Monday, June 19, 2006

To Canadian Customs: X-men means X-rated

Saturday, I was surrounded by six officers, two watching me as the four others went page by page through my books looking for pornographic images and other evidence I was a sexual predator. How did this happen? I said a word which Canada Customs considers dirty: Manga. As soon as I declared that I had some of the japanese inspired comic books called manga, a Custom’s officer said, “That’s the stuff from Japan; there is some really obscene and filthy stuff.” No, I pointed out, these was printed in America and very mainstream. As more and more officers were called in, the six manga books I had were examined in detail. They were looking, they told me, for pornographic, obscene and adult material. “The age rating is on the back of each book.” (each manga book has ratings like 13+ or 15+ - mine were 13+). I was informed that I could have put different covers on or done anything else I could to get the pornography in and that if I spoke anymore, the books would be seized. So I stood there and watched my previously new books get examined page by page, thumbed through and pressed open because it was assumed if I read manga, that I was a sex offender.

That sounds like a joke doesn’t it. Except the exact same phrase “That stuff from Japan...” was used two weeks earlier on my last trip through Customs and my manga examined for the same reason; because Japanese manga is “really filthy stuff.” The reason I was so heavily raided this time, I found out afterward, was one of the manga titles had the word “boy” in the title, which “alerted” them to pedophile materials. Huh? Can someone please go get my next issue of the romance manga Tokyo Boys and Girls from the US? I’m too scared.

What I did know was that Canada Customs officers have a 20 year history of targeting and labeling “obscene” anything either with gay or lesbian content or simply owned by gays and lesbians. This is because the rules for what is “obscene” are so broad that they can fit almost any preconceived perception of a Canadian Custom’s official (under 1993 bill C-128 which includes not only anything perceived as “sexual” to those 18 or under, including kissing, but anything, including what is NOT in the picture/book, which is considered “harmful” to society: age of sexual consent in Canada is 14) . Canada customs has traditionally removed materials going to gay owners or stores and held them to a personal scrutiny, which is why for 10 years no one really cared if gay or lesbians were having books seized, until one week April 23 in 1993 when the Customs Agents, instead of separating the books to gay stores, went through the entire book stock and suddenly everyone from Christian book stores to Universities found notices that they had books seized for being “obscene”. What? Censorship! Canada briefly became outraged, Customs officials went back to targeting gays and lesbians and the media and outrage abated. Gay activism magazines such as On Our Backs and The Advocate have been seized, also HIV safety information sent up to gay stores during the 80’s along with hundreds of titles including the following classics and books of interest (but only if sent to gay bookstores or owners): Salome by Oscar Wilde, The Satanic Verses, Straight Heart’s Delight by Allen Ginsberg, Naked Lunch by Burroughs, Joy of Gay Sex, Joy of Lesbian Sex, Querella by Jean Genet, Women on Top (listed as Child Pornography also with the RCMP), Discontent: New Gay Writers, Lesbian Erotica, Nikola: Bride of Bigfoot (seized for a “lesbian encounter” description). They also confiscated a box of piercing jewelry that was going to a gay piercing store and the famous work “The History of Underground Comics” for “promoting bestiality” (there is an spoof Mickey Mouse who drinks, smokes and has sex). Amazon.com even has it's own list page: Books seized by Canada Customs

In 2004 a BC judge established that over 70% of all detentions by Canadian Customs are lesbian and gay materials and is “clearly targeting the gay community.” (seizures helped close the only lesbian bookshop in Victoria) The Canada Customs has no independent commission, no self regulation body and no one who oversees it. In 2000 Canada Customs was found to be unfairly targeting gays and lesbians in a systematic and corrupt way, and was given a “stern warning” but was noted in 2003 that so far Canada customs had done “nothing” to correct itself.

I found out about Custom’s non-regulated practices when I earlier witnessed (while waiting to pay GST on books) an older male Canadian Customs official (named Gary), after being informed of the age and mentally challenged status of a 15 year old girl, take her off for personal questioning. He did so after repeatedly refusing her legal guardian to accompany her before beginning to question her about her sexual history and relationships. When I called to report this I found that the person I was to report the behavior to was...Gary, the same guy who initiated it.

What I did not know on Saturday, was the Canada Customs has targeted manga for obscenity and child pornography prosecution, having charged a man in Edmonton six months ago for bringing in lolicon (sexual themed books of adults with young girls). The problem is, that since non of the customs officers I have encounter have any real idea about manga, all have viewed with suspicion, as an international artist found out when they were questioned for having “too many art books.” I also wonder if officials will know the difference between lolicon and Lolita & babywear. One is about sex with underage kids and the other is a style of clothing celebrating Edwardian childrens fashions which started in 2002 in Japan. The lesbian themed classic and multi award winning Kamikaze Girls is about a butch biker girl who falls for and comes to respect a Lolita girl (and yes, I brought that over from the states along with the girl manga magazine Shojo Beat which has advertisements for shops selling Lolita and babywear inside – that, thankfully they did not search page by page).

Linda was convinced the books were not taken away because the people examining them didn’t realize they were all same-sex themed because for those unused to manga, boys and girls often look the same. I buy gender bender/same sex romance manga books for enjoyment (maybe the links to Yuri manga on the side of the blog gave it away). And I am not ashamed of it, no matter how much they want to treat me like a sex offender. I buy them because thanks to the FCC and Canadian puritism I cannot find light reading which reflects the life of me and my friends. A typical alternative romance manga plot goes something like: Boy falls in love with beautiful boy who turns out to be a girl dressed as a boy who is trying to get a different boy (who is also a girl) to fall in love with her. By the time the first boy figures this out, he has fallen in love with another boy and concludes, what’s more important, love or society?

Canada customs rules mean that “Romeo and Juliet” cannot be brought into Canada (sexual themes in under 15 year olds) yet we all know that the heterosexual assumptions in the mind of the customs officials mean that in the same way most people think Pride Parades are about group sex, most officials assume if a lesbian is interested in something with gay/lesbian themes, then it is likely pornographic. DMP, who publishes the gay themed award winning series Antique Bakery won’t sell same-sex themed books or adult comics in Canada because their distributor Diamond, doesn’t want their other shipments of comics and manga seized (including when Canada Customs held a X-men comic shipment on the belief that X-men meant X-rated!). I will continue buying DMP books and I will continue bringing them across the border because I refuse to act as if I am ashamed (oh I feel ashamed and violated when they search me, accuse me of lying, of trying to sneak in pornographic materials, debate if I am a sexual offender and then let me go with the attitude of “we’ll be watching you”), over something I have no need to be ashamed of. The issue is in their head, not mine, and if I won’t give in to the dozens of different groups and societal pressures to try to put me back in the closet then I sure am not going to give in to Canada Customs. Welcome to the Gulag!

Jpeg1 - http://www.city.kelowna.bc.ca/CityPage/Images/Airport/Customs2004-10.jpg

41 comments:

Angelique said...

Oh, please, they are so outside of enough. Perhaps they need to give the officers something else to do, like clean the toilets, at the checkpoint so they aren't so bored.

paulo said...

I knew the border guys were tough, because they made my friend and I leave Canada after tossing our car looking for contraband. They said we had no reason to be in Canada. Everything you wrote comes as a total shock to me, though, as my impression of Canada was that it was kinda like a big and really liberal American state. I had no idea they had such ridiculous censorship issues.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Paulo: "No reason to be in Canada: - I think that includes most of us living here. Canada generally is apathetically easy going - however due to a legal loophole, the customs officers are literally a law to themselves, who for some reason - hate books (and comics!). I came home from the Customs interrogation to find my nieghbor having a garage sale including her huge collection of books on growing marijuana.

Even within Canada - you can create comics or books or films on sexual topics extremely explicit (David Cronenberg was given Canada Arts money to make a porn film) - and that is perfectly legal - you just can't bring them in from somewhere else (is this a Customs campaign to help start and grow the Canadian porn industry?)

NOTHING said...

ur kiding right? thats so stupid and not right the way they treated u, if costoms is gana stop ppl for having "X-rated" materials they sould atlest breef costoms on what sould or souldnt be confiscaited, im mean realy x-men being x-rated, i dont know if the movie x-men 3 is showing in theaters in canada but if it is customs doesnt get out much

Evan Waters said...

What Cronenberg film are you referring to? I've seen every film he's made (apart from STEREO and CRIMES OF THE FUTURE) and nothing there is what I'd consider pornography- CRASH is the most sexually explicit, but it's done in a way so as to be deliberately non-arousing.

Elizabeth McClung said...

hmmm, maybe it is a canadian urban myth though I thought Stereo and Rabid both have porn themes - like an actual porn star grows a phallis and grows around infecting people with it - (though actually ALL his films have explicit porn them elements - videodrom and extistenz tend to come to mind - though at a film festival I was told he got his start and funding making a porn film - could it be "transfer"?

Evan Waters said...

His first feature, SHIVERS/THEY CAME FROM WITHIN, was produced by Cinepix (with some money from a Canadian grant) which had mostly done softcore porn movies, and there are sexual themes, with some nudity and such, but that's sort of a grey area. RABID had Marilyn Chambers as the star, but it's not really that sexual either. I'd say they're both more sexual than most horror/sci-fi exploitation movies of the time, but not quite pornographic.

Interestingly it's his later, artier stuff that's more explicit in terms of sex and nudity.

I agree that Canadian censorship is kind of weird, though. At times I've been told there ain't no such thing, but there's all sorts of regional obscenity bizarreness. Of course, in the US, we manage to have both the First Amendment and federal obscenity laws.

Stephanie Chan said...

Canadian airports fear anything remotely sexual.

Two weeks ago, I was flying from Vancouver to Edmonton (that's right WITHIN canada) and they wouldn't let me on the plane because my skirt was too short.

My theory is the real reason I wasn't allowed onto the plane was because some bitch security guard was heckling my attire, and I talked back to her. So I'm sure security decided I needed to be taught a lesson. I got on the plane by wrapping a coat around my waist, but once I was on the plane, nobody gave a rat's ass about my clothes.

Yoga Korunta said...

When did George and his Murkan buds take over Canadian customs?

Kevin Sole said...

It's the worst shit, isn't it?

I apologize on behalf of all Canadians. Or I don't. The "Customs" folks seem to be a breed apart from the rest of us. Above the law, above any sense of what Canadians actually want protection from.

On the flip, US Customs ain't too giddy about comic books either. Last year, travelling to San Diego for (what else), SDCC, Customs searched our car with drug-sniffing dogs, emptied our pockets, scanned our eyes, rooted through our backpacks -- they kept us there for OVER 4 hours, because we had comic books.

We were denied entry, because of a bunch of paper. Not pornographic in any way -- I'm talking about Superman and Batman.

We had to throw them out, in order to cross the border.

Very screwed up.

Elizabeth McClung said...

They stopped you for having too short a skirt in Vancouver? That's brings a whole new meaning to terrorism - "You are distracting the captain - please wear this burlap sack" - I would expect the morality police in Alberta - especially if you were wearing your "I'm an athiest: I don't believe Klien is God" t-shirt but Vancouver?

I have had problems with US customs too - but not over comics - Canadians seem to think that you are trying to a) bring in alcohol above your limit which is a greater evil than almost anything imaginable or b) porn while the US - if they can't fit you in a mental box, they just figure you're a commie, a hippee, a terrorist or some other form of non-american as I found out during my ultra goth days when I went down to send a bleached cow's skull to a friend that I got from my girlfriends father's cattle farm. Try explaining the white cows skull in a box to a US custom's officer - they didn't know what I was exactly but it wasn't something they wanted in their country.

Tanginika-Simone said...

Wow!!! I cannot believe it! It is insane. I think the law enforcement mechanisms should focus on important things.

Gorogoro said...

Uh, Antique Bakery and much more explicit titles are having no troubles making their way onto the shelves in my small redneck Canadian city. (And yes, the guys who run the local comic shop know what they're getting. I think their eye for profit is greater than their distaste for the material.) I've got no idea where they're getting it from, if not from the US.

Anonymous said...

That sounds really weird, also what the other commenters wrote. Well, I guess it was time for a reality check. Canada almost always comes off like the "promised land" when you hear about it, especially when compared to the US. It seems some issues know no borders. However, I'm no Canadian and have never been there. Maybe people should try to report this to the authorities and some newspapers. I could imagine that these officers abuse their privileges and even if not, there might be a way to reform the law.

Anonymous said...

As a Border Guard working at Pearson I would like to add a few comments about your rant here. 1. Did you get to take your books with you?? 2. Do you have any idea how many people are travelling with child pornography in their luggage, computers loose hard drives, zip cards etc? We cannot be over protective of children. Im sure you wouldnt be very amused if your pictures of you being raped etc were posted all over the internet years after your torture happened. We are protecting children when looking for porn involving minors. Period. YOu taking the 2 Customs officers pictures posted here on the website means you probably wanted to have a confrontation to begin with. This picture was taken prior to any customs officer speaking to you. Cut us some slack. We have to dig through everything from rotten meat, dirty laundry and then look at some peoples child pornography before making a decision if the person is a minor or not. Its not an easy job and you should be thankful we are protecting your sorry ass.

Elizabeth McClung said...

The two customs officers here are not ones which I photographed but from the Canadian Customs website on the "Friendly force". And since Canadian Customs is a force which has no oversight, no appeal other than itself, and is one which has repeatedly been caught and prosecuted for targetting specific people based on person bias then no I believe the due diligence rests with Canada Customs to educate themselves and use thier authority with all due restriant (so no, I don't need to give them "slack").

But Canada Customs, in particular BC Customs officers continue to go after the same groups (gays and lesbians, manga buyers, etc) even after thier bias has been shown repeatedly. I continue to be asked by custom's agent whether I am bring in any of that "manga" - to which I now reply, "Nope, just books" - but this article gets linked to every week BECAUSE other people are getting thier manga held and siezed by customs. How about instead of declaring yourself as the thin blue line stopping pics of me being raped from entering the country (because no one in Canada knows how to use the internet I guess), you spend that time educating your fellow officers on what Yaoi, Yuri and manga in general actually mean.

Kelli said...

Wow. Just a random surfer who stm

What I thought was an isolated incident now seems to come into better focus. One of my friends last week was arrested and held by the Canadian border police for about 12 hours last week because he came to Canada with a friend's borrowed laptop, and it has some hentai images in the cache. He was acused of being a pedophile, threatened, locked in a cell chained to another man--the whole nine yards.

...then apparently the day shift got in and said "Dear, God what were they THINKING" and dropped all the charges and let him go.

...well, mostly. He may or may not ever be welcome in Canada again...not that he's recovered enough from the trauma to go back!

...oh, and he had to tell his housemate that HER $1500 laptop was confiscated because of the Bondage Faeries, and he has no idea when/if he'll get it back.

Omar Cruz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"As a Border Guard working at Pearson"... loser.

When we've given up all our freedoms, someone like you will say "We cannot be over protective of children."

"you probably wanted to have a confrontation to begin with"... she was asking for it, eh?

"be thankful we are protecting your sorry ass"... get a real job, like working security at the mall. I require no protection from _anything_ you think you are protecting me from.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Just wow. I had no idea that Canada's customs were that way. The anecdote about the 15 year old being questioned personally by Gary without her guardian present sounds horrible. Maybe customs should look at themselves before they look at others.

Anonymous said...

If you want to cross any border with child porn and yes that includes those Japanese comics...then expect to be delayed and even charged!! Get a life and quit your whinning!!!

Dingbat said...

I had a similar problem although mine was slightly worse because I am from the UK and was just visiting Canada. We went over for the day to America and I bought some comics. Can't remember what but they had an adult rating. Possibly Fallen Angel which has some suggestive cover images to say the least. That and i bought some batman, some Spawn and my fave one, Vampire Batman.

Going back over the border, they asked me what I had in the bag and I said some comics. When they searched my bag they foudn the comics and I got right glares. Started askign all these questions. When they found out I wasn't a canadian citizen. Well then the fun started. I was stuck there for five hours, got glared at because of some lesbian pics in one of the comics, and got bigger glares at Vampire Batman, they wanted me to throw them out to go back and I flat out refused. There was no way I was throwing them out. I asked them for a reason they said I'm underage and shouldn't have the comics. This was at a time when I was still pre 18. My Mum stepped in and said she'd bought the comics for me to read. Got some grumbles and some groans and finally they let us across WITH my stash of comics intact. Moral of the story, don't bother buying while away just buy online! I certainly wasn't in the mood to be throwing away good comics even if i'd picked them up cheap. What crap ey.

Sugar said...

wheres the online petition to sign?
That is a whole bunch of anti-canadianesque censorship crazyness!

RmeDave said...

First of all to the member of Customs who works at Pearsons, you are NOT protecting anyones sorry ass, you are not in a Militant group nor a Policing agency. You are simpy a Governement bag checker.
If you want to protect Canadians sorry asses then maybe I would suggest you take on a real role in the Military and come to Afghanastan and then you can make these statements. You are probably some twenty something year old who just graduated from Rigaud and has no other life experience. To you I say NUTS
If anything you should shut up and put up as you are only making matters worse for the customs. I live in Canada and cross the border very often. I do not take anything in or out that I shold not and my advise to others wold be to do as I have done. Check the websites of both Customs and find out what they are allowing and what they are stopping. This would have alleviated your problem to begin with. I realize it is onloy a comic book but had you done a bit of homework you would have avoided the whole mess.
To all the others let it be known that you cannot judge a Country by its Border crossing asswipes. As if you did then no one would cross either border. When you approach them be ready with all the info they need and do not have any gray areas to let them think, as this is when the troubles ussually start as they form thier own opinions and indifferences as to what is good and what is EVIL and unhealthy for the good of mankind like they are some kind of god or bg brother or watchdog.
These people are only doing the job they were hired for, check license plates, trunks an bags to stop anything illegal getting into either country.

golden-archer said...

They're all just jealous that you can read and they can't and that you're clearly going to go a lot farther in life than they are.

There's a big difference between child pornography and comic books.

Anonymous said...

Well, sounds like the Canadian Customs are institutionally racist. No matter how great they think your morals are, things like this make them hypocritical if they're discriminating so horrendously. And I don't believe hyprocites can do their job effectively, no matter what line of work you're in.

Anonymous said...

I've never had a problem bringing back manga from the US to Canada (e.g. Negima). I'd rather them to tell me to take off my shoes than to root around my personal belongings.

Júlio César said...

Oh my... Now I have a reason to like Brazil a little bit. Here customs charge 60% of import duties over anything except printed material. They don't care about books or magazines.

Elizabeth McClung said...

I still bring over manga regularly, and obviously some shipments are allowed through as Blu and DMP are now in local shops - though not as much diversity as in Borders in the US. HOWEVER, I noticed that most people, even those who work with manga have no clear idea about it, and now that it is popular think it is all the same. As I found out when our local library ordered manga and I found all the Yoai 18+ had been put in the 15 and under section (ha ha!). It soon disappeared, to some VERY happy 15 year old!.

As for bringing across the border, we have found the code word for females talking to a male officer is to say "I'm bringing in some romance books" - suddenly a bored and 'OMG, more boring female crap!' look will apppear: this has worked about 40 times. My FATHER, who is a minister, was ALSO stopped when he brought books across for me, using the M word (MANGA!) - so even if your Church Pastor brings it across.....don't use the M word! I have EVERYTHING shipped including Yaoi postcards to a US P.O. Box because I know that Canada Customs does open 1 in every 20 packages or so (see, they charge you $5-$10 for the privilage, even if there is no duty). Once your stuff is inspected, whether by post or in person, it is entirely up to THAT INDIVIDUAL what is obscene material. There is no oversight. There is no one they report to.

Since writing this originally, Canada Customs was AGAIN cited by the BC supreme court for not putting in any oversite or training officers and targeting groups. Instead of following the instructions (because they again were stopping shipments to Little Sisters Bookshop), they appealed to the Canadian Supreme Court and the bookstore, unable to come up with the half million were unable to appear. Thus Canada Customs won by default and does not have to make any regulatory board, body or oversight or stop any individual practices of discrimination. SUCK!

The other line is "Used books", or sometimes, "Presents from relatives" - something they are used to hearing. Saying, "Art books." gets, "Where from?" or "What type?" - and if you say Japan or anime, or manga, then well, incidents continue to happen. Has Canada Customs educated themselves on what is Manga, or even what is Hentai, or Ecchi, not as far as I can tell. Does someone over 18 have the right to buy some labelled 18+ and bring it into Canada? No. The Canada Customs officer will determine whether it is obscene or not, there is no RIGHT to be able to keep your books.

Deathscythe said...

Ya know what?
I reckon those guys at the customs read hentai themselves. In fact, it might be the only thing they read. Hence they probably go thinking "hehhh, Japan's fulla sick porno comics hehhhh". Hell, not ALL mangas are hentai. I read Fullmetal Alchemist, does that mean I read hentai?
What a buncha f*cktards.

Anonymous said...

you could have called them comic books like a normal respectable person

Anonymous said...

Keeping the flame alive. Another related article is at http://that.animeblogger.net/2009/01/07/united-states-v-whorley-hentai-and-the-first-amendment/

It's kind of related. Please read, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Similar incident just happened to me, well, my friend's bro to be exact.

The story was, since I live in Canada, there is no way for me to purchase doujinshi directly from Japan, therefore I asked my friend to buy them. The day his brother is going on a trip to Canada (here), so he thought he might as well ask him to bring it to save shipping.
Then the obvious you can imagine happened, his brother got confiscated at custom, but released a day later. 10 out of 42 doujinshis where taken and said to be send to Ottawa for re-evaluation under the charge of [Child pornography].
Here is the funny fact, 32 of the doujinshi where all PG for everyone rated from the Japanese website, and 10 were hentai with the warning of [For Adult only] sign printed on the cover. Out of the 10 hentai there is only 1 that involves an underage completely fictional character, the rest of 9 are all fully grown female figure with big boobs, hips and such.
The ASACP, an organization that fights against child pornography stated clearly in Title 18, 2256 that [(11) the term ‘‘indistinguishable’’ used with
respect to a depiction, means virtually indistinguishable,
in that the depiction is such that
an ordinary person viewing the depiction
would conclude that the depiction is of an actual
minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
This definition does not apply to depictions
that are drawings, cartoons, sculptures,
or paintings depicting minors or adults.]
Which means, the law does not apply itself to fictional character, because it causes no harm to real human child since it does not involve any.
Not to mention Hentai always have censor strips in them.

Right now his brother is free, but I am still concern about what might suddenly comes next since the 10 confiscated books are to be sent to Ottawa for "Re-evaluation".

First of all, I purchased the doujins because I liked the series they were based on; second of all, I had no idea that fictional characters depicted in "improper" action is offensive.
This is same as saying we should press murder charge against Detective Novel writers because a fictional character was murdered in the story; Taranteno should be charged with mass genocide because so many people were killed/dismembered in the movie Kill Bill; Van Diesel should be charged with overspeeding and hijacking oil transporter in the upcoming Fast & Furious movie because he did all those by acting out the fiction character he should be playing as; Disney should be charged for allowing potential pedophilia to wed Snow White while Snow White appears totally underage to me, etc, etc.
And third of all, yes, I do believe all serial rapists and child molester should be either locked up for life or receive capital punishment. It is simply inhuman to do such horrible things to real human being. But fictional characters are not real, you do not hurt anyone by either killing them, torturing them, or engage in sexual action with them (I really doubt you really can actually do these with them directly).

Fiction is not reality, one can imagine anything possible but nothing will happen in real life because they are simply imaginations. If fiction is to be treated equally with reality, then any being with brains should not have a mind of their own, and should be all locked up in cells as "potential criminals".

I have played games and read mangas that are violent/sexually explicit/ironic/political, but I have never engaged in violence with anyone, because I know what are allowed and what are not; I don't go out and rape woman or child; I don't bring loaded guns to commit mass murder because I feel like it.
All these is to say that there is no evidence of fictional stories to have power of brainwashing/shaping a perfectly normal person into a criminal.
I am very well aware of the responsibility that comes by harming another human being.
What to do when I have sexual desire and no partner? Masturbation harms nobody as long it's done privately.
What to do when I am very pissed at someone? I try not talk to them for a while and go to sleep to calm myself down.
There are a lot of solutions to solve problems in way that harms no other human being.

And yes, I am very beyond legal age. I'm over 25.
And yes, I'm very worried about my friend's brother atm even though he's out.

Anonymous said...

Lolicon is not necessarily about "Having sex with children" often it is about forbidden loves - like guy and young girl fall in love with each other. Or it may just feature girls who look young or have youthful characteristics in it, only lolicon hentais have sex scenes in them...

Anonymous said...

An update on the 10 confiscated doujins... Guess what? 8 out of 10 were PG for everyone rated... Which totally made me mad...
Huge tasteless to all hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

Funny how I posted a counter argument that was well thought out etc explain how things really work over a week ago and it has yet to be posted.....impartial you are not and not much of an academic.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Anon: Your comment was not posted because the rules of this blog are such that in the last year or two no anonymous posts are usually allowed but certainly no posts which directly attack other people who post. Yours did that. I agree it was interesting post, though did not actually address the aspects raised about the lack of oversight, the ignoring of the supreme court, and that as little sister and many others have shown, the list mentioned (which I looked up at the time before making a complaint..to the people who searched me, who happened to also be the region complaint officers). But yes, if it had been possible to post the top part of your post, I would have, however, blogger does not let me edit the comments (probably for good reason), and so I could not do this. I am sorry for your disappointment.

Anonymous said...

I understand then, I don't remember attacking anyone other the the gentleman who went on about the Agency being a paramilitary group which it is not. I am a former Border Services Officer who still works for the Agency but now in Ottawa as National Headquarters. Due to this I cannot use my name but all I was trying to do is show people that it is not as easy as some would like to think. Officers often over worked and seeing as they have to enforce over 90 sets acts and regulations expecting them to know by heart exactly what is prohibited with regards to various forms of anime is asking to much. In the end it is up to traveler/import to verify beforehand that the item they would like the bring into the country is legal or not.

As I mentioned the CBSA officers are not the ones that make the rules they just enforce them. The customs act is of course our act but many of the other ones like IRPA, Criminal Code, etc etc are not even controlled by the CBSA. An officer has to make a decision on the spot, let something in that he/she is not sure about and risk getting into trouble or detain for further review. I do agree that there is a manner of doing this and unfortunately like in any job you have those that take it a little to seriously. I for one always tried to maintain a friendly demeanor with everyone and if I was required to seize or detain a person or good I would do as in a professional manner as even if this person has potentially done something illegal they are still a human being. You also have to remember that it is a two way street and you would probably be surprised how many people an officer will see in a day that are downright rude and seem to want to butt heads with a person in a position of authority which a BSO is.

As for recourse, I am not sure why you would think that the same officer that detained your items would be the same one that would be taking your complaint. Was he a superintendent (ie did he have two silver lines on his shoulder)? You should have been able to speak to someone else and in the end for any item that is seized or detain for further review, in this case by the obscene good unit in Ottawa, you can contact the CBSA directly. From the website

http://cbsa.gc.ca/recourse-recours/menu-eng.html

The CBSA's Recourse Directorate has recently moved. The new address is:

CBSA – Recourse Directorate
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0L8

You may contact the Directorate regarding your appeal by telephone or fax:

Telephone: 613-960-5139 (for general inquiries)
Fax: 613-960-5129

Again best of luck and the only way to change what is considered obscene and what is not is to talk to your local member of parliament as it is only them that will be able to put forth the legislation to make changes.

Tyciol said...

Wow, dude. I guess a reaction to the Gordon Tshun Chin case.

myntebuu said...

Woah. Well, I have no idea how applicable this article is to Vancouver. I have no doubt of the stupidity that goes on what with that Polish guy and tazering incident a while back, but this...? You'd figure with the amount of otaku and fujoshi out there nowadays they'd be used to it. Especially Vancouver--being filled with homos and Asians (that are quite often also fujoshi).

Well, lolicons still gross me out. (Random person: And your SebaCiel is different HOW?) WHAAAA. That is COMPLEEEEETELY different! D< (I'm actually half-serious.)(Seriously! Ciel acts like a 40-year old man most of the time and is like, the most amazing shota ever with his noble aura and mental strength, and hnnngggg--and Sebas isn't even human! ...Excuse my fangirling. OTL)

Part of me wants to drag in suitcases of homo and just be all like "yup, you wanna check 'em all?" Also, if I convert anyone into a fellow "pervert", that would be incredibly amazing. ...Too bad most of my stuff is only BL. OTL (I hate pointless and shallow, passionless smut with no beauty in it. I'm not just talking about the art.)

Anonymous said...

It seems these Customs officials understand and practice these child porns quite well.