Disappointing treatment

Dear Michael:
I am writing this letter to express my disappointment at the way I was treated at the border last Monday (May 14). My husband and I were trying to buy our work permits as we’ve always done for the past 11 years.
We received a letter indicating we needed to prove “significant benefit” to Canada in order to obtain our work permits. The letter stated several documents could be used to satisfy customs.
So, I found the following business tax documents from 2006: our business tax return, our personal tax return, my T-4 return (showing $100,000 in wages), my profit and loss statement, my receipts from our 2006 venders (showing over $250,000), my GST returns, and my PST returns, as well as our passports, driver’s licences, two kids out of four, and a dog and a cat.
These documents did not satisfy them. They wanted our transfer of title deed to prove we were at least 51 percent owners. So we called our attorney to see if he could fax us a copy of our deed, and he said it was in storage and he would not be able to get at it for a couple of hours at least.
We then got copies of our land deeds off of the Internet, through our attorney, which indicated that Brad and I were joint tenants of the land which was indicated on our land tax bill made out to Moose Point Lodge.
Brad and I are Moose Point Lodge. We are a partnership. All of the documents either were named Moose Point Lodge or Brad and Donna Devenport.
This did not satisfy them. The customs agent wanted this piece of paper that we could not get our hands on. She said “fair, consistent, everyone else could show their transfer deeds.”
I feel like a criminal but what did I do wrong?
Three hours later, we were issued work permits with the contingency of showing this “deed” within the next year. We also were told we would not get work permits next year without it.
So, this girl, who can’t read a legal document, has the power to prohibit me from generating half of a million dollars a year for Canada.
I have employed dozens of citizens and helped many earn their college tuitions. I have employees who have worked for us since we bought the camp in 1997 and are coming back.
We treat our employees well, paying them as much as possible. We have guests coming back from 1997 that see us every year because we meet their needs, as well.
Had we put the money we used to buy the camp into a savings account, we would be money ahead. This business has never been about the money. It is about a way to meet the needs of our guests and offer a service we are qualified to do.
It is a way to raise our kids and show them the value of hard work. We are a family type of business and our guests appreciate this. The only reason I didn’t tell the Customs agent to shove it is because we have a dozen kids coming to work for us this summer and 300-plus guests that need to relax and catch a fish.
Is it really so hard to understand why Ontario’s tourism is dropping? If you treat me like this, I know now how our guests feel.
If you don’t want U.S. citizens to buy your camps, then stop selling them to us. If my money isn’t good enough, as well as the money of all our guests, I am sure we could pump it into another country’s economy.
The world is small and this is no way to treat people who haven’t done anything but good for your economy.
If I can do anything at all to help our trade get through the border without the hassles, I will. We are a good group of people, trying to make a small living, trying to provide a service, trying to make the world just a little nicer, that’s all.
Donna Devenport
P.O. Box 158
Fort Frances, Ont.