According to Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, "Driving while under the influence of alcohol is regarded as an extremely serious offence in Canada, and persons with convictions for this offence are inadmissible to Canada."
So could George W. Bush go to Canada?
Yes, although he is supposed to apply for a waiver. People with driving under the influence convictions, even minor ones from years ago, are supposed to get a Minister's Permit, which allows entry for people otherwise barred. But most people who enter the country, especially Americans driving across the border, do not know of this restriction and are not asked about DUI convictions by immigration officials. If a person coming in is asked and lies, that would be grounds for removal from the country. Bush is not in violation of these restrictions, even inadvertently, because he's never been to Canada. (He's pretty much a homebody. He's been to Mexico, visited family members in China and Italy, represented his father on a trip to Gambia, and toured the Middle East with U.S. governors.) Of course, if Bush is elected president, Canadians can be assured if he crosses the border someone else will be the designated driver. And speaking of George Bush's arrest ...
If Elected, Would Bush Be the First President With a Criminal Record?
It looks that way; historians cannot recall any presidents who have been arrested prior to election. Some had brushes with the law but no arrests. Andrew Jackson was detained as a boy during the Revolutionary War by a British officer, but that doesn't count. And as a young man (and an older one) John F. Kennedy had his love life monitored by the FBI.
Explainer thanks Rene Mercier of the department for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Donald Ritchie of the Senate Historical Office, Gil Troy of McGill University, and reader Elisabeth Anne Riba for suggesting the questions.