Postmedia reporter Ryan Tumilty recently wrote about David Crouch’s experience with the ArriveCAN app. Arriving home from a quick trip across the border, Couch received an email from ArriveCAN informing him he was officially quarantined for the next two weeks due to a COVID-19 diagnosis.
Having been vaccinated four times, with no signs of COVID and no questions asked by CBSA staff at the border, Couch was baffled. However, when he tried contacting various politicians/border officials about his situation he was met with the proverbial wall of silence.
Apparently the mayors of five Canadian border towns had a similar experience when they recently submitted a request to the federal government to shut down the ArriveCAN app since it was interfering with or preventing cross-border travel by a number of Canadians and Americans. I understand they received a similar response to Couch — nothing.
Couch should be grateful that, in his case, this appears to only be a temporary glitch in the ArriveCAN app and he will soon be able to re-enter the U.S. and return whenever he pleases.
Unfortunately for about 39 per cent of Canadian seniors like me (65-and-older) who don’t own, want or need smartphones, we can’t even leave Canada because we won’t be able to come home without having internet access to the ArriveCAN app — even though we have provincially issued proof of vaccination, albeit in paper form. This seems particularly pedantic given that we’re still required to present our paper passports at the border along with, if we have one, our plastic Nexus card.
After several months of trying to contact my local MP (a Liberal) and Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino about this problem I finally received a form letter last week advising me, in essence, that I should simply look for someone with a smartphone and take them (and their phone) with me if I want to leave Canada.
Guess I’ll have to check with my MP to see when he’s available to go on a motorcycle trip with me down to California this summer — hopefully he’s not a hugger.
Larry Wilkins, Coquitlam
Tipping on tax shouldn’t be expected
We enjoyed the column by Josh Freed in The Province about the groundswell of tipping since COVID-19. It’s everywhere.
One of my complaints is that we’re tipping on the tax as well. If our meal costs $50, the GST and PST is added to become $56, then the tip is recommended as 20, 25 or 30 per cent of the grand total. So we’re not only tipping for the meal, but tipping on the tax too. That’s why I always use the Other option and figure out a specific amount that makes more sense to me.
As always, this tip amount is greater for good, friendly service, less for poor service and zero for those situations as Freed describes where you get no service, where you do all the work.
Curt Jantzen, Delta
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