For those of you who read our travel blog – remember about a year ago (on our road trip around the USA & Canada) when we crossed over into Canada I forgot that I had a tiny little (lipstick sized) bottle of pepper spray in my handbag (my Dad have given it to me months before - I had put it in the back pocket of my bag & had totally forgotten!!!)
The customs lady found it in my bag and took it off of me which was TOTALLY fine. I was nothing but nice about it - saying I was sorry - that I had forgotten. Then she fines me $500!!!!!!!!!!!!! Which was a LOT of money to us when we were on a budget on a 6 month road trip (especially since we had already been travelling for 9 months before the road trip on a budget as well....). Anyhow, she was awful to us, wouldn't even look us in the face as Murray tried to reason with her and I stood there crying.
We had to pay the $500 on the spot.
We ended up writing a LONG letter to appeal the fine - which got sent on to some magistrate to decide on. Also the agent lady gets to add on her response for the magistrate to our appeal. So we got back a letter a few months later, the magistrate basically just said sorry - that's the law, so I won't give you your money back. We understood, but we were FURIOUS that the woman lied in her statement saying Murray swore at her - he didn't and would NEVER do that! But - we just left it at that, didn't bother to write another letter saying how that agent was LYING as it was just time for us to move on.
Anyhow - my parents got some registered mail for me earlier this week - it is from some other Canadian magistrate, saying they reviewed my case and HERE IS A CHECK FOR $500!!!!!!!!
I am guessing that they got sued and therefore had to change the law to be more specific when people cross the border into Canada. Then they had to go back retrospectively to refund people who were wronged.
When we went through the border they asked us if we had weapons (pepper spray, guns, etc) - we said no (we had forgotten about the little pepper spray).However, their letter states that the officers did NOT tell us 'about the prohibited status of the importation of such items' - since we were not 'made aware of such a prohibition' they have to keep the item, but will refund our money.
Works for me! HOORAY! I am no longer mad at Canada :)