South Niagara Chambers joins calls to discontinue ArriveCAN app


Published July 27, 2022 at 10:04 am

First, Fort Erie Council passed a motion asking the federal government to discontinue the use of the ArriveCan app.

They were followed shortly after by Niagara Falls Council. Then the Great Niagara Chamber of Commerce joined the battle against the app.

Now, the South Niagara Chamber of Commerce has entered the conversation and like the others is asking the Canadian government to drop the app, which they say it is hurting local business, causing unnecessary delays at the border and is simply a difficult app to navigate, especially for seniors.

For the record, the South Niagara Chamber of Commerce is an umbrella organization for the existing chambers in Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, Port Colborne-Wainfleet and Welland-Pelham, meaning the eastern portion of Niagara Region.

Said the Chamber Executive Director Dolores Fabiano in a statement: “It’s time to move forward, we can’t live in this cloud forever. Our Niagara and Canadian border communities, the hospitality and tourism industry, has been quite devastated due to lengthy and severe pandemic restrictions. We can’t continue like this.”

Her sentiments echo those of GNCC President Mishka Balsom, who, in a letter to the government last month, said, “The ArriveCAN app is particularly burdensome and causes significant delays at crossings. Unfamiliarity with the app and the technology lead to confusion among travelers and slowdowns at the border.”

Balsom said the pandemic restrictions have been particularly onerous for Niagara businesses, more so than other regions.

“The Ontario Chamber of Commerce reports that over $36 billion of the province’s economic activity stems from tourism, and Niagara is one of the most important tourist destinations in Ontario and in Canada. Tourism brings more than $2 billion to Niagara’s economy each year, and supports between 40,000 and 60,000 local jobs.”

Keeping Americans away only hurts, she added. “A significant amount of that revenue is provided by Americans crossing the border, but also by tourists from further afield, who are less numerous but, on average, stay longer and spend more than domestic tourists.”

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