Trudeau Agrees to Drop ArriveCAN App, Monday Announcement Coming

Canada’s required use of the ArriveCAN app for travellers, along with the remainder of the country’s COVID-19 border measures, are set to lapse on September 30 and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has reportedly agreed to not renew the mandates (via The Peterborough Examiner).

Two senior government sources told The Canadian Press that the cabinet order implementing COVID-19 prevention measures such as mandatory vaccinations, testing, and quarantine of international travellers will not be renewed when it expires next week.

One of the sources said Trudeau signed off on a decision not to renew the rules before a Liberal cabinet meeting on Thursday. The decision will not affect mask requirements on trains and planes, since that rule is part of a separate order from the minister of transport.

According to a report from the CBC, the federal government will officially announce the move on Monday.

Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault did not confirm the decision when questioned on Thursday afternoon. However, he did say that if the vaccine mandate is allowed to lapse, using ArriveCAN would no longer be required.

“So the mandatory piece is the vaccine piece, and because that’s how people prove it through the ArriveCan, that’s how the order is written, from what I remember,” he said.

The ArriveCAN app will remain in circulation, albeit as a customs and immigration tool. It will serve as a digitized border arrival tool, allowing travellers flying into certain Canadian airports to fill out their customs and immigration forms online.

“If we’re going to want to go from 22 million visitors in 2019, to something closer to 30 million by 2030, we’re going to have to have a digital border,” said Boissonnault.

The ArriveCAN app has been met with opposition ever since it was launched. It has been challenged in court, accused of suffocating tourism in several regions, and it even had privacy concerns raised against it. Not to mention, the app actually did send false quarantine orders to many travellers.

“Ever since it was introduced, the ArriveCan app has killed jobs, suffocated economies all over the country, and told visitors they weren’t welcome in Canada,” Deputy Conservative leader Melissa Lantsman and the party’s Quebec lieutenant, Pierre Paul-Hus, said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

“Along with unscientific vaccine mandates and mandatory random testing, ArriveCan created the longest delays ever seen at Canada’s airports.”

Even the Customs and Immigration Union, which represents Canada’s border workers, previously spoke out against ArriveCAN for causing delays at the border. Up to 40% of travellers fill out the ArriveCAN app incorrectly or not at all, congesting entry checkpoints and creating more work for Canada’s already spread-thin border authorities.