MP Chris Bittle Downplays ArriveCAN App Concerns

St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle has said that even though there are “genuine concerns” about the impact the ArriveCAN app is having on Niagara’s tourism industry, the cost of gasoline and inflation are likely having a bigger impact on the flow of visitors (via The Standard).

Arrivecan app

“It does lead to problems because when people show up at the border without the app, it leads to longer backlogs,” Bittle said about ArriveCAN. “I imagine higher gas prices are having a much bigger impact on the tourist industry than the ArriveCAN app. Tourists aren’t idiots coming in. They can manage it,” he added.

Meanwhile, Niagara acting medical officer of health Dr. Mustafa Hirji said the ArriveCAN app may be among the last lines of defence at border crossings, with little else left in place to prevent the spread of infection.

“I really want to understand better what they see as the challenges at the border, because the borders are open now. You can travel across the border,” Hirji said.

“Yes, there is checking some requirements for vaccination, but even many of those have been relaxed. There’s no more requirement to wear a mask, so from my perspective there’s not really much left in terms of border controls and I don’t think the border controls are having a major impact on the economy.”

Travel chaos continues in Canada at airports and other points of entry, as volumes have surged after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. Canadian airports such as Pearson International in Toronto are seeing unprecedented delays, due to a lack of staff and the required ArriveCan app for entering the country.

Recently, the federal government added the Advance CBSA Declaration feature to the ArriveCan app, a tool that was previously only available on the web. The advance declaration feature is only available at two locations in Canada: Toronto Pearson and Vancouver International airports.