Tories Call on Government to Forgive ArriveCan Fines

Tories Call on Government to Forgive ArriveCan Fines
A person holds a smartphone set to the opening screen of the ArriveCan app, which requires people to declare their vaccination status to be able to enter Canada. (The Canadian Press/Giordano Ciampini)
Peter Wilson

Conservatives are calling on the Liberal government to forgive fines any incurred on Canadians for either failing to comply with the ArriveCan app while crossing the border or because of system glitches where the app wrongfully flagged compliant users.

“Canadians shouldn’t pay for Liberal incompetence. These fines should be immediately forgiven,” said Deputy Conservative Leader Melissa Lantsman in a Sept. 21 statement.
The Epoch Times reported in July that some fully vaccinated Canadians who complied with ArriveCan while crossing the border were still told to quarantine for two weeks because of a system glitch that lasted from at least July 18 to July 20.
“Some travellers, despite having submitted all the required information and their proof of vaccination using the ArriveCAN app, have received automated quarantine notifications when they should not,” CBSA spokesperson Rebecca Purdy said in a July 21 email.
The Toronto Star reported on Sept. 16 that, according to anonymous sources, the government may soon ease its border vaccine mandate and its requirement that travellers use the ArriveCan app.
The Toronto Sun’s Brian Lilley also reported that, according to his own sources, “most measures will be gone by the end of September.”

Lantsman said the government’s action on this front is “extremely overdue, and Canadians deserve an apology.”

Conservative MP Michelle Ferreri told reporters on Sept. 21 that ArriveCan “needs to go.”
“There needs to be some accountability on the government for that,” she said, adding that ”a lot of work still needs to be done” in terms of the government compensating users who were wrongfully fined because of app malfunctions.
“The people who’ve been wrongfully accused, wrongfully punished, wrongfully charged need to have justice brought to them, and the government needs to acknowledge the mistake that they made,” Ferreri said. 

Liberal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra defended ArriveCan while speaking to reporters on Sept. 21, calling it “a critical tool to process travellers with the requirements of the vaccine mandate.”

He added that “no decision has been made” with regards to the government dropping the requirement for ArriveCan when crossing the border.

Ferreri also said the government needs to “reverse” the status of any Canadians who have been wrongfully flagged by the app.
“There are some constituents within my riding who have been flagged, and they can no longer cross the border by a glitch that the Liberals did with their ArriveCan,” Ferreri said. “And so they’re flagged and now they’re going back and forth. They’re made to feel like criminals and they did nothing wrong.”
Ferreri added “it’s really interesting” that the Liberals are stepping away from ArriveCan in the first week of Pierre Poilievre’s Conservative leadership. 

“Now everything is changed,” she said. “ So it’s really nice to see them listening to us. It’s nice to see them listening to the people who have been saying this for a long time.”