My friends and I have had a horrific experience recently,June17/08,at the Vancouver airport,in the customs office,when a friend of ours flew here from Germany. He arrived with little to no money,but I was already prepared to provide his needs as long he was in Canada. We were all so excited and happy about the visit,our plans were unfolding nicely until Vancouver custom agents decided to hold our friend like a common criminal,and interrogated him for more than 2 hours in their back room and in the end he was told he must sign another form to be allowed out of the room he was in.
Now,my friend from Germany knows enough english to know that the second form was wrong,but after 2 hours of detainment and constant duress,he signed the form and was immediately taken in hand cuffs to the local police station to await a return flight to Germany and I was informed that my friend would not be entering Canada at this time.
No reason for has ever been given to me or to my friend,for his entry refusal and none of us have a criminal record.
We are all left to guess as to why customs in Vancouver airport decided to turn away a tourist from Germany!
To further injure our impression of Vancouver,prior to the 2010 winter olympics,my friend was treated very badly in the Vancouver jail as well as the customs office,was physically abused and suffered cuts on his hands from the handcuffs he was forced to wear and did not recieve medical attention for his wounds until he was outside of Canada!
I am both shocked and appalled still at the entire event!
This was our friends first time in Canada! What an experience and what an impression!
All our plans to tour Vancouver the next day were cancelled and we returned to Nanaimo,miserably disappointed with the trip.
I had to wait for my friend to arrive back in Germany to try to find out any information about how he was doing and why he was refused to visit Canada and the more I learned the sadder I felt to be Canadian at all!
It is sickening to learn all that Canada has done to this innocent upstanding German citizen!
Makes me wonder what the olympics in Vancouver will really be like,somewhat less exciting than originally anticipated I am positive on that poiint!
Personally, I will not be attending the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics nor will I ever return to Vancouver for a pleasure trip!
Also,my friend would like to visit me still but Vancouver is not a place he can ever return to because of all the bad memories he now has of an extremely stressful,exhausting,abusive,frightening time he had in that city!
If he visits Canada again he will have to land in a completely different airport...like maybe Victoria!
In closing I would like to add,Vancouver has not got a lot of time to start being hospitable
to tourist from Europe! Remember the Polish man that knew no english?,even IF the officers tried to call a translator (something I think they should be doing but never have I seen them actually do it),the officers thought the Poilsh man was speaking russian and they tasered to DEATH an innocent man! This is a direct reflection of what we can all expect from Vancouver,today,tomorrow,during the olympics and beyond and long as the city stands!
I am much less proud to be canadian today!