There are few things, especially in the politically polarized times we live in, that can unite Canadians in a shared sense of purposeful passion.
Perhaps an international hockey competition, like the legendary Canada-Soviet series that took place half a century ago and ended with Paul Henderson’s Game 8 victory, or the men’s hockey final at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, which culminated in Sidney Crosby’s golden overtime -Goal.
Or perhaps something as culturally binding as the latest foray from the most Canadian of Canadian bands, Tragically Hip, who gave an emotional farewell to fans in 2016 when lead singer Gord Downie delivered brave coast-to-coast performances despite being in the clutches of terminal brain cancer.
Above all, we are a motley and divided bunch whose regional, socioeconomic, political and cultural differences only seem to deepen over time.
Pretty much all Canadians seem to agree: a shared disdain and burning desire for the ArriveCAN app to end.
However, there is one other thing that pretty much all Canadians seem to agree on: a shared disdain and burning desire for the end of the ArriveCAN app, which launched in April 2020 as part of the federal government’s effort to cap the Importation of COVID-19 into Canada, but has long outlived its usefulness.
Citizens, workers, elected officials and business owners from every Canadian region and sector have been demanding for many months that travelers entering the country do not have to provide proof of vaccinations via the ArriveCAN app (otherwise this could result in mandatory 14-day quarantine and fines of up to US$5,000) up to 72 hours before entering Canada.
Critics, including many prominent voices on the US side of the border, have rightly pointed out that the app’s practical purpose (monitoring of travelers’ vaccination status to limit the likelihood of COVID-19 being introduced into the country) and the associated associated limitations have been met The mutation of the virus and the fact that the information uploaded to ArriveCAN relates only to vaccinations and booster vaccinations against early variants of COVID-19 – vaccinations that have been shown not to protect recipients from newer strains such as the current wave of the Omicron variant.
If the goal of the app and associated measures was to keep COVID-19 out of Canada, it’s pretty clear that a) the plan failed and b) there’s no point anymore – other than causing pictorial traffic jams at the border crossing and consequently discourage travel. with worsening economic impacts across multiple sectors – right down to the use of ArriveCAN.
And so, this week, Canadians and many U.S. neighbors hailed with considerable relief and no small amount of frustration that it’s about time the federal government plans to lift border restrictions and mandatory use of ArriveCAN, perhaps soon by the end of the month.
Government officials – including Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and Transport Minister Omar Alghabra – would not confirm the lifting of the measures and would continue to defend the ArriveCAN system, but it was widely understood a final decision on the policy change was expected on take place on Thursday.
If traveler reports become a reality, Canada will have joined countries like the UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Israel and even New Zealand – once home to some of the toughest border lockdown/quarantine measures – in making the non-functional nature of such useless recognize the restrictions made and therefore remove them.
Fifty years from now, they might not be celebrating the app’s exit with the same nostalgic fervor as they’re currently reliving the 72-series victory with, but saying goodbye to outdated ArriveCAN requirements now is a moment pretty much everyone Canadians will be welcomed.