(LifeSiteNews) — Border officials recently discussed just how disastrous the government’s ArriveCAN app was.
According to border officials, the app that was meant to cause less confusion for travelers and allow for fewer delays led to considerable problems and increased delays at airports and borders.
“The greatest difficulty we had was people simply didn’t know they had to complete the app or we had cases where some people just refused to fill it out,” said Mark Weber, the national president of the Immigration Union. “We had to deal with a good 30 to 40 percent of travelers arriving without it completed which caused the four- or five-hour lineups that we saw.”
Weber said the problem was not so much that people were confused about how to use the app, but that they either did not want to use it or they did not know that it was mandatory for travel.
Whatever the reasons, the app created unprecedented delays at border crossings and airports, such that officials have reported that people waiting in line were even forced to urinate on themselves.
“I am hearing from one of our officers at Niagara Falls that he’s had travelers who come through who had actually urinated and defecated themselves having been stuck in the car for so long, to give you an idea of how terrible and drastic the situation at our borders was and how terribly short-staffed we are,” Weber said. “I think that says it all.”
The requirement for all travelers to use ArriveCAN is set to expire on October 1, although Weber has said he has not seen any data that prove why it could not be lifted now instead of in a few days.
Additionally, new information has shown that airports and borders have continually failed to use the app, with over 1.5-million travelers having entered Canada without using ArriveCAN since the beginning of the year.
The app has also caused significant problems in multiple different sectors, including trade. Conservative MP Chris Lewis has said that the problems and complications that arose from the ArriveCAN app caused severe losses for Canadian cross-border trade.
“The business and the contracts that have been lost will never, ever come back,” Lewis said. “We will never, ever see those again. When it’s gone, it’s gone.”
Liberal MP James Maloney said that the app has also impacted businesses in a negative way.
“In my experience, the people I am hearing from, it’s largely because they are personally inconvenienced because they’re annoyed they have to take five minutes and do something on their phone which they didn’t have to do before,” Maloney said.
According to the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, “as late as August 30, 2022, the Minister of Transport claimed that ArriveCAN improves efficiency, despite its mandatory usage being enacted under emergency orders ostensibly to prevent a public health crisis. The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) stated that significant delays were caused by officers having to troubleshoot issues travelers had with ArriveCAN. In July 2022, Toronto Pearson International Airport was rated the worst airport in the world in terms of delay.”