Tourism Whistler leaders are lobbying the government of Canada to give them some kind of peace of mind. Will anyone with a criminal record in their past, be allowed into Canada? What can visitors do to be certain they won’t be turned away?
There are people turned away after crossing the border or not let in at all. One incident happened at the Vancouver International Airport where after landing, a family found that the father wasn’t allowed into the country because he had a past charge for drunk driving. They missed coming to Whistler and, also losing the money they had spent on the holiday.
The greatest concern is that some may not bother to visit Canada, never mind Whistler because of the issues concerning the border.
Tourism Whistler is working with a large California corporate group that’s planning to use Whistler for their upcoming conference. The problem is that the company head thinks it may be risky. If one of the company delegates were turned away while trying to come across the border for some past driving impaired charge, it would cause great social embarrassment. The TW is trying to bring these examples to the federal government, hoping that there can be a solution.
There is also a fear that some would-be visitors to Whistler might just instead, choose somewhere else to go, just to be on the safe side. There is no way to tell who has planned a trip to Whistler and then, because of the border crossing issue, decided not to bother.
John Weston, Whistler’s MP agrees that border restrictions are one of the top three issues that Whistlerites and the TW are dealing with right now.
There’s no guarantee that the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration will listen because they do have the responsibility of protecting the security of Canadian citizens. Almost a vicious circle really, when you think about it; it would be unwise not be as careful at borders, yet for tourism’s sake, maybe there should be individual conditions. Let’s hope things turn out right for Whistler and for Canadian security.