Canadian Immigrations at Pigeon River
So you want a Remote Area Border Crossing Permit? Have a seat if you aren’t in a hurry. Minutes pass by and become hours while absolutely no one else enters the building. Snickering can be heard from the Customs workers(officers wouldn’t snicker so they must just be workers). All eyes are on you as you sit waiting patiently for what? The phone isn’t ringing, there’s not another person in sight that doesn’t work there. You’re just waiting for the immigrations worker to be done playing with you. It’s like the cat with the mouse. If the mouse quits wiggling then it isn’t fun anymore. Finally the immigrations worker, most locals know the one, the one with the dreaded short man complex, summons you to the window. You think he’s finally going to issue your work permit or RABC permit. "It’s going to be about 5 more hours, you can wait if you want." He turns his back before you can say, "What the?"
This is Canadian Immigrations at Pigeon River. People who live nearby on the Minnesota border come to expect this sort of rude and obnoxious behavior from the immigration worker of short stature at Pigeon River. There are definitely other names for this man, most I won’t publish. What sort of ego trip is he on you ask? Who knows. He obviously doesn’t want Americans to enter into Canada via a remote location and he must not know how to issue a permit or he would do it and get it over with. What fun is there in making someone wait hour after hour as you do absolutely nothing just avoiding this person. What kind of person does this? A government worker nonetheless.
Luckily our guests have the option of applying for their RABC Permits in advance. We urge them to take care of it and if someone mentions going up to the border then we strongly discourage it. It’s embarassing to tell them what sort of treatment they may receive at Canadian Immigrations. But Americans who guide in Canada can only get their work permits at Pigeon River.
That means, if you’re a fishing guide that lives on Saganaga Lake you better have plenty of time on your hands. Drive 56 miles to Grand Marais then another 35 up to the border to have a seat and wait at the Canadian Immigrations Office. Have them tell you it will be awhile only to have them return and tell you it will be another 5 hours before they can get to you. I’ve heard of people going postal but I’ve never heard of going Immigrations, not yet anyway.