1st time Calgary Burner!

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike

1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby Katiebaby25 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:52 am

Hello,

My boyfriend and I are attending Burning Man for the 1st time this year and we're driving down from Calgary, Canada. I'm wondering if anyone could tell me what the best route is, where's the best place to stop for groceries, tips for border crossing etc.??? Any other tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! We're really looking forward to this amazing journey and experience and want to make sure we make the best of it by being fully prepared. And before you ask, we have read the first timer's guide and last year's Survival Guide.... twice! And will def be reading the 2011 Survival Guide too :)

Mega Love, can't wait to make new friends with you all on the playa!!

Katie
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby jkisha » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:53 am

Hey there, welcome to eplaya!
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby Rice » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:29 am

Katiebaby25 wrote:Hello,

My boyfriend and I are attending Burning Man for the 1st time this year and we're driving down from Calgary, Canada. I'm wondering if anyone could tell me what the best route is, where's the best place to stop for groceries, tips for border crossing etc.??? Any other tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! We're really looking forward to this amazing journey and experience and want to make sure we make the best of it by being fully prepared. And before you ask, we have read the first timer's guide and last year's Survival Guide.... twice! And will def be reading the 2011 Survival Guide too :)

Mega Love, can't wait to make new friends with you all on the playa!!

Katie


Hi & Welcome to Eplaya!!

There is a decent burner group in Alberta. Here are some links: https://www.facebook.com/groups/170599206330089/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/135368089860650/

the second link is related to this year's burn.

You can also get in touch with the regional rep for Alberta: http://regionals.burningman.com/ca_alb_cal.html

I am in Saskatchewan so I do not know which routes would be the best for you ;)

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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby Aviax » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:48 am

We're also running a Burn 101 at a local event on August 7th
https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=214044575307791

As for border, from alberta, most people either cross at sweet grass, or go west and cross just south of Creston, depending on the route their taking down. (there are two different ones, both about the same distance) Check google maps.
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby much2naughty2 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:19 am

When you cross the border, don't screw around. Don't wear your burner clothes, don't put a sign on your car burning man or bust. If you google your route, take a look at stopping at Summer Lake Hot Springs the night before you arive at BM. Very burner friendly, clothing optional that week, and very nice people. :D

I recommend highway 3 and 95, down to I-90, then south on 395. There are many way, and will be no shortage of people telling me how wrong I am, but It is a nice route with a great last stop at Summer Lake.

I like to take the route through Bend, OR, as it's not as remote at following 395. We gas and fill with water in Cedarville, CA, but you can also do that in Gerlach, NV if you don't mind lines and expensive water.

We do our shopping in Spokane before we go. First, there is no sales tax on grociers. also large shopping area so prices are very competitive. Might try googling Winco, on Sprauge ave. They have the best prices and great selection we've found. :idea:
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby LostinReno » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:55 pm

I've done this drive a bunch of times and have gone both ways. Via Sweetgrass MT and through Eastport ID. Customs at Sweetgrass are generally bigger A**holes than Eastport (both sides of the border), but then again I usually have more problems going into Canada. Don't give customs any more answers than they need. Generally a simple yes or no answer will suffice. Looking clean & presentable in the gubbermints eyes helps a lot. That aside. Going through Sweetgrass MT and taking the 15 to the 86 to Twin Falls ID, then drop down on the 93 to Wells, then 80W to the Pyramid turn off is a much quicker route. It's also 4 lane highway most of the way and for the most part a lot flatter (plus 75mph speed limits a big part of the way!). Going through Eastport is a lot prettier/scenic route but mostly 2 lane highway and lots of hills/mountains. (I LOVE this route!If time permits) Depends on what your time limits and what/if your towing I suppose.
Hard alcohol is roughly the same price in Nevada as it is at duty free. If you're a beer drinker, bring your allotted cases of good beer with you, however a 12 pack of PBR is only $6.99 :D . Oh and Mike's Hard Lemonaide, Seagrams coolers, etc. are made with "ale" down here instead of vodka..they suck down here. If you're into those, you might want to bring some with you. There is a Wal Mart in Fernley, I know a lot of people dislike Wally but it's pretty much the only game in Fernley.
Hope this helps!
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby melodiousdirge » Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:36 pm

I'm driving down from Fort St John, so I've looked into this a bit. The burning man site has a useful writeup:

http://www.burningman.com/preparation/t ... o_brc.html

I'm going through Vancouver on my way down (unfortunately for me) because I want to visit my brother en route. I'd suggest trying a more out of the way crossing that won't be so much on the lookout for burners.

As said above, don't screw around. Don't say you're going to burning man unless you're directly asked. Wear clean clothes, take your sunglasses/hat off, Have all your ID and be prepared to answer the questions they ask you. Try to pack your car in such a way that it can all be pulled out and put back in relatively easily (Read: Suitcases and bins, don't just throw all your shit in a heap). Expect to have them ask you to pull over while they thoroughly yard all your crap out and look through it. This doesn't usually happen, but if you're prepared for it, it will be less of an irritation.

Oh and needless to say, don't try to bring any substances with you - American border patrol does not take such things lightly and you could wind up with a serious legal hassle for something as minor as a roach in your ashtray.
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:21 pm

(I really, really can't think of a good reason why US or Canadian customs would give a shit you were going to burningman. They really should be ashamed of themselves. NOt that I think any of these stories are false--well there's that one, but I'm not gonna go there--it's just this total "will not compute" that I go through with these posts.)
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby Dr Helix » Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:29 pm

melodiousdirge wrote:I'm driving down from Fort St John, so I've looked into this a bit. The burning man site has a useful writeup:

http://www.burningman.com/preparation/t ... o_brc.html

I'm going through Vancouver on my way down (unfortunately for me) because I want to visit my brother en route. I'd suggest trying a more out of the way crossing that won't be so much on the lookout for burners.

As said above, don't screw around. Don't say you're going to burning man unless you're directly asked. Wear clean clothes, take your sunglasses/hat off, Have all your ID and be prepared to answer the questions they ask you. Try to pack your car in such a way that it can all be pulled out and put back in relatively easily (Read: Suitcases and bins, don't just throw all your shit in a heap). Expect to have them ask you to pull over while they thoroughly yard all your crap out and look through it. This doesn't usually happen, but if you're prepared for it, it will be less of an irritation.

Oh and needless to say, don't try to bring any substances with you - American border patrol does not take such things lightly and you could wind up with a serious legal hassle for something as minor as a roach in your ashtray.


Two of my friends from the North were turned back from the US border in 09 over the smallest of residue, had to jump through many legal hurdles and paid many thousands to re-establish status as non-risks. They will STILL be flagged at the border for many trips to come. Please PLEASE take that into account and know that US Border Patrol people are WANTING you to fail. I am embarrassed for my country about this, but it seems to be the case. Be careful.
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby Stickygreen » Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:31 pm

I don't know about routes from Calgary, as I'm from Vancouver, but I can attest to Summer lake.

Summer lake is a bit of a shit-hole On the way down, It's kinda like drinking OJ after you brush your teeth. – a dark dirty cement pond (literally) in a old rotting barn is a bit anticlimactic before the adventure that is BM.
On the way back though, that Shithole becomes Shagra-la!
With showers and running hot water for dirty playafied folk Summer Lake campground / Hot springs is a great place to clean yourself up for the trip home.- and after a week of living in filth and dust – that Rotting barn is a Five Star resort. Also you usually have about 200 other Burner campers you have just shared a great experience with, who you can talk to and connect with (now that BM has pulled you out of your shell)

just my 2 cents.
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby Katiebaby25 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:58 pm

Thanks a lot everyone! You've all been most helpful :)

I've crossed the border before by vehicle and I'm thinking this time won't be any different except that they may give me flack if they know I'm heading to Burning Man. I don't want to say I'm just going on a camping trip and then they find a trailer full of hula hoops and tutus!!! They may find that suspicious haha....

We do plan on thoroughly vacuuming the truck before hand so that we don't run into any problems there, lol.

I figure as long as we don't act nervous (which we'll have no reason to) then we'll be just fine!

I've tried contacting my regional contact but they must not be monitoring their email address anymore as nobody got back to me. I'll for sure check out those Facebook links check out the Burn 101 event.

I'll be staying at the Space Gnome Dome at 3:00 and Graduation if anyone wants to come say hi! I love to make new friends :)

Katie
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby Rice » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:11 pm

Katiebaby25 wrote:Thanks a lot everyone! You've all been most helpful :)

I've crossed the border before by vehicle and I'm thinking this time won't be any different except that they may give me flack if they know I'm heading to Burning Man. I don't want to say I'm just going on a camping trip and then they find a trailer full of hula hoops and tutus!!! They may find that suspicious haha....

We do plan on thoroughly vacuuming the truck before hand so that we don't run into any problems there, lol.

I figure as long as we don't act nervous (which we'll have no reason to) then we'll be just fine!

I've tried contacting my regional contact but they must not be monitoring their email address anymore as nobody got back to me. I'll for sure check out those Facebook links check out the Burn 101 event.

I'll be staying at the Space Gnome Dome at 3:00 and Graduation if anyone wants to come say hi! I love to make new friends :)

Katie


I suspect the regional is busy getting ready for the burn, working a job, being a parent, etc... The "Alberta Regional Burning Man" facebook group is a good starting point.

Good Luck ;)

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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby Katiebaby25 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:00 am

Aviax wrote:We're also running a Burn 101 at a local event on August 7th
https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=214044575307791

As for border, from alberta, most people either cross at sweet grass, or go west and cross just south of Creston, depending on the route their taking down. (there are two different ones, both about the same distance) Check google maps.


I'll be at the Burn 101 session on Sunday.. see you there :)
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby mazatta » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:55 pm

I'm part of a group of 10 first timers headed down from Regina...good to know there will be more prairie folk out there! The Saskatchewan Burners group on Facebook is fairly active if you're at all interested in linking up with fellow Canadians.

Were you at Connect this year by chance?
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby Katiebaby25 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:11 pm

mazatta wrote:I'm part of a group of 10 first timers headed down from Regina...good to know there will be more prairie folk out there! The Saskatchewan Burners group on Facebook is fairly active if you're at all interested in linking up with fellow Canadians.

Were you at Connect this year by chance?


No I've actually never been to Connect but I hear its great!

We should try to meet up at BM! Look me up on FB, Katie Treavor :)
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby remi » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:14 pm

Katiebaby25 wrote:Thanks a lot everyone! You've all been most helpful :)

I've crossed the border before by vehicle and I'm thinking this time won't be any different except that they may give me flack if they know I'm heading to Burning Man. I don't want to say I'm just going on a camping trip and then they find a trailer full of hula hoops and tutus!!! They may find that suspicious haha....

We do plan on thoroughly vacuuming the truck before hand so that we don't run into any problems there, lol.

I figure as long as we don't act nervous (which we'll have no reason to) then we'll be just fine!

I've tried contacting my regional contact but they must not be monitoring their email address anymore as nobody got back to me. I'll for sure check out those Facebook links check out the Burn 101 event.

I'll be staying at the Space Gnome Dome at 3:00 and Graduation if anyone wants to come say hi! I love to make new friends :)

Katie



I may have to take my gnome staff for a walk to the Space Gnome Dome to come and say hello. I'm sure Gnorm (Norm) the Gnome will feel at home there!
Can you at least admit that nuclear explosions are awesome!?
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby Katiebaby25 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:15 pm

remi wrote:
Katiebaby25 wrote:Thanks a lot everyone! You've all been most helpful :)

I've crossed the border before by vehicle and I'm thinking this time won't be any different except that they may give me flack if they know I'm heading to Burning Man. I don't want to say I'm just going on a camping trip and then they find a trailer full of hula hoops and tutus!!! They may find that suspicious haha....

We do plan on thoroughly vacuuming the truck before hand so that we don't run into any problems there, lol.

I figure as long as we don't act nervous (which we'll have no reason to) then we'll be just fine!

I've tried contacting my regional contact but they must not be monitoring their email address anymore as nobody got back to me. I'll for sure check out those Facebook links check out the Burn 101 event.

I'll be staying at the Space Gnome Dome at 3:00 and Graduation if anyone wants to come say hi! I love to make new friends :)

Katie



I may have to take my gnome staff for a walk to the Space Gnome Dome to come and say hello. I'm sure Gnorm (Norm) the Gnome will feel at home there!



Gnorm would most definetly feel at home in our dome! We had Gnomes from all over the world, and when they were left alone for even a second they would steal all our booze and have their own little gnome party! We even caught them having a gnorgy.... GNAUGHTY GNOMES!
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby Dr. Pyro » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:45 am

It looks like you were just down the street from Barbie Death Camp/Village. Stop by and say hi. Anyway, I'll be in Calgary in late May to run the Calgary Marathon and will be hanging with another Barbiebarian "Burny" (take off on Bernie, his real name). If you'd like to get together perhaps on Friday or Saturday and swap a few Burning Man stories I think we'd be up for that.
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby remi » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:35 am

Do I sense a Calgary pre-burn party?
Can you at least admit that nuclear explosions are awesome!?
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby Katiebaby25 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:41 pm

YES we should totally organize something! We could get a group of Calgary Burners together maybe for a BBQ or something! I would be willing to host it at my house for sure, maybe I can get a DJ set up and we can have a little dance party too :) Just let me know exact dates and I'll get it set up!

I sadly missed the Barbie Death Village this year (not sure how, we were so close!!) but I'm planning on coming to the Meet and Greet next year to meet all the lovely eplayans!
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby MikieCGY » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:29 pm

Planning our drive down and looks like we're going thru Eastport this year.. Hopefully they aren't assholes. As I think we'll be getting to the border closer to 11pm at night.. expecting them to tear the RV apart good point about packing easilly and not throw everything in.

Definitely not going thru Sweetgrass.. faaccck that
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby Fufa » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:08 pm

I don't know what you guys are talking about with Sweetgrass being a problem! Last year we went across in a converted Greyhound bus, with 11 twenty-somethings (some of which really were by appearances your stereotypical hippies). We only knew each other from the regional mailing list, where I sent out a call for riders to fill our bus. We met most of them the day we left. When we said we were camping in Nevada, the border guard replied with "When will you be back from Burning Man?" We got asked maybe 5 times if we had weed, to which we replied "No sir, we're not stupid enough to even try."

The whole thing took 5 MINUTES! Easy Peasy.
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby ygmir » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:14 pm

Fufa wrote:I don't know what you guys are talking about with Sweetgrass being a problem! Last year we went across in a converted Greyhound bus, with 11 twenty-somethings (some of which really were by appearances your stereotypical hippies). We only knew each other from the regional mailing list, where I sent out a call for riders to fill our bus. We met most of them the day we left. When we said we were camping in Nevada, the border guard replied with "When will you be back from Burning Man?" We got asked maybe 5 times if we had weed, to which we replied "No sir, we're not stupid enough to even try."

The whole thing took 5 MINUTES! Easy Peasy.



(((((((Fuffa))))))))), yer just the best!!
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby Fufa » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:46 pm

ygmir wrote:
Fufa wrote:I don't know what you guys are talking about with Sweetgrass being a problem! Last year we went across in a converted Greyhound bus, with 11 twenty-somethings (some of which really were by appearances your stereotypical hippies). We only knew each other from the regional mailing list, where I sent out a call for riders to fill our bus. We met most of them the day we left. When we said we were camping in Nevada, the border guard replied with "When will you be back from Burning Man?" We got asked maybe 5 times if we had weed, to which we replied "No sir, we're not stupid enough to even try."

The whole thing took 5 MINUTES! Easy Peasy.



(((((((Fuffa))))))))), yer just the best!!


It was a pleasant surprise. I was honestly prepared to be torn apart and cavity searched. :P
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby ygmir » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:10 am

Fufa wrote:
ygmir wrote:
Fufa wrote:I don't know what you guys are talking about with Sweetgrass being a problem! Last year we went across in a converted Greyhound bus, with 11 twenty-somethings (some of which really were by appearances your stereotypical hippies). We only knew each other from the regional mailing list, where I sent out a call for riders to fill our bus. We met most of them the day we left. When we said we were camping in Nevada, the border guard replied with "When will you be back from Burning Man?" We got asked maybe 5 times if we had weed, to which we replied "No sir, we're not stupid enough to even try."

The whole thing took 5 MINUTES! Easy Peasy.



(((((((Fuffa))))))))), yer just the best!!


It was a pleasant surprise. I was honestly prepared to be torn apart and cavity searched. :P


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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby Dr Helix » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:57 am

Fufa wrote:I don't know what you guys are talking about with Sweetgrass being a problem! Last year we went across in a converted Greyhound bus, with 11 twenty-somethings (some of which really were by appearances your stereotypical hippies). We only knew each other from the regional mailing list, where I sent out a call for riders to fill our bus. We met most of them the day we left. When we said we were camping in Nevada, the border guard replied with "When will you be back from Burning Man?" We got asked maybe 5 times if we had weed, to which we replied "No sir, we're not stupid enough to even try."

The whole thing took 5 MINUTES! Easy Peasy.


I have a new realtive who works for Canadian Customs at the border. His take on both borders is that it really comes down to who is manning them that particular day. There is NO consistant approach to how they treat you or what they will do. On EITHER side. I fly to Canada to visit my wife (she's in the process of immigrating). I have had every type of reaction to my visits by Canadian customs, from a smile and a wave, to a hard core full on search and interrogation. And I go through the SAME checkpoint each time. I am glad that US Customs gave you the welcome treatment Fufa. I just wouldn't expect it as a matter of course. Your attitude about expecting the worst is the one I would go with whenver you cross. And I would always soft pedal the BM stuff.
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:09 am

Dr Helix wrote:
Fufa wrote:I don't know what you guys are talking about with Sweetgrass being a problem! Last year we went across in a converted Greyhound bus, with 11 twenty-somethings (some of which really were by appearances your stereotypical hippies). We only knew each other from the regional mailing list, where I sent out a call for riders to fill our bus. We met most of them the day we left. When we said we were camping in Nevada, the border guard replied with "When will you be back from Burning Man?" We got asked maybe 5 times if we had weed, to which we replied "No sir, we're not stupid enough to even try."

The whole thing took 5 MINUTES! Easy Peasy.


I have a new realtive who works for Canadian Customs at the border. His take on both borders is that it really comes down to who is manning them that particular day. There is NO consistant approach to how they treat you or what they will do. On EITHER side. I fly to Canada to visit my wife (she's in the process of immigrating). I have had every type of reaction to my visits by Canadian customs, from a smile and a wave, to a hard core full on search and interrogation. And I go through the SAME checkpoint each time. I am glad that US Customs gave you the welcome treatment Fufa. I just wouldn't expect it as a matter of course. Your attitude about expecting the worst is the one I would go with whenver you cross. And I would always soft pedal the BM stuff.

Does Canada have the same (or roughly similier) pool that the hire from as the TSA? How we they find an entire agency of disgruntled?
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Re: 1st time Calgary Burner!

Postby Dr Helix » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:26 am

theCryptofishist wrote:
Dr Helix wrote:
Fufa wrote:I don't know what you guys are talking about with Sweetgrass being a problem! Last year we went across in a converted Greyhound bus, with 11 twenty-somethings (some of which really were by appearances your stereotypical hippies). We only knew each other from the regional mailing list, where I sent out a call for riders to fill our bus. We met most of them the day we left. When we said we were camping in Nevada, the border guard replied with "When will you be back from Burning Man?" We got asked maybe 5 times if we had weed, to which we replied "No sir, we're not stupid enough to even try."

The whole thing took 5 MINUTES! Easy Peasy.


I have a new realtive who works for Canadian Customs at the border. His take on both borders is that it really comes down to who is manning them that particular day. There is NO consistant approach to how they treat you or what they will do. On EITHER side. I fly to Canada to visit my wife (she's in the process of immigrating). I have had every type of reaction to my visits by Canadian customs, from a smile and a wave, to a hard core full on search and interrogation. And I go through the SAME checkpoint each time. I am glad that US Customs gave you the welcome treatment Fufa. I just wouldn't expect it as a matter of course. Your attitude about expecting the worst is the one I would go with whenver you cross. And I would always soft pedal the BM stuff.

Does Canada have the same (or roughly similier) pool that the hire from as the TSA? How we they find an entire agency of disgruntled?


It's Government Service. Job security is not based on merit. Once you're in, you're in. And in some ways, I think that persona is almost encouraged. God forbid anyone actually ENJOY the job. At least the Canadian side has an appeal process if you are denied entry. On the American side, they don't like you, you don't cross. End of story.
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