Update - 26th September
As of October 1st, the federal government will be dropping the vaccine mandate for travel, masks on planes and trains, random arrival testing, and - yes - the requirement to fill out the insane ArriveCAN app.
This is a massive win for all of us who have been pushing for so long for these restrictions to be removed, so thank you all.
Some may say that today's announcement was inevitable, but that was never guaranteed.
As Milton Friedman famously said, "nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program", and we must always fight hard to guard against governments using emergencies to expand their powers.
Which, unfortunately, brings us to the big asterisk on today's announcement.
The federal government hasn't actually abolished the ArriveCAN app, they've just made it "optional".
Canadians will still be "encouraged" to fill it out.
Optional isn’t good enough.
The app needs to be outright abolished.
Keeping ArriveCAN in use, even in a voluntary capacity, means it can easily be made mandatory again at the next hint of a “crisis”.
Alternatively, how long do you think it will take for the government to start arguing that all those pesky paper forms are wasteful and time-consuming, and wouldn't it just be easier if it was all done electronically instead, and bam, we're straight back to a compulsory app again, even without another crisis.
As we've said all along, we're not inherently opposed to using technology to streamline the border process.
But we are opposed to doing so in a way that doesn't respect Canadian's privacy and rights.
Today's decision to make ArriveCAN optional does nothing to address the privacy issues we’ve been bringing to light since it was introduced.
If the government wants to use technology at the border, they need to start from scratch, with a focus on privacy and on limiting the information collected to the bare essentials.
That's why we're not giving up the fight to Abolish ArriveCAN yet.
In fact, we're going to double down our efforts and aim to get 100,000 signatures instead of 50,000.
If you haven't signed our petition yet, please do so now.
If you have already signed, please forward this email to your friends, family, colleagues, and every Canadian, and consider making a donation to help us spread the word to even more people.
If everyone who's already signed can convince just one more person to sign, we'll hit the goal of 100,000, and be able to put real pressure on the government to finally get rid of this app for good.
Thanks to everyone for your support so far, and we'll keep fighting until the job is done.
Update - 22nd September
Rumour has it that the federal government will be getting rid of the requirement to fill out the ArriveCAN app at the end of the month, in addition to ending the vaccine requirements at the border.
Obviously, this is something we've been fighting for, for a long time, but the federal government isn't exactly known for keeping to its word, so we'll believe it when we see it!
In the meantime then, if you haven't already done so, now would be an excellent time to sign our petition to Abolish ArriveCAN.
We are very very close to our goal of 50,000 signatures.
Update - 5th September
ArriveCAN is many things - useless, offensive, an invasion of privacy, and a bad precedent for government overreach.
But, now, ArriveCAN is officially dangerous too.
The head of the Canada Border Services Agency's union has admitted that the app has caused so many delays and problems that CBSA staff now don't have enough time to do a proper job searching for illegal drugs, weapons, and firearms, and doing immigration investigations!
That's right, CBSA agents are being forced by the federal government to prioritize dealing with the useless ArriveCAN app, over doing their actual job protecting the Canadian border.
This insanity cannot continue any longer.
Update - 17th August
ArriveCAN? More like ArriveCAN'T.
Since we launched our petition, we've learned that the government is planning to keep the app around forever.
We've also learned that the app regularly glitches and tells people to quarantine even if they don't need to.
And we've learned that the privacy concerns are so significant, that the app might actually be breaching the Constitution.
So, what other reason could you need to abolish ArriveCAN forever?
Well, how about the fact that it's completely ineffective?
Of course... some of us have known that all along!
But now, the government is literally admitting this themselves.
Well, it was just revealed that the government is actually giving people who "forget" to fill out the app a "one-time" exemption from the requirement, and not punishing them with a fine or quarantine requirement.
But, hang on, we were told that the point of having to provide all the information in the app was to keep Canadians safe...
If the government is just letting people who forget to do so enter anyway, does that mean they're letting potentially "unsafe" people enter Canada?
Or, more likely, is it actually just that the app doesn't do anything to increase safety anyway?
Which means that it's become more and more politically problematic for the government to try and force everyone to comply, and it's now easier to just let people get away with it.
This entire issue is a perfect example of the insanity of many government officials and government departments.
The complete inability to see just how ridiculous and insane a policy or idea is, despite it being obvious to literally anyone else.
The ArriveCAN app must be abolished.
No more delays.
No more excuses.
Update - 16th July
Are you 86 years old, quadruple vaccinated, in a wheelchair, and have the temerity to want to enter your own country without owning a cellphone?
ArriveCAN is the federal government's mandatory app that must be used to enter Canada, and if you don't have it, the federal government don't care - you're getting a $5,000 fine.
Check out this video circulating today:
0 views, 0 likes, 0 loves, 0 comments, 0 shares, Facebook Watch Videos from Alberta Institute: Are you 86 years old, quadruple vaccinated, in a wheelchair, and have the temerity to want to enter your...
This is government run amok.
Yes, in this particular case, the elderly gentlemen could have been added on to their family member's app.
But, as the family member says, what if he was travelling alone?
Besides, that's not the point - the existence of some technical loophole or some other means of fulfilling the government's unreasonable demands doesn't mean that the unreasonable demands somehow suddenly become reasonable!
This is how bureaucracy works to take away our freedom over time.
Even if (and that's a massive if) we give the government the benefit of the doubt and believe that the original intent of the app was to "help" Canadians by making it easier to provide proof of vaccination prior to boarding a flight, government bureaucrats will always find a way to make things worse.
We also know, now that it's been revealed, that the federal government intends to implement the app permanently, and even expand its use to cover other border control issues.
That's why they desperately need to force everyone to use the app.
And that's precisely why the app needs to be abolished.
Abolish ArriveCAN Forever
ArriveCAN is the federal government's mandatory app that must be used to enter Canada.
When introduced, it was ostensibly designed to "help" Canadians by making it easier to provide proof of vaccination prior to boarding a flight.
But in recent days, it has become clear the federal government intends to implement the app permanently, and even expand its use to cover other border control issues.
On Tuesday, the app's website was updated to change the description of the purpose of the app.
"It only takes minutes to help keep each other safe" was removed and replaced with "ArriveCAN is not only keeping travellers safe, but is part of our ongoing efforts to modernize our border."
Then, just today, the app was updated to add the ability to fill out a CBSA Declaration, in addition to vaccination status.
That means that government employees and contractors have been working behind the scenes - likely for months - on adding new features - completely unrelated to COVID - to an app that was "ostensibly" just a temporary COVID measure.
Finally, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino was forced to admit it.
"ArriveCAN was originally created for COVID-19, but it has technological capacity beyond that, to shrink the amount of time that is required when you’re getting screened at the border," said Mendicino.
The issue - of course - is not the intent to reduce wait times at the border, but the utter audaciousness of introducing a massive privacy-invading app, seeing that it's causing ridiculous problems and delays for hundreds of thousands of Canadians, and then trying to claim that by adding a new feature to the app you would be saving people time!
The whole thing is utterly unacceptable.
Once again, politicians have snuck through a massive expansion of the surveillance state under the guise of a one-off, temporary emergency.
The Government of Canada must immediately drop all plans to expand the use of the ArriveCAN app, abolish the app immediately, and never reinstate it.
If you agree, sign our petition today and then spread the word to your friends, family, co-workers, and every Canadian.