.by Anura Guruge
I first heard about this, from some folks in Canada, when I started setting up and using (the outstanding) Skybox TV for TEN Cricket. I first thought that they were joking or were misinformed. I Googled. I was shocked.
I agree, 100%, with the Netflix executive. In my book Internet bandwidth caps come right below gassing your own citizens and way, way ahead of spying on their e-mails and phone calls. It is barbaric, but I kind of, deep down, expect that from Canada.
I am no stranger to Canada or Canadians. Don’t get me wrong. I like Canadians and have nothing against them — other than the buggers who used to work for immigration and customs and made my trips over there a nightmare. Yes, it is the hassle that I used to get at the airports that finally poisoned me, well and truly, against the Permafrost, Tundra of the lands to the North. Yes, brown folks are used to getting hassled at airports and border crossings. That is why I was so amused, a couple of weeks ago, when Glenn Greenwald’s boyfriend complained (and supposedly filed a lawsuit) about being ‘questioned’ at Heathrow Airport — Greenwald the U.K. Guardian newspaper reporter who breaks the Snowden stories. Heathrow and the U.K. has always been the exception for me — given that I do travel on a British passport. They are always extremely pleasant and some even welcome you back home. To be somewhat fair to the Canucks their main beef about me was that I was coming to do business in Canada — and that as a self-employed consultant I was depriving a Canadian of work. That used to crack me up. Like there was anybody in Canada that could do what I did. If they was, why would Canadian companies pay ME to come over — and I was never CHEAP. I worked as a consultant for a GREAT Canadian company, Eicon, for nearly a decade. One of the longest, continuous consulting relationships I ever had. Wonderful people, good products, load of fun and amazing to work for. It was just going to visit them in Montreal. Yes, I also did a fair amount of work for Cisco (Canada) and Northern Telecom (NT). I also worked for another Canadian company, Farabi, but never visited them in Montreal. They used to come here to meet with me — as did many, many folks from Eicon. Canadian immigration hated me coming over. Yes, I could have lied and said I was coming for pleasure. But, I don’t like to lie. Couple of times they forced me to BUY a temporary, 6 month work-permit — for about $450 Canadian (but that was when a Canadian dollar was worth about 60 cents). Anyway … that is where the animosity comes from. The sheer hassles I endured. It was a running battle. As most people who know me will testify I am rarely rude, but when I set out to be rude I can be very good at it. I am ashamed to say that I have been rather rude to Canadian custom officials — when I was leaving. They would ask stuff like: ‘did you buy anything while you were here?’. Well in all my ‘recent’ trips, and we are here talking the last two decades, all my trips were fully expensed and paid for by my clients. They paid the hotel bill, they bought all my meals, they plied me with drinks, they took care of transport. So, I used to love telling them: ‘No, I didn’t buy ANYTHING while I was here, not even a cup of coffee or a newspaper’ and watching the look on their faces.
So … that is my recent history with Canada and why I still refuse to cross the border … because the last time I left, c. 1999, I said I am never coming back to this damn country. I like to stick to my words.
Today, as it happens, my 60th birthday, is also the 46th anniversary of my 1st visit to Canada. Sept. 4, 1976. My 14th birthday. I was in 3 different countries that day. Left London around 10am in the morning. Flew to New York and then a few hours later drove to Montreal and crossed the border just before midnight.
I have relatives in Canada, in Toronto. I tell them that I am amazed that they can live up in the COLD up there.
Central New Hampshire is about as FAR NORTH as I ever want to live in North America. It is cold enough here. Of course it gets colder as you go further North — on this continent.
So, Canada’s bandwidth caps will never be a problem for me. I would NEVER live in Canada. I would rather move to Rwanda!