Baldinelli speaks out about ArriveCan app disaster

The long-term solution for the industry, Baldinelli argues, is the election of a new Conservative government, led by Pierre Poilievre as Prime Minister. Photo Credit: Tony Baldinelli. 


While Parliament is out of session this week, the House did not recess for its mid-winter hiatus before the Auditor General delivered a scathing report, which focused on the immense shortcomings of the ArriveCan App. 

Tony Baldinelli, Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls and the Shadow Minister of Tourism, criticized the government for its latest scandal.

“I went to the lock-up last Monday and the Auditor General’s findings were shocking,” Baldinelli shared in a recent interview with The Niagara Independent. “We are talking about a glaring disregard for basic contracting practices, and a complete disrespect for the tax dollars of hard-working Canadians.”

Baldinelli expanded on his thoughts about the Auditor General’s conclusions. 

“If you look at the report and its findings, you just shake your head,” he said. “The Report is a perfect metaphor for eight years of Liberal mismanagement of Canadian financial resources, as well as a complete breakdown in the planning and execution of a crucial project. This is an app that was supposed to cost eighty thousand dollars and ended up being sixty million… how is this possible?”

Reflecting on several years of economic disaster for Canadian small businesses, Baldinelli says that the ArriveCan app dealt a fatal blow to tourism recovery in the summer of 2022. He noted that 2020 and 2021 were write-offs for the tourist industry due to COVID-19 restrictions and border closures. But in 2022, Baldinelli says the ArriveCan app was incredibly damaging for the industry. 

“In 2022, there was great optimism that we could finally take positive steps forward,” Baldinelli said. “Then, the government’s refusal to drop its dysfunctional app, which has been updated 177 times, and erroneously sent 10,000 people into quarantine in June 2022… right at the height of the tourist season, crushed any hope of a tourism recovery that year. Is it any wonder that this app has lost the confidence of Canadians from coast to coast?”

Baldinelli said that as the functional flaws of the app became apparent, the government was urged to drop it, but refused to do so until after the 2022 tourist season was already lost. 

“I was in Ottawa in August of 2022, sitting on the Transportation committee, as we sought to scrap the app,” Baldinelli explained. “Even though they had all of the information about how problematic the app was, how it was destroying the tourism season and how other countries in the world were releasing their restrictions, they still insisted on using it right through until October of 2022.” 

According to Baldinelli, the notable improvement of the 2023 tourism season is a testament to the catastrophe that was the ArriveCan app. Tourism from the United States rebounded back up to roughly 80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and tourism from within Canada increased dramatically.

The long-term solution for the industry, Baldinelli argues, is the election of a new Conservative government, led by Pierre Poilievre as Prime Minister. 

“The only way we can truly experience the recovery and growth in tourism is to deal with the root problem, which is this Liberal government’s terrible economic policies, inflationary spending and excruciating taxes that have made life unaffordable for hard working Canadians,” Baldinelli stated. 

“A lot of people aren’t even able to travel because it’s become so expensive after eight years of Justin Trudeau. As a Conservative government, our policy and work will be centred on eliminating the carbon tax, building the homes we need, fixing the budget, and stopping the crime in our communities.”


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