Windsor MP optimistic for 'good decision' on ArriveCAN app

·2 min read
Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk appears in a file photo. (Jason Viau/CBC - image credit)
Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk appears in a file photo. (Jason Viau/CBC - image credit)

Liberal MP Irek Kusmierczyk is optimistic for what he calls a "good decision" on the ArriveCAN app.

Irek Kusmierczyk, who represents Windsor-Tecumseh in Parliament, said he's been having conversations almost daily with ministers and the prime minister's office about the ArriveCAN issue over the last several months.

"We've made sure that they've heard the voice of our community, specifically the challenges that border measures like ArriveCAN and others present to border communities like ours," he said.

"I feel very confident that our government and those ministers responsible for those files have heard and understand those unique challenges to border communities. And furthermore, I feel very optimistic that we will have a good decision on Sept. 30."

Sept. 30 is the date the current COVID-19 Emergency Order-in-Council relating to border measures ends. The federal government can renew that emergency order, amend it, or let it lapse on that date.

According to a senior government source, Ottawa is leaning toward dropping the vaccine requirement for people entering Canada — ending random COVID-19 testing at airports — and making the use of the ArriveCan app optional by the end of this month.

While multiple sources said Ottawa is "likely" to drop these mandatory requirements by Sept. 30, they added that the proposal has not been given a final sign-off by the prime minister.

Officials spoke to CBC News on condition of anonymity, as they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Border-city mayors and business groups have spent months lobbying Ottawa to discontinue ArriveCAN, a mandatory pre-screening tool in place at the border that they believe is keeping American visitors away.

Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens and Windsor West MP Brian Masse were among the signatories to an open letter released Tuesday calling for an end to border measures.

The letter, directed at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden, called the restrictions unnecessary and argued that border communities have been left behind in COVID-19 recovery.

Kusmierczyk said the government has been cautious and prudent in its approach around COVID-19 measures but is willing to adapt and listen to feedback.