Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik today called on the Canadian government to end the required use of the ArriveCAN app that has disrupted Northern Border travel and damaged cross-border tourism and commerce.
Canada 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. This cumbersome process has caused many travelers to stay home, hurting the economies of Northern Border communities.
“The U.S. 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 this 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 quarantine 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. 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.
"While we were initially pleased in April that Quebec car travel at Champlain quickly reached about 70% of 2019 levels, it has remained stuck around there and most of the border is actually stuck at just 50%," says Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. "It has become clear that the ArriveCAN app is diminishing travel volumes and will do so permanently if not dropped. A key goal of both countries must be to restore back and forth travel, not only for economic reasons but because it is the bedrock of the entire U.S.-Canada special relationship. We thank Congresswoman Stefanik for her timely outreach and will continue to work with partners and stakeholders, especially those in Canada, to convince Ottawa to abandon this border policy misfire,” President North Country Chamber of Commerce Garry Douglas said.
Read the full letter here.