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What's your reaction to the Nolan situation?
Fri, August 17, 2007

Believing he was subjected to a "racist comment" and "treated like a criminal" a native-Canadian hockey player wants answers why he was "harassed" and denied entry into Canada at a border crossing this week.

What everybody wants to know is what it was about Brandon Nolan that border officers at the crossing at the Ivy Lea Bridge, between Brockville and Kingston, didn't like?

Ted Nolan's kid felt humiliated


This comment is FULLY MODERATED.


Seems that the second national sport after hockey is yelling 'racism' and ASSUMING that everyone who is white is automatically wrong, and everyone who is a visible minority is automatically right, pure, justified and honest.

Such nonsense.

Border guards have to be on guard and they only give people a hard time if they appear suspicious or fail the 'attitude test'.

This stupidity of automatically assuming Nolan was picked on 'cuz of his race is too stupid for words!! As someone else pointed out what if there was just some good reason why Nolan's attitude escalated the situation.

Just like in Caledonia Indians escalate the hostilities with their attitudes and antics, Nolan probably brought this on his own shoulders by his attitude and actions.

I cross the border on a very frequent basis, and never had one problem. They guards are thorough and professional, and I know that whatever seemingly nosey questions they ask me is for the benefit of keeping Canada safe.

If I act like a jerk and shoot off my mouth I can expect to be treated like a jerk. So in my books Nolan is NOT automatically innocent just because he's Indian.

Remember too that his old man is trouble with a 'T' and was avoided for a very long time in the NHL because of HIS attitude!!
Claudia, 2007-08-17 15:35:54

All jobs have there good and bad sides. If Nolan shows attitude like anyone else he may be given a rough time. Remember there are 2 sides to every story people. A birth certificate should be warranted. The natives and the cigarette issue may be the problem. I don't know, but I trust the guards do.

All that being said, all canadians should be treated professionally and with utmost respect. Even if a guard(s)thinks something might be wrong. Professional to the end I say. Reading some of the comments I tend to believe the guards are doing a good job. There's always a rotten apple or 2 in the barrrel to be weeded out like any other business. I say Let's Weed if necessary.

I think Nolan and other natives have to pull the line like all other canadians passing thru the border. Get a birth and stop with I have a free pass because YOU DON'T and should not.

Good luck to the Nolans .. About time his dad was brought back to the NHL. I say .. lets look at the NHL closely. This guy should have been coaching NHL for years. I say .there's a story about corruption there. Good luck Teddy...
Keith, 2007-08-17 15:31:39

If the events unfolded at the border crossing such as Brandon Nolan described, then, without any doubt, the Border officers in question require sensitivity training and advanced interpersonal skills training.

The Nolan family has been subjected to racist taunts in the past (QMJHL Chicoutimi vs. Ted Nolan).

We are now in the 21st century, living in one of the choicest places on the planet and Canadian citizens deserve more respect than shown to Brandon Nolan in this incident.
Mel, 2007-08-17 15:09:34

Its shocking that government employess could act so ignorant. To treat anyone like that is appalling and I agree they should be terminated.

Jimmy, 2007-08-17 14:43:09

I'm white and have been harassed by Canadian border guards many times. It's sad how the American border guards welcome me with open arms yet the Canadian ones treat me as a liar until I prove otherwise.

A typical exchange... "Are you bringing any alocohol or tobacco back with you? No. Are you sure? Yes. Come on, didn't you pick up some wine or something?" Give me a break! I said NO, you don't have to ask 3 times!

Canadian border guards need to all be retrained. And if being obnoxious and a little bit racist is the norm, the training needs to change.

Scott Duffy, 2007-08-17 14:27:32

I agree with Glenn S. comments...In wanting and taking and wanting and taking more all the time from the government, the race issue is going to continue, and continue because of first nation attitude. We need to end this insanity of racism. I for one do not want the First Nation culture to disappear, rather see it cherished for the rest of time, but we need to stop this issue once and for all. The money that is issued to the FN community is unbelievable. Why is there no sewer and water facilities on the reserves? There is no reason for that.

Now on to the Nolan incident. I am embarassed by those border cops for holding up a Canadian that has done very well for himself from a culture that has been clearly disgraced for decades. To those border cops, I respect those that protect our country but to those with the attitude, have respect for an upstanding citizen.
Grant S., 2007-08-17 14:15:45

No matter the race, culture, colour etc.., all people should be treated with respect; period. If the allegations prove correct, then the officers should be reprimanded, (firing as suggested is over the top as we all make bad judgement calls once in awhile.) However anyone of the above who breaks the law of the land, then should expect severe scrutiny

What this demonstrates is that there is a bias toward Natives in Canada. However I ask if this isn't brought on by the Natives themselves. And I speak generally not individually. Think of the Arab/Muslim bias in the US.

Similarly in Canada, and this will anger many natives, but the reality is the majority of Canadians are fed up with the never ending and continual demands and ridiculous claims made by a small minority of its citizens. We are no longer at the point of asking what will make them happy. The Natives will have to come to grips that, they will never get Canada back; it is no longer their land only. Generations upon generations of diverse cultures have formed this country. We are probably one of the most tolerant of societies and, there is in any moral and ethical debate, a give and take; not just a give. The old cry of this is our land and it was stolen from us, no longer stands as an argument. There are say 500,000 natives in Canada, take for example the largest ethnic subgroup in Canada, 2.9 million people of Asian descent in this country and counting, do you think they care about your old land claims? These groups frankly follow the laws of the land and participate in its growth. Their claims, should they have any would have much more weight and power. The truth is in the near future Natives will become redundant, as probably whites will one day as well. What they should be doing is ensuring that their culture is respected, wanted and protected as a part of the fabric of Canadian society instead of finding ways in skirting the laws of the country on the pretext of some vague historical claim that seem to change to suit the claim of the day. The Euro-centric people made a mistake when they took the land; instead of integrating the society into their fold (not assimilating) they separated them.

What I am getting to is that, claims rightful or not, when a group believes itself separate from a larger group and then benefits and supports itself from that larger group and yet does not participate in the larger group for the common good, their will be discrimination. The root of the word means to separate.

And before we get about how hard done by Natives have been, let's not forget that Mr. Nolan drives a BMW, is a professional hockey player making excellent wages and of course pays no taxes. He drives and American registered car with Canadian plates and thus is breaking the law in two countries. He did not deserve the slurs however he did deserve more scrutiny.

And one more thing, having worked with Natives, many have told me the best thing they had ever done was to get out of the Reserve/Indian Affairs system and become working and tax paying Canadians. They told me that they received respect and admiration for their culture being part of the fabric versus being separate. Put that in your peace pipe my friends.

dogma, 2007-08-17 14:08:00

Distgusting behaviour. Investigate the allegations. If they are true, the employees should be dismissed immediately for cause. Mr. Nolan is free to pursue a Human Rights complaint against the Government of Canada which I would encourage him to do.
Thomas, 2007-08-17 13:28:13

I'm posting primarily to comment about the, well, comments. Many of you have condemned the border agents already - 'they should be fired, made an example of, off with their heads' blah blah blah. But then you defend Mr. Nolan by asking 'what happened to innocent until proven guilty, he deserves special treatment because he's not a regular joe.' FACT: we don't know the whole story. We weren't there. Maybe, just maybe Mr. Nolan did something to warrant questioning (notice I didn't state he deserved to be harassed because of his heritage). FACT: Mr. Nolan should not receive special treatment because he is a Native or a gifted athlete. All Canadians should be treated similarly at the border...with respect. FACT: It is part of the border agents' job to ask questions and to sniff for trouble and to protect our border. I'm not prepared to pass judgement on either party in this case. However, I will judge racism and state that I feel it is wrong. But it does exist...and it's not a one-way street. No culture or background is innocent of racism. And while I have a problem with racism, I also have a problem with those within the First Nations' community that feel they deserve special treatment (aren't we all supposed to be created equal?) because of the label. Just because Natives were here before the 'white man' does not mean they are the original inhabitants of this land. All of us should treat everyone and this land as if we were guests-not that we have some sort of divine right to do and behave however we want. Be careful to condemn too quickly because like this comment "These racist officials should not only be fired for this, they should be made an example of..." proves, this "ignorant, backwoods attitude still exists..." Mind blowing!!!! I'll second that.
AB, 2007-08-17 13:14:01

There are lots of folks not going to Canada because the border guards are so overzealous at the moment. Hearing what Nolan's kid went through only confirms to me that I made the right call in omitting a swing through Ontario from my upcoming fall vacation.
Cleveland Steamer, 2007-08-17 13:03:30

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