Private Investigator Face-Off: Canada vs. USA
Posted by Pamela S. on Friday, October 12th, 2012
Canadians spend a lot of time in Florida, especially retirees. Some of those northerners sunning their bodies are Canadian private investigators. Canadians love Florida. Who wouldn’t? Hmm, let’s see: snow vs. sun and sand. Warm ocean water vs. a lake so frozen you can drive a truck over it to go ice fishing. Huge servings of fresh seafood vs. a back bacon sandwich. They’re our neighbors and friends. We have much in common, but not everything. It’s kind of like comparing Waffle House with IHOP.
What is the difference between a Canadian and an American P.I.?
The great white north is filled with wonderful people who are all very polite and say “sorry” even when they’ve done nothing wrong. That doesn’t mean that no one does anything wrong. There are plenty of P.I.s conducting surveillance in Canada for the same reasons we do. Canadian private investigators have different challenges, some weather related.
You have to be a good driver to be a private investigator , but you need that extra edge in Canada. After scraping ice and snow off your car, you need to battle white-outs and icy roads while snow plows block your view of the subject. The American private investigator has to put up with other issues. New York city traffic. Enough said. No investigator in Canada, or probably elsewhere in the states has to deal with that problem.
On the plus side: the Canadian private investigator following someone on a fraudulent insurance claim just needs to wait until a snowy day. Bonus! You just know that your subject is going to come out and start shoveling their driveway.
Inquiries to Locate a Subject
Canadians are polite. When a Canadian private investigator is conducting inquiries, it might go something like this: “ How about those Leafs last night, eh? (The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967, even though Canadians practically invented hockey.) So, I was just driving up the street to get my snow tires put on and I noticed that your neighbour’s (Canadian spelling) house looks empty. Are they away? Maybe they went to Florida for the winter. I’m only asking because…”
“I don’t speak English.”
“Really? Because I just heard you talking to the Canada Post guy in
Canada is bilingual, but only people in Quebec actually speak French, Chinese is the second spoken language.
Americans are polite too: “Excuse me, Ma’am. I was on my way to Walmart and then get a bite to eat at IHOP. I notice your neighbor seems to have moved. I heard their house got repossessed by the bank and I need to find them because…”
“Get off my lawn before I get my gun.”
See? We are polite, we give warning first. (Canadians aren’t allowed to carry guns, even Canadian private investigators don’t have that right.)
Sometimes a private investigator might be asked to conduct a locate or surveillance on a famous person, such as a movie star. This leads to an ethical quandary, because you need to make sure that your client isn’t a stalker who is going to do harm to this famous bright light. Canadians have no such problem, because all of their famous actors moved to the states: William Shatner, Howie Mandel, Jim Carey, Mike Myers, Alex Trebek, and the two Ryans that women seem to go crazy for: Reynolds and Gosling.
The relationship between Canada and the U.S. is a shining example to the world. We are the world’s largest trading partners and share the world’s largest border. As private investigators we often collaborate on cross border investigations, or share information. Let’s continue to build on our great friendship.
Former FBI Assistant Director Tom Sheer has recruited the best from the FBI, DEA, IRS and Secret Service to build a formidable team at Sheer Investigations. Our private investigators have the sensitivity and experience to handle the most delicate investigations.