Alberta RCMP issued seven tickets to Americans who stopped in Banff National Park to see the sights last week despite rules observed by the Canada Border Services Agency.
“If individuals have been allowed to enter Canada for an essential purpose, they have to abide by the requirements provided to them by the CBSA,” said RCMP Cpl. Deanna Fontaine.
Non-essential travel between Canada and the United States is currently prohibited. The closure is currently scheduled to end July 21, though that date could be extended.
Under current rules, Americans may come through Canada to get home or get to work in Alaska, but they must travel along a direct path. When they need to stop for food or rest stops, they must maintain their distance away from the public as much as possible.
Fontaine said at least six of the seven tickets issued last week were related to Americans who had stopped for long periods of time to go hiking in Banff National Park.
Each of the tickets was issued under the Alberta Health Act at a rate of $1,200 each.
RCMP have received other complaints from residents after seeing U.S. plates in the area, Fontaine said, but noted that it is up to the discretion of each individual officer to determine whether a stop in Canada is appropriate along their route of transit.
There are also legitimate reasons for the presence of a U.S. resident or a U.S.-plated vehicle in Canada amidst the pandemic, Fontaine said.
“In the park, we do have U.S. citizens who have been there since before the pandemic started,” Fontaine said. “And that’s not an issue. People have a right to live in peace.”
According to a CBSA representative, travellers seeking to transit through Canada to Alaska will be required to substantiate their purpose for travel. Should their purpose be deemed non-discretionary, they will be admitted entry.
This report was initially posted on June 21, 2020 by Joel Dryden with CBC News