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Nexus: speedy border pass ?

The Editor:

Am I the only person who complains about the southbound border wait times for NEXUS holders? I cross the border several times a week. Seldom is the wait more than a few minutes returning to B.C. when using the NEXUS lane. Typically, when I drive up to the booth after swiping my card the Canadian agent looks at me, looks at the screen and says go ahead or have a nice day and actually smiles.

Going south is a crapshoot. If you happen to be traveling south at the wrong time, you may end up waiting up to 30 minutes in the NEXUS lane. On a long weekend, don't be surprised to be waiting up to 90 minutes!

Why do NEXUS holders have to put up with such long waits going south compared to going north? NEXUS card holders have had a background check, been fingerprinted, photographed, interviewed and issued what apparently is supposed to be a secure ID card that can't be forged yet some U.S. border guards continue to ask 20 questions instead of relying on random checks with zero tolerance. Where are you going? Purpose of your trip? Why are you going there? How often do you come down? Are you meeting anyone there? Are they Canadian or U.S.? Are they friends? When are you returning? Anything to declare? (Good question, the only one that should be asked.)

Some U.S. border guards seem to grasp the trusted traveler concept and when they man the booth, things move along reasonably. Unfortunately, there is no consistency among them which leads me to the conclusion that there is a lack of proper training specifically related to the Nexus lane.

This has been an ongoing problem since the NEXUS program was introduced. I am sure that U.S. business owners would be happy to see more business in these difficult economic times.

Unless the border guards change their ways, you are going to see less business as people get fed up with the ridiculous waits and cancel their golf memberships, move their yachts to Canadian waters and return to shopping in Canada.

Name withheld by request
White Rock


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