Rambling down Memory Lane…….

July 1st has always been a special day for me. Forty eight years ago today I left the United States and applied for Landed Immigrant Status in Canada. My wife and I picked this date as it was a National Holiday and we figured there would be less security at the Toronto Airport…. and less questions. It was a special day in Canada, it was the 100th anniversary of Confederation.
My suspicions proved correct…. there was only a handful of security personnel on duty and I was asked only two questions…
“How long do you plan on staying in Canada?”…. to which I responded “Forever!”
The second question was “Are you a subversive?”…. to which I responded quite naively “What does that mean?”
“Do you consider yourself a threat to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second or any one of her heirs?” (pronounced ‘hairs’ when I verbalise this story)…. to which I responded “Definitely not!”
“Welcome to Canada! Here is your Landed Immigrant Status Card!” (Let it be known that in no way did I consider the Royal Family ‘Divine’ in any way, but I did not feel I was a threat to their existence.)

Little did that Immigration Officer know, but in the United States I WAS considered a subversive…. in fact, I carried with me a ten page document of allegations against me from Army ‘Intelligence’ which ended with the words “Your entrance into any branch of the Armed Forces at any time would be detrimental to the security of our nation.” How much more of a ‘subversive’ can one hope to be?
It would be ‘safe’ to say that I owe my life to the FBI. The document I mentioned above was full of information provided by them. Their ‘planted’ informants knew the exact date and time that I joined the Communist Party of the United States. They knew every move I made during all my years of activity.
On my 18th birthday I registered with the Draft Board. We had to do that by law in those days. A few years later I received my order to report for my physical examination. I will never forget the short, burly man in charge that day…. Sgt. Randazzo. His face and voice haunts me to this day. The day I had to report was like a mini High School Reunion. Almost every male in my graduation class was present that day. We were lined up and were asked if we were interested in volunteering for the Marines. As this was a sure way to be sent to Viet Nam, there wasn’t a single volunteer. Randazzo then proceeded to pick every third person in line to serve in the Marines. But…… immediately before that an announcement was made…. “Anyone that was ever arrested, please go to Room 101.” Off I went….. which meant that poor Michael, who was standing next to me, was picked to be a Marine…. it should have been me, but I was being interrogated instead. Needless to say, Michael does not speak to me to this day.
If you move the ‘timer’ to 10:05 on the following video, you will get a pretty good idea what that interrogation was like….

A few months later I received my 4F. At first I was given ten days to deny the allegations in the document I received…. non compliance earned me my 4F. The rest is history…..
Moving on…. here we were in a new country, a country with totally different values and definitions than the one we had just left. But, I felt that we were still not ‘home free’…. our new government might discover our past and deport us, so we prepared for this by purchasing a framed photograph of Her Majesty and hanging it in the hallway of our new apartment. If the Royal Mounted Police ever came to ‘visit’ it would be the first thing they saw. We had two new statuses that we did not want to lose…. Landed Immigrant and NON Subversive!
My political activities continued throughout my years in Canada, including running in elections for both the Federal Parliament and the Province of Ontario…. on the ticket of the Communist Party of Canada. This Party was/is legal, so my status of Non Subversive did not change.
The Mounties never came and we were never deported. Canada was a totally different world than the one we had just came from… that was in 1967. Things are a bit different today, unfortunately. Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party hacks have ‘bridged the gap’ between the two countries. Canada today is as close to a 51st State of the United States as Israel is…. this makes me very sad. Hopefully things will change and Canada can once again pride itself for being the country represented as ‘”The true North, proud and free!” As long as the Tories remain in power that will not be the case.
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  1. R Davis said,

    July 1, 2015 at 08:05

    Only that communism threatens the freedom to be as corrupt & selfserving as you wish & unaccountable to the society in which you live.
    The dog eat dog lifestyle with devil may care delight.
    That is not to say that communism is not als corrupt. But to even speak the words, sharing & careing is a sin to a capitalist.
    Than you for your story.

  2. Rosalie said,

    July 1, 2015 at 18:03

    I am also an American transplant, now a Canadian citizen only (I renounced asap!), who arrived shortly after you did and also with NO intention of ever returning to the USA to live (haven’t even visited down there in over 25 years). Canada is a wonderful country.

    Despite all the bad things going on and that the whole world is headed for financial collapse – Happy Canada Day!

  3. Ken Jensen said,

    July 1, 2015 at 20:34

    Thank-you for a great story. This is the type of story that makes a person realize how well they have it in Canada. I had no idea America was already changing in 1967. The sad part is Canada is also making those shifts and becoming more American by the day.

    Happy Canada Day to all American Immigrants in Canada many of you brought the old values of a word that was once called Freedom and for that we Thank-you.

  4. Larry Fisher said,

    July 1, 2015 at 22:03

    Did you renounce or relinquish your U.S. citizenship? If not you are still a slave of the U.S.A./I.R.S. There are over a million of us in Canada whom the U.S. considers ‘U.S. Persons’ and the fact that the Harper Government signed the FACTA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) with the U.S. Treasury/I.R.S last year means that we are now ‘second class citizens’ without Charter of Rights protections or Bank Secrecy provisions. Yes, ‘Happy Canada Day’ to yourself as well, but remember that Harper Canada has sold us down the river.

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