EDITORIAL – ArriveCAN travel app needs to be either fixed or scrapped

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

DESPITE ALL THE WHINING of those who don’t like COVID-19 mandates, for the most part they have been necessary and effective. We need to continue to be cautious because, as we’re constantly told by health experts, the pandemic isn’t over.

Regardless, a lot of the restrictions that hung over us for a couple of years have been lifted. Our domestic mobility has pretty much returned to normal. Few people wear masks anymore during routine daily outings.

The gradual emergence from mandates is creating anomalies, and the ArriveCAN travel app is one of them. The federal government has extended it for another month, and woe betide any unfortunate international traveller who fails — intentionally or not — to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s.

Anyone failing to properly submit proof of vaccination using the ArriveCAN app upon returning home can be fined $5,000.

How about the Montreal couple ordered into a 14-day quarantine because they forgot to fill out ArriveCAN after a day-trip to the U.S.?

The problem with international travel right now is that it’s such a complicated ragbag of must-do’s, can’t do’s, old rules, cancelled rules and new rules that you need a doctorate in travel science to figure them out.

In hopes I might one day emerge from my COVID cocoon and venture into the big, wide world again, I applied for ArriveCAN. It isn’t easy. I’m pretty sure I’m registered but I still don’t know how to use the damn thing.

Have you ever tried reading the government’s COVID travel requirements? They’re chalk full of “available options,” “random mandatory arrival test” protocols, suggestions and absolute musts.

When and if I travel again, I’ll feel safer if my fellow passengers are vaccinated and masked. It’s not the concept of ArriveCAN that’s the problem — it’s just a tool, but as it stands it’s not a good one.

It either has to be streamlined and simplified, or scrapped.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9641 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on EDITORIAL – ArriveCAN travel app needs to be either fixed or scrapped

  1. Janet Hopkins // June 7, 2022 at 9:13 PM // Reply

    The ArriveCAN app seems to be another intrusive digital surveillance tool that our government is implementing as part of the larger digital tracking cage that they’re rolling out, along with the Known Traveller Digital Identity This KTDI initiative is a partnership between the Canadian government and the World Economic Forum. It’s being piloted at Pearson and Trudeau airports. Why does the government want this surveillance?

    Along with boosted surveillance, it must be noted that travel mandates have not been lifted for people in Canada who are vaccine free. This is a violation of Charter rights, which should alarm everyone in this country. We are the only country in the world using mandates to deny mobility rights to law abiding taxpayers. I will point out that these restrictive travel mandates do not apply to many temporary foreign workers nor to Ukrainian refugees. One might conclude that if citizens have to sneak out of their own country that there is something seriously wrong with their country.

    Adding to this chaos for the flying public is the disturbing impact of Covid-19 vaccination on pilots and air crew. The Global Aviation Advocacy Coalition is seeing worrying signs of vaccine injury in their ranks and is trying to get the appropriate agencies to address the problem.
    Anyone with concerns about air travel safety should be writing to Transport Canada to ask them what they are going to do to address this serious public safety issue. Indeed, US Freedom Flyers has announced their intention to sue 18 different airlines, the US government, the FAA and the Department of Transportation over vaccine mandates that have impaired pilot health.
    Knowing this, I would prefer that my aircraft was piloted by competent unvaccinated crew.

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