George Graham

Wall off Canada? Seriously?



I’ve never seen those houses myself but I’ve heard about them. I understand some border homes are partly in Canada and partly in America. The living room might be in Canada and the bedrooms in America, for example. So what does Scott Walker (above) propose to do about those houses? Build a wall right through them?

The Republican presidential candidate wants to wall off Canada, the way Donald Trump wants to wall off Mexico.

On NBC’s Meet the Press yesterday, Walker said he has been thinking seriously about doing just that.

Here’s an excerpt from a report in this morning’s Fiscal Times:

(Chuck) Todd pointed out that many in the GOP field, Walker included, say border security needs to be increased not just to prevent the crossing of illegal immigrants looking for work, but also to stop terrorists from crossing the border. If that’s the concern, he said, why is there so much talk about walling off Mexico, but comparatively little about walling off Canada?

Todd hadn’t even finished the question before Walker jumped in, asserting that he has, in fact, been talking about a wall on the northern border.

“Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire,” he said. “They’ve raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at.”

How times have changed.

When I lived in Canada, there was virtually no American border. For a time, while teaching jourrnalism in Windsor, I stayed with friends in Franklin Village and drove over the bridge or through the tunnel daily to get to and from my job. And earlier, in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, we would take the ferry across to Sault Michigan as soon as the bars closed on Saturday nights as US liquor laws were less stringent than Ontario’s back then.

There never was any formality at the “border.” We flashed our driver’s license sometimes, but that was about it.

Now, I’ve got to keep my passport up to date in case I want to visit a family member in Ontario. Since the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001, America has implemented a homeland security lockdown of absurd (to me, anyway) proportions.

Take the case of Egyptian-American Abdallah Matthews, reported in Mother Jones. He and three friends were returning from a conference in Canada and were ordered out of their car at gunpoint, handcuffed and interrogated for hours.

The Mother Jones article reports that:

Lena Masri of the Council of American Islamic Relations-Michigan (CAIR-MI) reports that Matthews’s experience is becoming “chillingly” commonplace for Michigan’s Arab and Muslim community at border crossings.

What on earth is happening to “the world’s longest undefended border?” It’s being defended – at least on the American side – quite energetically today. Mother Jones reports that:

Drones, surveillance towers, and other markers of a security state are on the rise.

So what’s next? Vigilante snipers deployed to mow down those invading snowbirds?

Click for the news story.

Click for the Mother Jones article.

Click for houses spanning the border.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for