Monday, May 15, 2006

Canadian prime minister calls for troops along border

It's come to this.

Ottawa, CANADA—Citing rising numbers of American citizens crossing north into Canada for illicit activities, Canadian Prime Minister Steve Harper has decided to man the 3000-mile Canada-US border with Canadian military personnel.

"The frontier with Greenland has been pretty quiet lately," Harper told reporters, "so we figured they could use a break from the boredom."

Harper told a hastily assembled press conference that increasing numbers of US citizens have been crossing into Canada's provinces in order to break the law, mostly by buying subsidized pharmaceuticals and evading New York and New Jersey taxes with bulk purchases of cigarettes that are taken back over the border.

"This is illegal," an aide later explained. "When they come over the border and we ask them, 'Is your trip business or pleasure?' they should answer that they're planning to skirt American laws related to controlled substances. That is not 'pleasure.'"

Conservative members of Parliament have been pushing for stronger action as swelling numbers of US seniors have reportedly been pilphering pharmacies in border towns, leaving local residents unable to deal with joint inflammation, panic attacks, and lactose intolerance.

"They come by the busload," said Dr. Frederick LeBlanc, a pharmacist in southern Quebec. "Of course they pay and they're very polite, but did they ever think that we Canadians might also need our Cialis?"

Some Liberals joined the Conservatives out of concern for rising gun crime. "We haven't actually experienced an increase," said Liberal MP Ian MacNally of Moose Jaw. "But we've all seen 'Bowling for Columbine,' and it's just a matter of time, eh."

General Paul Lindsay of the Land Forces Command said the troops will be deployed just as soon as the unmarked portions of the border can be determined.

Harper later telephoned US President George W. Bush to assure him that the placement of the Canadian military on the border does not mean Canada is militarizing the Canada-US border.

"Oh, I understand, Steve-meister," Mr. Bush replied, according to official transcripts of the call released by Ottawa. "I told Vince the same thing about
the National Guard. I told him, 'National Guard-o no es military-o.' Except when we send them to Iraq. Heh heh heh."

New Democrats are hoping to add a rider to Harper's proposal, which would require that the soldiers not actually carry weapons. But they will still be a potent force, says MP Fiona Murray-Kennedy of Medicine Hat. "They will have orders to be assertive on sight."

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