Originally Posted by oldmate
I've read online that due to the huge amount of American tourists that come through the border and getting turned away for similar reasons to me the Canadian government now allow people to enter the country on a "temporary resident permit". You can apply at the border when you arrive or you can do this before hand (which i've done, and have not yet heard anything after a month)
I've never heard of a temporary resident permit for Americans coming to Canada. Basically because you don't require a visa to stay temporarily in Canada as an American and creating different types of American visitor becomes uninforceable after you've crossed the border. The only permit I know of like that is to extend your stay past the max. once you're already in validly. I don't know of anything that helps you get in.
The restrictions are pretty common going either way across the border with some American customs agents refusing entry to anyone who has ever even been arrested.
Contact the Canadian Embassy or a local consulate.... good luck getting top notch service because they're on rotating work to rule at the moment, but it's your best bet short of betting an airline ticket.