Windsor, August 12th, 2022 – A coalition of Chambers of Commerce representing border communities across the country is calling on the Government of Canada to lift the remaining COVID-related border restrictions and to suspend use of the ArriveCAN app.
“The border measures are not only slowing down border crossings, but they’re also having a deterrent effect on visitors from the USA,” said Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Rakesh Naidu. “The ArriveCAN app is hurting both our tourism industry and our economy in general.”
US visits through land ports are still down significantly across the country. Statistics Canada reports that border crossings from the United States in June 2022 were little more than half the number made in June 2019. Tourism spending in Canada is still more than a third below pre-pandemic levels. Wait times at land border crossings have lengthened by up to two hours since 2019 despite traffic being cut in half, and bridge authorities attribute this entirely to restrictions and the ArriveCAN app. The average processing time for arriving passengers at airports has increased by 400%.
“It isn’t only affecting the tourism industry,” continued Rakesh Naidu. “More than half of the total trade Canada conducts with the United States is by truck. The additional time and resources spent on border measures and the ArriveCAN app slows the crossing for all and puts additional strain on already stretched supply chains.”
“The ArriveCAN app is just not effective in its current form,” said Rakesh Naidu. “The app’s requirement of only the first two doses is not based on our current understanding about Covid-19 vaccination and immunity. Therefore, its effect on limiting the spread of the virus is minimal, while at the same time hurting our tourism sector and economy in general.”
The group of border chambers currently includes the Vallee Chamber of Commerce, New Brunswick; the Amherstburg, Fort Frances, Windsor-Essex Regional, Greater Kingston, Sarnia Lambton, and Greater Niagara Chambers of Commerce in Ontario; and the Crystal City & District Chamber of Commerce in Manitoba. All have called upon the Government of Canada to lift the restrictions and cease the use of the ArriveCAN app for the benefit of their communities and their local economies.