On April 7, while returning to Fort Frances from Arizona, I stopped to pay the toll on the U.S. side of the border crossing in International Falls. I handed the lady my commuter card to pay the toll and was told I still owed $4 for the utility trailer I was towing.
I then gave the toll collector a blue ticket for one crossing for a trailer and told her I would pay $2 to cover the second crossing. She then told me she would not accept one trailer ticket—that I would have to have two tickets or else pay for both crossings in cash.
I refused to pay and she called her boss, Paul McLaughlin, who showed up within minutes.
Paul also informed me that they would not accept one ticket for the trailer and cash for the other crossing. He also insisted I would need two tickets.
I told Paul these tickets are not available or sold anymore. He said well find one. He then told me to pay the toll for the trailer or I would be towed away.
I told him to go ahead and call the tow truck because I was not moving until this was resolved.
Paul then suggested I use my vehicle commuter card to pay for the trailer, which I agreed to do.
My argument is that the people who use this bridge—Canadians and Americans alike—are being ripped off. Example: All commuter cards have an expiry date and are worthless after that date. Or if you cross the border in Rainy River and return at International Falls, you pay for two crossings when you have only crossed once.
And we all know what happened with the books of red vehicle crossing tickets two years ago. We were told they were no longer valid and most people threw them away.
One last complaint is the condition of the vehicle crossing entering the U.S. side of the border. Can you imagine driving a motorcycle over that steel grating, and how safe is the west side bridge crossing?
Thank you for the space in your newspaper.
Fort Frances, Ont.