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CANADA: Border delays expected if travel levels rise: union

Union says Canada Border Services Agency needs thousands more officers to fulfil its mandate
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A Canada Border Services Agency officer hands documents back to a motorist entering Canada at the Douglas-Peace Arch border crossing, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. The head of a union representing Canada’s customs and immigration officers says chronic staffing shortages mean long waits at the border won’t necessarily disappear when use of the ArriveCan app soon becomes optional. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

OTTAWA — The head of a union representing Canada’s customs and immigration officers says chronic staffing shortages mean long waits at the border won’t necessarily disappear when use of the controversial ArriveCan app soon becomes optional.

Mark Weber, national president of the Customs and Immigration Union, warns that if travel volumes start to increase substantially there will be “significant delays” at Canada’s border points.

Weber spoke at a House of Commons committee looking at the ArriveCan app for providing travel and public health information before and after people enter Canada.

The cabinet order mandating vaccine mandates at the border and the use of ArriveCan for incoming travellers expires on Friday and the government says it will not be renewed.

Weber says the Canada Border Services Agency needs thousands more officers to fulfil its mandate.

He urges the government to hire more staff to keep goods and people flowing across the border, not rely on technology like the ill-designed ArriveCan app.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 27, 2022.

The Canadian Press