Government misrepresents ArriveCan app usage: Customs Officers Union


According to a Border Guard representative, the numbers provided by the government to show how easy it was for travelers to adopt the ArriveCan application to enter Canada are “absolutely wrong.”

Representatives, along with government officials and industry stakeholders, testified before the June 15 International Trade Standing Committee in an investigation into the impact of ArriveCan on specific sectors.

Denis Vinette, vice president of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), said the app’s usage is very high.

“We have a successful traveler utilization. As of May 2nd. [2022]Over 99% of Air Mode travelers used Arrive Can and 94% used Land Mode, “Vinette told the Commission.

“The mandatory ArriveCan speeds up the process and helps protect the health and safety of travelers and our own CBSA employees,” he added.

Mark Webber, National Chairman of the Customs Immigration Union on behalf of CBSA employees, disagrees. He said these numbers were “absolutely wrong.”

“These numbers are the percentages completed after we helped. [travellers] Complete the app, “he said at a committee hearing.

According to Weber, the average rate of travelers completing the app successfully is close to “75-80%”, but in some areas such as Eastern Townships in Quebec, the rate of completion is 60%. It is said that it is close to.

“To complete [the app], Basically our executives are currently working primarily as IT consultants. You have a border that is basically a parking lot to help people complete the app, “he said.

“In the last few months, ArriveCan has been shown not to facilitate cross-border travel and improve operational efficiency. In fact, it’s the exact opposite,” he added.

“All border guards working on the front lines will tell you that the implementation of the ArriveCan application is exploding in processing time.”

According to Weber, ArriveCan doubles the time it takes to process a car at an overland intersection.

The Epoch Times has contacted the CBSA to get comments on Weber’s remarks regarding the number mismatch.

Correspondingly, spokesman CBSA Judith Gadbois-St-Cyr provided the same number as Vinette. “Border services officers take every opportunity to assist travelers in educating them to meet current and future entry requirements for Canada,” she said.

Stakeholders in the industry who testified also called for the disposal or diversion of ArriveCan.

David MacLachlan, executive director of tourism organization Destination Northern Ontario, said his sector had $ 100 million worth of cancellations in May, largely due to border restrictions.

Most tourists to northern Ontario come by land from the United States, McLachlan said.

“Simply put, our sector stopped using the ArriveCan app at our borders as soon as possible, especially because financial support for the tourism sector was withdrawn, so we stopped all other border restrictions. I want it, “he said.

Mark Agnew, Senior Vice President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, has turned to “focus on streamlining customs clearance” rather than calling for the app to be discontinued.

“Ultimately, this app largely reflects our country’s border policies,” he said, saying that unvaccinated people can fly out of the country, but they need to take action when they return home. Said. delay.

The ArriveCan app was introduced in April 2020. All travelers entering Canada must enter their personal information into the app within 72 hours of arrival, including vaccination certificates and quarantine plans.

The Liberal government has been under increasing pressure over the last few weeks to deal with bottlenecks at airports.

The government announced this week that unvaccinated Canadians will be allowed to travel by plane, train or ship. Before that, it suspended a random test at the airport. Random testing will resume in July, but will be moved offsite.

Another government-used app related to COVID-19 was discontinued on June 17th. Health Canada said it has abolished the tracking app COVID Alert, “as a result of a thorough review.”

Noe Chartier


NoƩ Charter is a Montreal-based Epoch Times reporter. Twitter: @NChartierET Gettr: @nchartieret