Canadian trucking groups pushback against ArriveCAN app mandate
When Canada announced new travel restrictions at the border this week, truck drivers were exempt from most of them - with one notable exception, which is causing major concern for members of the Canadian Trucking Alliance. The order in question states that, as of Monday, Feb.
22, "all travelers, whether arriving by land or air will be required to submit their travel and contact information, including a suitable quarantine plan, electronically via ArriveCAN before crossing the border or boarding a flight to Canada." The rules changes are being implemented to help combat the spread of COVID-19 variants in Canada. In a Call to Action issued Thursday, Feb.
18, the Alliance said it is "highly concerned there will be major delays at land border points as a result of this policy" and that mandating the use of the app "in this timeframe and within the current platform of delivery is highly problematic for the trucking industry and the functionality of the U.S.-Canada supply chain." "CTA is currently clarifying with the government of Canada whether this requirement applies to essential workers (truck drivers) and if it also applies to U.S. truck drivers entering the country," the release states.
If the Canadian government confirms the order would apply to truckers, then the Alliance is asking for a delay in implementation for the trucking industry until the following issues are dealt with:
- A conservative estimate of upwards of 20% of the cross-border truck driving community does not currently have access to smartphone technology, meaning alternative methods for complying with this potential requirement must be developed.
- All cross-border trucking companies use communication devices in their vehicles. CTA knows of no system that is currently compatible with the ArriveCAN app.
These concerns also extend to privacy issues, making these devices unsuitable for personal use with the ArriveCAN app. The Government of Canada must work with CTA and other stakeholders on this issue.
"Beyond the issues noted above, members of the industry who don't currently have access to smartphone devices will need to be educated on this new requirement," according to the Alliance's news release. The federal government released the voluntary ArriveCAN app for individuals entering Canada last year to make it easier for them to provide their contact information to the Public Health Agency of Canada in advance of crossing the border.
In its announcement of the rules changes on Feb.
12, the Canadian government noted that foreign nationals who have obtained an exemption to enter the country will be refused entry, with limited exceptions, if they do not have a valid COVID-19 molecular test result.
Failure to provide accurate information is an offense under the Quarantine Act.
In addition, violating any quarantine or isolation instructions provided to travelers by a screening officer or quarantine officer when entering Canada is also an offense under the Quarantine Act and could lead to serious penalties, including six months in prison and/or a fine of £750,000. LLThe Public Health Agency of Canada offers this advice to visitors to the country.