ArriveCAN: Border cities call for end of Trudeau's travel app

On Monday, a coalition of border city Chambers of Commerce called on the federal government to nix the app and lift restrictions.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

Since its inception, the Trudeau Liberals' ArriveCAN app has garnered criticism from across the country, however, pushback has been strongest from areas along the 49th parallel.

On Monday, a coalition of border city Chambers of Commerce called on the federal government to nix the app and lift all remaining restrictions put in place to combat Covid.

According to CTV News, the coalition currently consists of Chambers of Commerce from Vallee in New Brunswick, Amherstburg, Fort Frances, Windsor-Essex Regional, Greater Kingston, Sarnia Lambton, and Greater Niagara in Ontario, and Crystal City & District in Manitoba.

Leading the charge was Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce CEO Rakesh Naidu. Home to one of Canada's busiest border crossings, the Ambassador Bridge, Windsor has been hit hard by pandemic-induced travel regulations.

"The border measures are not only slowing down border crossings, but they're also having a deterrent effect on visitors from the USA," Naidu argued, adding that the Liberals' ArriveCAN app is "hurting both our tourism industry and our economy in general."

According to Statistics Canada, 1.3 million Canadian residents returned from the United States via land crossings in June 2022. That's a 43.2 percent reduction compared to June 2019, pre-pandemic.

Nearly 1 million Americans made the journey north in the same time period, down 47.1 percent from two years prior.

As CTV News reports, the ArriveCAN app has contributed to increased wait times, which in some cases have risen to over two hours.

Naidu argued that longer wait times aren't "only affecting the tourism industry."

"More than half of the total trade Canada conducts with the United States is by truck," he said, pointing out that "the additional time and resources spent on border measures and the ArriveCAN app slows the crossing for all and puts additional strain on already stretched supply chains."

He suggested that the app's vaccine requirement "is not based on our current understanding about COVID-19 vaccination and immunity," claiming that "its effect on limiting the spread of the virus is minimal."

The federal government, rather than announcing an end date for the app, has stated that it will exist in some form or another for the foreseeable future.


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