue the merits, or legality of what’s happening, [U][B]but to inform mariners what may be an ‘evil necessity’ to stay employed[/B][/U]. I certainly don’t wish anyone a trip to the unemployment office, and am sharing for everyone’s benefit. This may be ‘old news’ to some, but there are many, many ,many out there who are blissfully unaware of this.

Merry Christmas

This ain’t nothing new. It’s been policy before the TWIC. Our agent told us a few years ago that for some offences, a “dispensation fee” could be paid. I’ve seen guys taken off and replaced temporarily for a 24 hr trip into Vancouver. It’s a hell of a note to pay demurrage on a cargo because someone beat up their son-in-law 15 years ago. One guy said he should be excused because he was drinking Canadian Club when he received his DUI!!

This is nothing new for Canada in fact for a time they were confiscating laptops that had in their mind objectionable materable in them. As far a Crowley goes they have been looking lately to “thin the herd” and this is just another tool for them. I heard a few months ago that they were going to lay off 25% of their work force. I heard from friends that still work there that management has turned into real assholes and are trying to force people out. Allot different from when they were trying to be all touchy feely!

My companiy’s ships go in and out of Canada alot. They have pulled guys off the boats and driven them to the border in some cases. Usually though, when clearing customs/immigration, they will tell the Captain and crewmember with a past that that person is not to return. When that happens, Canada wants what’s called a Temporary Resident Permit or Visa. These cost anywhere from $800.00 and up. It depends on the offense and how long ago it occured. We’ve had guys have trouble for ten year old DWI’s. DWI is considered a felony in our beer swilling hypocritical neighbor. I had a DWI in 1982 and so far have not had any trouble crossing into Canada by car or on ship. Last time I drove through though, they did make me go into the Immigration office. I was asked two questions. First. Had I ever been denied entry into Canada? And second, if I had ever been arrested. I told them 1982, DWI. I sat down for a couple minutes while the guy played on his computer. He then called me up, gave me my passport and told me to enjoy my stay in Canada. Who knows, eh?

I say sail until they bust ya. I know a couple fellas that made several trips before they got nailed. One guy went through “criminal rehab” and got ‘ok’d’ by the Canooks. Another can’t afford the BS so he is saling stateside.

This shit all started when “Homeland Security” cracked down on Canadian Immigration. That pissed off the canooks. They figured, ok, gonna mess with out people we’ll mess with yours. Now it’s a lot harder to get in and out of Canada without problems.

I got my stupid past problem expunged and has not yet been a problem. If it becomes a problem then I will address it if it is worth it to go to Canada.

The one fella i know that got sent home had not resolved his problems yet and that is why the NCIC red flagged his ass to the Canooks.

If you got an old conviction get it expunged if you can. If it still causes you problems jump through the hoops and be done with it. the less your employer knows the better. take care of it on your own. asking employer for help is like asking the devil for help.