Last year I went to Rio de Janeiro to meet my daughter-in-law and my young grandson, a Canadian-Brazilian born citizen. The consular officials in Vancouver were most friendly and helpful and within a couple weeks I had my required Brazilian visa. For one full month I stayed as a welcomed and honored houseguest with my son’s in-laws in Rio.
Marvelous people, the Brazilians, friendly and hospitable. Beautiful country.
So now, I would like to reciprocate. And of course most of all to see my grandson and my son’s married wife and family once again. But do you think that is possible? No way – and why not? Because my daughter-in-law cannot get a simple visitor’s visa to enter this my country. Several months back she applied for a visa at the Canadian consulate in Rio and absolutely nothing is happening. ‘Under consideration’ is the constant response we get from our esteemed Canadian pen-pushers in Rio.
Maybe now I should explain what is happening.
Our dear Canadian consular employees are on strike. World-wide, I understand. On strike! For more pay. Our federal government in Ottawa says that they are already being paid well enough and that it is not prepared to cave in. So we have a Mexican-type standoff with international traffic grinding to a halt between countries demanding reciprocal visitors entry visas, and thereby preventing reunification of families. Speaking of Mexico and Mexicans, by the way, our local agricultural community in this country is also hurting because no seasonal farm workers are being allowed in from south of the border. Way to go, bureaucrats.
Meanwhile another relative of mine who holds Canadian-British dual citizenship can travel freely between here and Rio, the Brits and the Brazilians not requiring visas between them. The same going for Asian visitors, families or non-families desiring to come here. To work or to stay. Only I am not allowed to see my grandson, and the price of raspberries is up because there is a serious shortage of pickers. Apart from all that, I am sure the Brazilians wonder about us, being too polite to classify us Canadians as simple nut-cases.
I say, fire the bunch of them, if that’s what it takes. The overseas bureaucrats, I mean.
Rudy Langmann, Aldergrove