Bill C-11 Passed (Pun Intended)

I have one last thing to shout out from the top of my soapbox before leaving the issue alone – Bill C-11 has passed into law.

Democracy seems to have failed me here.  To be more accurate, upon closer inspection, my elected representative seems to have failed me.  I received a reply to my email via snail-mail last week.  Russ Hiebert sure does like to use mail rather than email to communicate.  Must be the lawyer in him wanting to draw things out and spend other people’s money doing so.

What’s that?  Do I sound bitter?  Yes.  Yes I do.  Or more accurately, I’m annoyed at this whole thing.  For years now I have been trying to engage with my elected rep, my Member, as it were, with 0 results.  I don’t get the sense that he is here to represent the needs of his constituents.  Here’s his last letter to me.

Does that sound like he engaged in my letter’s contents?  Nope.  Does it sound like he ignored me and simply restated his party’s official stance?  Yup.  It feels like he’s actually gone out of his way to completely ignore my questions.  If he thinks they’re ridiculous then at least tell me so, engage with me, discuss the issues with me.  This letter just annoys me.

So the law passed, my voice was impotent, and Canada continues to heel to international watchdogs rather than setting a bold course forward, intending to make the country a digital leader.

Bah, humbug.

The Tale Continues – Cross Border Consulting Part Deux

Today I tackled once more the beast that is travelling into the US for work purposes.  In case you missed it, I tried to enter in early Dec 2011 and was “allowed to withdraw my application” at that time.  The agent felt I had insufficient documentation to apply for a TN Visa as a Computer Systems Analyst.  Since then I have had my client write up exactly the letter the agent wanted to see – one that describes my role, salary, and anticipated tasks.  I combed through the online documentation about TN Visas in an effort to prepare for the day that I knew was coming – the day I needed to cross the border to meet with customers.  And today was that day.

So how did it go?  Well, the short version is “not well”.  The longer version is worth a read if you want some insight into how ridiculous this whole thing is.

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A Cautionary Tale for Cross-Border Consultants

I thought I had done my homework, that I was simply going to pass through security at the airport like I had many times before.  If that had happened though, this wouldn’t be a cautionary tale now would it?  😉  Canadian consultants working for US-based companies be warned ….

As a Canadian I was concerned about taking on US-based consulting customers as I wasn’t clear on what that meant from a Visa standpoint.  So I researched the heck out of this, including looking at the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the US Customs and Border Protection Agency, and the US Visa Service websites.  I spoke with an expert cross-border accountant to ensure I understood the tax situation too.  I thought I had my bases covered. Continue reading