Will the United States Impose a ‘Crossing Fee’ for Canadian Travelers?
The United States may be the home of the free, but Canadians may have to start paying before they can enter it.
Canadian officials are a little ticked off right now, due to proposed changes in the 2014 US Department of Homeland Security budget that suggests that the US may start charging a fee for Canadian travelers who wish to cross over in to American soil.
The proposed “crossing” fee is currently being kicked around as a means for covering increased security costs; however, Michael MacKenzie, executive director of the Canadian Snowbird Association says that Washington is simply trying to rectify its “desperate financial situation” at the expense of Canadian travelers.
"While we appreciate the fiscal challenges faced by our friends in the United States, we would prefer the U.S. government focus on ways to reduce obstacles at the border that hinder trade and tourism," said MacKenzie. "People feel like maybe they're being nickel and dimed a little bit and politicians are taxing people who can't vote, which makes sense politically but it just sends the wrong message."
As it stands, passengers who travel by air are subjected to a fee when entering the US but the extra charge is included with the price of the ticket. If the proposal goes into effect, the Department of Homeland security will impose a crossing fee for those who come into the United States via the Canadian and Mexican borders.
Members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce say that the act of implementing a crossing fee would substantially diminish the sense of a North American community that the US and Canada has worked so hard to establish.