Canada's Border Fence - The Great Wall of Canada

Canada-US border by By Mark Wagner (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

by Mark Wagner / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

It’s not easy getting into Canada. You have to do one of 4 things just to get to our border:

  • Cross the Atlantic, OR
  • Cross the Pacific, OR
  • Cross the Arctic, OR
  • Cross America – as in the USA (including Alaska. But you have to get to Alaska first). 

And if in fact, the great bulk of current data on global warming is somehow wrong and we’re headed towards a new ice age, and the Arctic triples in size, that’s still a lot of dog-sledding just to get you to Alert in Nunavut.

But what if you’re already in the USA and you’re determined to flee the country because Donald Trump has just been beaten in the general election by Bernie Sanders? Hillary had to drop out because she had subcontracted out the catering and logistics for her presumptive inauguration ball to a Chinese company. And you don’t want to pay 2/3rdss of your income in taxes? What do you do??

Go north you poor, huddled taxpayers, go north.

Think about it: hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of well-educated and capable Americans invading Canada’s humble little economy. Maybe starting lots of successful companies. Hiring people. Keeping costs down and innovating in all sorts of areas. Building or buying new homes. Going to see CFL games.

No! Outrageous. Who do you think we are?

But what can Canada possibly do?

We need a wall. A Great Wall of Canada. And we’ll get Hillary to get the Chinese to pay for it! If anyone knows about building enormous, durable, magnificent feats of engineering … it’s them! And if anyone knows about fundraising – anywhere, anyhow, anyone-with-cash-will-do – why it’s Hillary Clinton! She’ll be out of a job and looking for work. Perfect. 


A few technical issues


What will The Great Wall of Canada be built out of?

Hockey boards by mark6mauno via

by mark6mauno / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

There’s only one answer:

  • Varnished particle board, and
  • Styrofoam.

Canada’s pulp and paper companies will be tasked with this project. Not since the St. Lawrence Seaway will local industry be so proud of their contribution to the nation. The Styrofoam will have to be imported from China, however.


How high will our Great Wall be?

30 feet: the distance from the goal line to the blue line. You have no idea what a blue line is? You don’t get into Canada. And as any true Canadian knows, if you cross the blue line without the puck, you’re offside buddy. That’s not just a metaphor. As part of Canada’s Great Wall Policy, it shall be decreed that:

  • If anyone jumps the wall with an official NHL puck, they can stay for 3 months.
  • If you do it with a puck and skates on, you get permanent residence.
  • If you do it with full, official NHL gear on – that includes your stick – you get citizenship. It’s called going over the boards: a hallowed Canadian tradition.


Where will the gates (border crossings) be in our Great Wall?

Anywhere Tim Hortons agrees to set up a drive-through franchise. That way you could combine the care and feeding of the huddled poor, like say investment bankers from Chicago trying to cross over into Manitoba, with official immigration paperwork:

  • Single Entry Visa with a Double Double and Timbits: CAD$79.99
  • Multiple Entry Visa with an Orange Pekoe Loose Leaf Steeped Tea, an Original Blend Coffee, a Chocolate Chip Cookie, and a Hot Breakfast Sandwich: CAD$189.99
  • Super Visa with a Steak & Cheese Panini, a bowl of Homestyle Chili, and a Dream Latte (our investment banker from Chicago maybe?):  CAD$679.99


Will the Transgender-friendly, Non-Cisgender washroom signs be in…

  • English only west of Brockville?
  • French only east of Brockville and west of Stanstead?
  • English and French everywhere?
  • In every major East Asian language as well as Hindi, Urdu and English west of Cranbrook?
  • In Windows 10 symbols?

Cleary the language issue is an extremely sensitive one. This will have to be referred to a parliamentary committee and the honourable members will have the tough work of skating into the corners, digging into the issue, and the Prime Minister will maybe even have to throw a gender-neutral elbow or two. That’s hockey. And politics as of late. One resolution of the issue might be to keep the washroom signs in Morse Code.


What will the China Investment Corporation demand in return for funding Canada’s Great Wall?

Seeing China has developed enviable engineering skills when it comes to ginormous dams, there’s only one deal the CBSA would accept:

  • The Great Recycling and Northern Development Canal: This beauty of a megaproject has been waiting to be born since Newfoundland native Thomas Kierans dreamed it up in 1959. Build a yuge dam across James Bay. Turn James Bay into a yuge freshwater lake.
  • Oh wait. Sanders was elected, not Trump. We can still say yuge? Good. Run a huge canal or pipeline south to the water-starved, newly semi-socialist republic of the USA and sell it for as many dollars as Canada possibly can. Think of the cash Canada would rake in!
  • Uh, no. That cash would go to the China Investment Corporation, who funded our Great Wall. But we’d have our Great Wall. 


What would the political and cultural implications of Canada’s Great Wall be?

Things could get tense with our neighbours. President Sanders would give a rabble-rousing speech in Burlington Vermont:

A particle board has descended on our frontier. Where once we could gaze at the true northern sky, we now have the sight of real estate brokers, welders, and bitcoin specialists, scrambling up 30 feet of particle board in full hockey gear with a puck in their mouths. It makes me sad, and it makes me angry!

Particle-board politics will become required course material at Harvard and Georgetown Universities, and then quickly spread across the continent. The Home Hardware Centre for International Politics at Yale will attract the best and brightest from across America and the world.

Commentators would start saying things like: “we have to get to the Styrofoam of the issue here. It’s not enough to keep arguing about the particle board.”


How long would Canada’s Great Wall last?

Gazing into the future, it may be that historians, decades from now, will divide the Great Wall era into 3 periods, each lasting approximately 20 months:

  • The Birthday Party Era: Yes, Canada’s Great Wall will be built in record time: from December 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. Just in time for Canada’s 150th Birthday! And the world will be in shock and awe. This will last for a year or so until parts of the wall start falling down and have to be replaced with vinyl siding.
  • The Franchise Frenzy Era: Tim Hortons realizes that its Wall franchises are incredibly profitable and that CBSA employees make very efficient servers as well, brow beating desperate Americans into upgrading to Super Visas and ordering the Panini with Chili special. Unfortunately, this leads to over expansion. Soon there’s a border crossing every 10 kilometres. Many are accessible only by skidoo or dirt bike. Profits at Tim Hortons start to collapse like the rotting particle board.
  • The Collapsing Wall Era: collapsed piles of rotting particle board and particles of Styrofoam floating across the Prairies; a heart-rending spectacle for any proud Canadian. And countless shuttered Tim Hortons drive thrus; silent witnesses to a distant, glorious past five years ago when Canada was so full of hope. Sad.

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