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American Caught Cheating Canada’s Strict Border Closure Fined $569,000

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PortandTerminal.com, August 30, 2020

Kentucky man facing fines of $569,000 for violating Canada’s Quarantine Act.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – The US/Canadian border remains closed to all but essential traffic. Trucks moving cargo back and forth can still cross the border as can essential workers living in the US but working in Canada (eg nurses). Tourists though are not allowed into either country.

These strict border closure rules are something that the normally welcoming Canadians feel strongly about during the pandemic. In a recent poll, 80% of Canadians said that they felt it was important to keep the US/Canada border shut for the foreseeable future.


Patrick Corrigan: Canada-US border
Patrick Corrigan: Canada-US border

One exception to the border closure rule is for American’s who need to drive through Canada in order to reach Alaska.

There have been a number of widely reported cases here in Canada of Americans who have used the Alaskan transit loophole to cheat the system — saying that they’re on their way to Alaska at the border but once across, going sightseeing in Canada instead.

The problem is big enough that the Canadian Government toughened up is rules to punish the Alaskan loophole cheats as one tourist from Kentucky just found out the hard way.

John Pennington, from Walton, Kentucky, was recently arrested in Banff for violating Canada’s Quarantine Act.

When Pennington’s car with Ohio plates was reported to police at a sightseeing gondola on Sulphur Mountain, Alberta in the park, the mounties arrested him, and he now faces a fine of up to $569,000 ($750,000 Canadian) as well as up to six months in jail.

While Pennington was the first American arrested under Canada’s Quarantine Act, he was not the first person to flout its rules. A New York couple was fined $1450 ($2000 Canadian) in June for not self-quarantining after crossing the border. More than 20 tickets have been issued to foreigners in Canada for Quarantine Act offenses, including nine in Banff. Nonessential travel across the U.S.-Canadian border will remain limited until at least September 21, 2020, but probably much longer.

With reporting by Car and Driver, and the Globe and Mail

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