Lisbon man complains of treatment at the border

Lisbon man complains of treatment at the border

9/23/09<br />Environmental activist Don Hassig says CBSA won't let him into Canada...
A St. Lawrence County man says he got shoddy treatment on the Canadian side of the border after he tried to enter the country with a gun.

Don Hassig, a well-known environmental activist, was turned back and told not to return anytime soon, he said.

Hassig was on his way to join his brother in northern Quebec where the two frequently go on camping trips, Hassig said.

On previous trips the Hassigs took a .22 rifle with them, telling the Canada Border Services Agency it was for protection against wildlife.

On Monday, however, Hassig also listed the reason as protection against Indians, which apparently drew a strong reaction from CBSA officers on the north side of the Ogdensburg-Prescott bridge.

After pressing the matter, Hassig was told by an officer, "If you don't leave now while you can, I will cuff you and take you," Hassig said.

Hassig admits he used an obscene word to describe the Cree Indians he and his brother had a brush with in 2008.

After the two got stranded by a stalled vehicle and took refuge at an Indian camp site they were accused of trashing the camp site. The incident ended with the windshield smashed on their van, Hassig said.

Hassig is now denied entry into Canada with or without a firearm for the foreseeable future, he said.

That leaves his brother David stranded about 700 miles north, not knowing why brother Don hasn't showed up, Don Hassig said.

Firearms are never allowed into Canada except for hunting and specially-permitted competition purposes, said Chris Kealey, a CBSA spokesman.

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