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It’s time to ban ArriveCan

Keean Bexte

August 11, 2022

It shouldn’t need to be said, but it’s long overdue for Canada to get rid of the invasive and burdensome ArriveCan app.

It's time to ban ArriveCan
It’s time to ban ArriveCan

From serious privacy concerns to airport chaos, Canada has more than enough reason to scrap the app.

On the issue of privacy, many people, organizations, and even the Privacy Commissioner, who’s had to launch a formal investigation into the app, say they’re concerned about the data harvested through the app and what the government is doing with it.

And despite its original purpose — to check one’s vaccination status to aid in supposedly stopping the spread of COVID — being long fulfilled, as everyone knows the vaccinated can get and spread COVID, the government has decided to keep it, hilariously, because they say it will speed up border crossings.

“ArriveCan was originally created for the purposes of COVID-19, but it has technological capacity beyond that to really shrink the amount of time that is required when you’re getting screened at the border,” Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said of the heavily criticized app. 

“So that’s the vision is really to utilize the platform to decrease the amount of time, so CBSA officers can really focus on the problem areas, like if you’re trying to smuggle a gun or trying to smuggle drugs.”

Of course, in practice, this is the opposite of what ArriveCan is doing. Instead, it’s resulted in confrontations that bog down Canada’s airports and huge fines, especially for seniors who don’t have smartphones and, thus, can’t use the app.

Nowhere in Canada’s Charter does it say that you must use an app to return to your own country, but the Trudeau-Liberals don’t care about this clear violation and penalization of people for non-compliance.

The app has also drawn criticism abroad, with American Congressmen saying it is impeding US citizens from crossing the border, with many choosing not to vacation in Canada as they usually do.

“The ArriveCan app and other restrictions continue to be a barrier to the free flow of people across the northern border,” Congressman Brian Higgins said in an official statement.

“My office regularly receives calls from Western New Yorkers frustrated and confused by the technology and frequently changing, disjointed requirements for crossing between the US and Canada,” he continued.

“Consequently, to bypass the uncertainty and hassle it creates, many are avoiding making the trip across the border entirely. We have to get back to pre-pandemic US-Canada border management. I stand with municipal leaders and tourism agencies in calling for an end to the ArriveCAN mandate.”

ArriveCan is making Canada’s travel industry an international embarrassment, and, for all the reasons listed above, it has to go.

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