The South Niagara Chambers of Commerce (SNCC) joins with affected stakeholders in welcoming the federal suspension of the mandatory ArriveCan border app by Oct. 1.
On Monday, the government announced the dropping all COVID-19 border restrictions for anyone entering Canada, including proof of COVID-19 vaccination, quarantine and isolation requirements, as well as all pre- or on-arrival COVID-19 testing.
As of that date, all travellers will also no longer have to submit public health information through the ArriveCan app or website, and the application process pior to arriving in Canada becomes optional.
In media and other communications, the SNCC and numerous border stakeholders had voiced serious concerns about the online COVID-19 pre-screening app. It was resulting in longer border processing times, visitor confusion and was hurting Chamber member businesses — especially those dependent on that border traffic.
“Ending the mandatory ArriveCan app was a battle hard-fought by border communities and affected organizations such as the South Niagara Chambers of Commerce— our already pandemic-battered Niagara tourism partners were having real trouble with its disincentive to tourism, among other ongoing issues,” says Chambers Executive Director Dolores Fabiano. “We appreciate that sense has prevailed with this federal announcement.”
It comes on the heels of another local policy success, positively affecting Chamber members.
In August, Niagara Region’s council voted no to Industrial Charges, following pressure from SNCC and others.
Niagara Region decided to give local industry some relief, with a revised program to cover Industrial Development Charges for new companies, or others poised to expand.
The Niagara Region council vote in August followed strong representations by the SNCC and others against ending the industrial charges waiver. Proposed changes were to end the current system and replace it with a graded system, based on a waiver with a minimum amount of new jobs created.
These new charges would likely have stifled new investment in that sector, disproportionately affected businesses with smaller numbers of employees, Regional staff and Councillors were told by the SNCC, in a previous submission and media release. The proposed Niagara Region bylaw measure could also harm creation of future jobs, as well as Niagara’s economy and competitiveness.
The Region created a new Bylaw to remove discretionary exemptions and replace some with grant programs, with Councillors having the right to waive the charges, when a developer makes their business case to Council.
“When serious issues like Development Charges and ArriveCan confront our members, it’s imperative for the South Niagara Chambers of Commerce to join with affected stakeholders in pushing back,” says Fabiano. “We are pleased with these two policy outcomes, and will continue to advocate for our members as these situations arise.”
For further questions or follow-up please contact Chambers Executive Director CEO Dolores Fabiano at 905-374-3666.
About the South Niagara Chambers of Commerce:
The SNCC is comprised of four Chambers; Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, Welland/Pelham, and Port Colborne Wainfleet. Collectively, our Chambers work to provide quality service, resources, and events to members in their given markets. It includes more than 1,500 businesses employing about 20,000 people.