As Niagara Falls MP fights to make ArriveCan less confusing, residents relay their stories

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Published December 9, 2021 at 10:54 am

An Insauga story yesterday (December 8) about Niagara Falls MP Tony Baldinelli fighting with federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino on Parliament over the confusion his constituents have had with the ArriveCan app at the Canadian border – most particularly nasty confrontations with Canadian border agents – seems to have prompted a number of responses.

And they are overwhelmingly negative with regards to the smart-phone app.

For one reader, using the ArriveCan app started fine but then took a bad turn.

“We went to the states overnight last weekend (December 4-5). No issues coming back across as we had ArriveCan app completed and are both fully vaccinated,” the reader said. “We were asked usual questions and we were on our way.”

However, it didn’t stop there. “Next day, I received app notification and corresponding (government) email that I had to update my daily quarantine information. It’s obviously a glitch on their end, and I’m not calling to go in circles with them,” they continued. “If they call, I’ll tell them they can figure it out. I’m not inputting anything on app.”

She attached the below update inquiry from the government, asking for a completed daily check-in.


continued.

Getting into the app caused another reader confusion as their smartphone entry code is their thumbprint and it refused to register to pull up ArriveCan.

“(As) god as my witness, I use my thumbprint (to enter my phone) and (ArriveCan) tells me it’s the wrong password. I use it to get in my phone everyday and my bank account but the government says it’s wrong?”

A third reader grew so frustrated that she wrote to her MP, Niagara Centre’s Vance Badawey, a Liberal, letting him know that his government to fix the app, given how poorly she and her husband were treated at the border.

In the letter, she told Badawey, “We have crossed three times since the opening and each time has been a nightmare. We filled in our ArriveCan form and for some reason the last time we did it, it did not show up at the border when we went through. We were treated like criminals and told we had to do it again.”

“Our treatment at the border (by Canadian Border Service agents) was appalling. If we made a mistake, we were more than willing to correct it, but the way we were treated was unacceptable. This is all new to all of us and we needed a little help and compassion, not hostility,” she continued.

She added that the friends they were traveling with were sent back to the U.S. because their ArriveCan information they filled out never arrived at the border. “If a mistake was made they should have been offered help, not be sent away from their country. We are extremely upset with the way Canadian citizens are being treated.”

One man agreed but was quick to add he hadn’t had any problems with the app. “Time to end this nonsense,” he stated. “However, I have used the ArriveCan twice when returning from international travel without any issue. I did not find it confusing or hard to use, but I have a modern phone, data and am tech-savvy.”

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