Calls mount to scrap ArriveCan after elderly man gets threatened with fine

Mike Campbell

July 18, 2022

Calls to scrap the ArriveCan app are surging after video emerged over the weekend of an 86-year-old wheelchair-bound man being threatened with a $5,000 fine for not using the ArriveCan app, despite not owning a smartphone.

Calls to scrap ArriveCan mount after senior threatened with fine.
Calls to scrap ArriveCan mount after senior threatened with fine. Original image from the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

“This is bureaucracy gone amok,” the man said from his wheelchair. 

“This is one of the requirements as part of the quarantine act to get back in,” the Public Health authority responded.

“Well, you’ve got my Covid shots — I’ve had four of them. You have my passport. Why not let’s just do the paperwork and get this over with?” asks the man.

“Because they want the app. The government wants the app,” the authority responded.

Indeed, despite having proof of vaccination, the government didn’t care. It wasn’t about health and safety; it was about compliance.

Another video also recently emerged of Canadians returning home to two fines — one for not using the ArriveCan app and one for not showing their vaccination medical records.

“You can’t have your cake and eat it, too,” a health officer stated. 

The Liberal government initially shoehorned in the ArriveCan app as a Covid safety precaution. But now, despite the need for the app being long past, the government has shown that it has no intention of removing it and is instead moving to solidify it within Canada’s travel infrastructure despite all the frustrations it’s causing.

Indeed, two years and four vaccines later, no one seems to know what purpose it serves.

Two weeks ago, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said the app is needed because Canadians believe in modesty and humility as a national virtue. Yes, she actually said that.

She further suggested the app helped to save 70 thousand lives without offering a citation or analysis as to how the government whipped up that figure.

Now, Conservative politicians are calling to scrap the app after seeing these videos. In fact, some have been calling to end it for months.

“This is how stupid things have gotten with this Liberal government. Rules for the sake of rules. Rules that don’t make sense. Rules that leave people upset and angry. Stop forcing ArriveCan on people. Restore sanity to our airports,” tweeted Conservative leadership frontrunner Pierre Poilievre.

Technical issues in the past few weeks have shown how frustrating the app can be.

For example, a group of Boy Scouts recently missed their flight home to Canada after their parents said the app glitched. 

Earlier this year, the app totally crashed, causing even worse delays at the airport.

Last month, US politicians tweeted about how the app was costing Canada tourism money after having received calls from constituents who were frustrated by it and had given up going to Canada.

The CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada has also called for an end to the app.

Despite these delays and frustrations, Liberal Safety Minister Mendicino claims that the app has evolved from a Covid safety measure to an airport convenience measure, actually suggesting it speeds things up, despite evidence to the contrary.

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