Wrong turn at the border nets $5000 ticket
An Eastern Townships woman says she's contesting what she calls an unjust five thousand dollar fine for accidentally crossing the border illegally while on the way to Stanstead.
Kim Passey and her husband were making a first time trek the night of September 7 from Ascot Corner to the Haskell Opera House that straddles the U.S. -Canada border. They made a fateful left turn and found themselves in the U.S. illegally, slapped with a $5000 ticket. But she said it was an innocent mistake that others have made without penalty but a reprimand.
"My main concern is why are some people fined, and others not. That is not what is fair right now," Passey told CJAD News.
" It was not my intent to do anything wrong. We did not smuggle anything, we did not have alcohol, we did not have drugs, we did not have guns."
Veronique Lalime, spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency said most of the time, agents give people the benefit of the doubt. She added there are more signs and gates in the area than in the past.
"Well, it's a case by case basis. When someone has a fine, it is because it was proven that there was an intention," Lalime said.
Passey said it was dark and hard to see any signs if they were there. She added the process is too arbitrary.
"I don't know if I'm ever going to go back to the opera house again. Right now I have no intention of going anywhere near that border."