US Congresswoman calls for end of ArriveCAN app

Stefanik listed reported app glitches, technology inaccessibility, and the creation of backlogs of travelers as reasons the technology is contributing to holding back tourism and commerce.

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

US Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is calling on the Trudeau Liberals to ditch the controversial ArriveCAN app, which is currently required for those entering the country.

The Republican Congresswoman for New York's 21st District wrote a letter to Canada's ambassador to the US, Kirsten Hillman, saying that the app has been disruptive and harmful to tourism.

The Trudeau Liberals mandated the use of the ArriveCAN app in November 2020, requiring everyone who travels to Canada to provide their contact information, travel plans, and proof of vaccination through the app.

"The US and Canada’s unique partnership is critical to the success of the communities on both sides of our border and dependent on valuing and maximizing the people-to-people relationship," Stefanik wrote.

"We should be working to further develop our partnership, not inhibit its success with misguided burdens such as the Canadian government’s mandated use of the ArriveCAN app. Currently, the Canadian government requires mandatory use of the ArriveCAN app for anyone seeking to enter the country. This requirement disincentivizes travel, harms the flow of commerce, and burdens travelers with the submission of private health information."

Stefanik listed reported app glitches, technology inaccessibility, and the creation of backlogs of travelers for reasons the technology is contributing to holding back tourism and commerce.

"Recently, the app also suffered a number of glitches, leading a number of people to erroneously quarantined upon entering Canada. Additionally, those crossing the border are often unfamiliar with the ArriveCAN app’s burdensome requirements and do not complete them until arrival at a Canadian port of entry," she wrote.

"This creates significant backlogs of travelers as they clear customs. As a result, travelers are choosing to stay home rather than face long wait times and frustrations caused by the ArriveCAN app. In light of these negative impacts on our border communities, a number of Canadian border mayors and Canadian Chambers of Commerce, as well as a growing number of Members of Parliament, are calling for the Canadian government to immediately suspend this requirement," Stefanik wrote.

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.

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.

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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