Michael Chertoff: The Grinch Who Stole [Canada’s] Christmas

For the three years past, my widely dispersed siblings and I have taken our respective families, and their families, etc., to Niagara-on-the-Lake for a family Christmas weekend. The tradition of a family get-together before Christmas goes back over twenty years, and has become an important part of the holiday celebrations for all of us.We have held these family sessions in a variety of sites, trying to find a place mutually accessible to all but not necessarily so close to anyone that they feel the need to serve as host to all of the relatives right in the middle of the hectic holiday seasons, especially after the passing of our parents in the 1990’s.We had settled on the village of Niagara-on-the-Lake (population about 15,000), just across the Niagara River from Western New York where we grew up in because of:o Its location;o The availability of affordable lodging for the multiple families involved;o The charm of this well preserved lakeside Victorian resort (summer home of a well-known George Bernard Shaw Festival);o Because of the large and somewhat quirky Christmas parade that coincided with our reunions; ando Don’t forget the ice wine, endemic to this part of southern Ontario.Well, this year we gave up on Niagara on the Lake and have gone someplace else, because crossing the Niagara River, from the USA to Canada (!) and return, has become so uncertain and so anxiety-provoking (members of the family have missed planes and other important appointments) because of delays of up to three hours at the Peace Bridge, or the other bridges in the area.We can live with Buffalo’s blizzards, but the Grinch has won this round, especially with passports being required after January 1st. We’re now meeting in a different, undisclosed site inside the continental boundaries of the United States of America.… and Canada even has a Conservative Government. Hey, Mikie, you’re doing a heck of a job, too. I know I sure feel a lot more secure.

About Bruce

Work for sustainable development of small islands and the Chesapeake Bay; ex-Peace Corps (Volunteer and staff) in LA & Caribbean; cruised Caribbean on S/Y Meander for three years; like small tropical islands, French canals, Umbria, Tasmania, and NZ. Married 52 years to the late Kincey Burdett Potter (see Kincey.org). President of the now-sunsetting Island Resources Foundation.
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