Every Canadian and American entering or exiting the US across land
will soon have to carry a passport. This has led to panic among Canadian
officials because of fear of a total collapse of trade and tourism
across our shared border. Amongst all this panic and confusion the
US government has graciously extended the implementation deadline
to June 2009.
But no need to worry. Our indispensable bureaucrats have come up with
an ingenious new solution. A fancy
high-tech drivers license complete with biometric data, RFID chip
data then you could imagine all linked to a single
database. Wow! Aren’t they clever to come up with such a timely
Well, not really. This is an old idea with a new sales pitch.
Way back in the pre-bin Laden days of 1998, Ontario wanted to “replace
drivers licenses and health cards with a single computerized smart
card, capable of storing vast amounts of information about an individual”
complete with fingerprints, patient's treatment history, doctor's
phone number, other health data, driving record and a “computer chip”.
Even before this, Alberta and BC had rejected similar plans.
The real purpose of the 1998 smart cards was to facilitate “a better
flow of information between databases. The main ones in government
would be in health, transportation and the registrar's office" said
Jeremy Adams a communications assistant for the Ontario Health Ministry.
To this end, “some of the behind-the-scenes technologies to be used
to implement a smart card plan will be incorporated into some health
care pilot projects that will start soon in Hamilton, Kingston, Chatham,
Paris, and Wawa.” Also some smart cards were to be tested in the Mondex
experiment in Guelph, Ontario which were to record transaction data
including where and when services were accessed. The Mondex smart
card test in Guelph was actually cancelled but performed
elsewhere and originally came to Canada from the UK in 1995.
So was the justification back then identity
theft or protection
government believes one of the biggest benefits for users will
be the ability to update information through a single agent, rather
than filling out several forms at several different offices.”
Convinced you need one? But there was one other clever selling point
for this new smart card revealed in an internal
“The registration process for the public must be communicated clearly.
In particular, to address the situation of the read-and-white cards
with no expiry date and a Health Card for people without Drivers Licenses.
It should be made clear to the public that their cards will remain
valid until they are called by the government for re-registration
and issued a new card”
Great! Now I am sold. Only one government form forever! All I need
to remember is my fingerprint.
Joking aside, when the US ambassador to Canada David Wilkins says
question is, will enhanced driver's licences be ready to go and the
technology ready to be implemented by the time the land portions are
implemented? We have to wait and see."
He is lying. Simple as that. This whole farce about the need for passports
to enter the US is just a smokescreen for implementing a North American
ID card under the cleverly named Security
and Prosperity Partnership. Is it a coincidence that the US government
is forcing the exact same high-tech single database RFID chipped drivers
licenses onto their citizens under the Real
Canadian resistance to a National (or North American wide) ID
card, the idea is being embraced
by the likes of federal minister of public safety Stockwell Day.
Of course, for our safety, ease of border crossing, etc., etc.
I guess the former Canadian Immigration Minister Denis
Coderre summarizes this article (and a lot of other problems we
"The government won't have any choice, because at the end of the day
it [the national ID card] will be imposed by international standards."