us license plate

Canadian premier suggests Americans take the bus following license plate abuse

American license plates in Canada have been a touchy subject recently, sparking intense backlash amid the ongoing border closure that prevents U.S. citizens from travelling into the country for non-essential purposes.

In the last few months, people have reported receiving dirty looks, being tailgated, having their cars keyed, and even a case of minor assault due to their U.S. license plates.

"Anyone with a US license plate is, by many, considered a spreader, presumptively here for no good purpose, and should be deported," one American woman legally living in B.C. wrote on Facebook.

"My old Volvo still has a CA license plate and that makes me quite uncomfortable."

Although there are some Americans that have been exploiting the Alaska loophole, most people driving a car with a U.S. license plate are presumably here for a legitimate reason.

They could be Canadian citizens, for example. They could also be essential workers, or have immediate family in Canada.

So how do they avoid being harassed?

Well, according to B.C. Premier John Horgan, people with an American license plate should take the bus.

"With respect to those that have off-shore plates and are feeling harassed. I would suggest perhaps public transit," Horgan said on Monday. "I would suggest they get their plates changed. I would suggest they ride a bike."

Horgan said the harassers are also responsible for practicing kindness, but added that he "can't tell people how to respond when they see off-shore plates."

Horgan's advice comes just a few weeks after Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman urged residents to be more welcoming, citing American Air Force members' reports that their vehicles were keyed.

"I know how difficult it must be for your members and their families to be stationed out-of-country," Bowman wrote in a letter to Lieutenant Colonel Brian Hardeman.

"The last thing your members and their families should be experiencing is harassment of any kind."

Lead photo by

Diego Mazz


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