Canada’s Electronic Travel Authorization for Foreigners Delayed

The full implementation of the eTA (electronic travel authorization) for foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries is being delayed by six months. This comes as a surprise, but it’s a good thing for us. You’ll find out why in a moment.

My wife is required to get the eTA for her to enter Canada by air because she’s from Japan, a visa-exempt country. It costs only $7 and takes only a few minutes to be authorized. There are several questions regarding job, criminal background, amount of money available for use while traveling, marital status, and so on. It’s electronically linked to the traveler’s passport. While my wife isn’t required to get it for now, it’s supposed to provide a faster way of getting through immigration. Basically, she’d be pre-approved.

However, the problem arises when the rules are applied to my daughter. She’s a Canadian citizen, so she can’t get eTA. It’s not needed. However, she has a Japanese passport, not a Canadian passport. They’d be wondering why she doesn’t have an eTA attached to her passport. There may be difficulties with her entering the country. But she can’t get an eTA, and getting a Canadian passport in Japan is a rather complex process involving four people who have known her for at least two years. And those people may be required to have an interview with Customs and Immigration Canada, even though they most likely speak little to no English. It’s a complete pain. Sure, she’ll get a Canadian passport in Canada, where it’s a rather simple process.

So, I’m very happy to say that the eTA has been delayed for my daughter’s sake.

City Workers Don’t Know How to Cut Grass

In Japan, grass isn’t a very common thing in yards. There are parks with grass, but most of them are covered in dirt and concrete with flower beds. Any grass tends to either be left to grow very tall or cut down too short.

Take this picture, for example.

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This is next to the park near our home. It was once covered with grass, but now seems to be bare soil. The city workers cut the grass so short that they were cutting into the soil. It’s as if they were intending to kill the grass. But you can see the effects easily. Clumps of soil have fallen out and the slope is beginning to collapse. At the top is a playground. If they destabilise the ground even more, a heavy rain storm could cause a minor landslide. All because they cut the grass so much that it’s nearly all gone. Don’t they know anything about the stabilising effects of grass roots?

Unfortunately, I see this all over the place. These workers are not landscapers or gardeners, that’s for sure. They have no clue what to do with grass.

Week in Review – March 5, 2016

Going back to work after having such a wonderful holiday last weekend was difficult. But now, there are only ten days of work left for me. It’s so strange thinking about that. Soon, I’ll be doing some automated Authors Answer posts, but plans have changed a bit. So, what happened this week?

Reading

A bit of progress this week.  Redemption Ark by Alastair Reynolds is now at 20%. Like I said, a bit of progress.  Too slow, if you ask me.

Writing

I hate to sound like a broken record. No updates until after the move to Canada.

Languages

I tried another new language, giving Welsh a test drive. I’m now at level 2. Also, I advanced to level 6 in Esperanto.

Canada

This is where most of the big updates are. I’ve been in touch with the Japanese Consul-General in Calgary to find out about getting translations done for my driver’s license. No appointment needed. Just drop in during business hours, and I can get it done. Also, it turns out our travel plans will have to change. No more Vancouver Island, but we’ll spend the night in Vancouver, then fly to Calgary where we’ll visit the Consul-General. After that, we go to Edmonton. Maybe a night in Calgary, but we’ll see.

Videos

Again, only one video. I talked about the weekend at the hot spring resort. I talked about it in this post and you can find the video there.

The Blog

Holy crap! February was the best month ever in terms of stats. Lots of views and a huge number of comments. You can read about it here. I think March will be slow, though. It already is slower. I think there’s a change in the posts I’ve made, but a lot of it has to do with timing.

Studying

No time!

The Next Week’s Goals

Hopefully an upswing in the views for the blog. But I think the focus on packing and cleaning is what’s going to happen. We have little time left in this apartment, and we need to get our final set of boxes packed and sent to Canada. We have to sort a lot of things so we can throw out most of what we have, but keep what’s important. Maybe I’ll do another video or two. We’ll see how that goes.

How was your week? Let me know in the comments below.