Rob: Big news last week, this one definitely made the rounds. People complaining that American visitors were maybe finding a loophole when it comes to driving across the border, lying to border services agents by saying that they’re from Alaska, and then using that as a way to drive into places like Banff. According to a Facebook post there was a,Texas family bragging to a server at a Banff restaurant about doing that very thing. It ignited a firestorm of controversy that even made it to the Globe and Mail. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland even weighed in on this. Have the RCMP actually followed up on this one?

Tanya: The RCMP can only confirm that they haven’t laid any charges related to visitors in the Valley from the United States breaking quarantine rules. It’s important to keep in mind that while the land border for the United States is closed, air travel continues,

Rob: That’s vice versa. Canadians can fly to the U S as well.

Tanya: There could legitimately be people here from the United States and they could have quarantined for 14 days, but law enforcement is definitely getting phone calls about U.S. license plates. A license plate – that’s giving you some information, but it doesn’t actually tell you anything about the people inside that vehicle, whether they’ve been here the entire time and they just never went back to the United States. I know of people who were living in the United States who came back to their hometown when all this went down. But if you do come across people who are blatantly ignoring the quarantine rules, that is legitimately something people can be charged with breaking. Calling Alberta Health Services or RCMP in those situations is the option for people who have concerns.

Rob: There are legitimate reasons for people with American registered vehicles or Americans in general to be in Canada right now, so just because they are American does not mean that they’re breaking the law.

Tanya: And let’s take a moment to analyze this need that we’re having to be policing other people’s behavior. Yes, it’s a pandemic, and other people’s behavior does affect us when there’s an infectious disease being spread around, but we do have one thing that we can control and that’s our reaction to the situation. I think when we’re afraid we can really jump to conclusions very quickly. So it’s good to slow down and think about it. What do I know about this? If it’s just a license plates from the United States, very little indeed.

Filed under: Banff, covid-19, Mountain Insider