September 27th, 2022 - 3:23pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2022
NDP DECLARES VICTORY FOR BORDER COMMUNITIES, TRAVELERS, AND THE TOURISM SECTOR
(Ottawa)- Today, Brian Masse M.P. (Windsor West), NDP Innovation, International Trade, and Great Lakes Critic and Richard Canning M.P. (South Okanagan-West Kootenay), NDP Emergency Preparedness, Small Business and Tourism Critic declared victory after the months struggle by Canadians to force the federal government to lift the mandatory use of ArriveCan app concluded Monday morning with a ministerial press conference capitulating to common sense and removing this requirement.
“After an unnecessary and painful effort by thousands of Canadians from across the country, especially those in border communities such as my own in Windsor, the federal liberal government has finally done what they were told to do months ago and removed the mandatory use of the ArriveCan app. Unfortunately, border communities were impacted negatively during this time, fully vaccinated travelers had egregious fines imposed on them and workers and business in the tourism sector lost a third season, not due to Covid but government inaction. But this has been the case during the entire pandemic when I first called for a safe border task force to deal with these types of issues back in the spring of 2020 and liberal government did nothing,” Masse stated.
The ArriveCan app was introduced back in April 2020 and made mandatory to use in November 2020 before vaccines were available. It has remained in place even though vaccination rates in the country have reached a significant portion of the population and other countries have lifted their border restrictions. The app has negatively impacted the tourism sector, cost vaccinated travelers thousands of dollars in incorrect fines, and prevented the economic recovery of border communities while continuing to unnecessarily separate families.
“The ArriveCan app created unnecessary hardship for so many Canadians. For those without cell phones or for those not as tech-savvy, it has been extremely difficult. Whether travelling to see family and friends or for business, I have always called for the app to be voluntary. It should have changed months ago, but I am glad our constant pressure means this it is finally happening now,” Canning stated.
Masse wrote the Public Safety Minister back in June about his situation along the border, The House of Commons Industry committee held hearings on the ArriveCan app and its negative repercussions to the communities and border services agents. Last week a group of MPs and border-city mayors issued an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden asking them to end the “unnecessary” restrictions to cross the border that would allow these communities to recover economically from the COVID-19 pandemic.