Canada to U.S. Visitors: Please Don’t Sneak Across the Border


In the province of Alberta, for instance, there were no tickets issued to American motorists in April, May or July, and only nine tickets issued in June, all in Banff National Park, said Cpl. Tammy Keibel, a spokeswoman for the R.C.M.P. in Southern Alberta. The federal police force didn’t start recording complaints about international license plates until June 17, but there were 53 reports in the entire province between June 17 and June 29, and 121 between July 1 and July 28, she said.

The province’s most troublesome scofflaw thus far is a fellow from Alaska who was so determined to enjoy Banff with a woman from Calgary that he’d met online that he was issued two of the June tickets. His identity hasn’t yet been released, Corporal Keibel said.

His downfall, like that of many others, was precipitated by concerned citizens, not authorities. The Alaska plates on his truck were spotted June 25 during one of the regular parking lot sweeps that the Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff conducts. Video footage was reviewed to confirm the driver’s identity, and he was questioned in his room. When he was unable to show that he had complied with quarantine laws, the police were called, said Trevor Long, the Rimrock’s general manager.

Since the border closed four months ago, only four other guests have been questioned about their plates. One was an American who had been in Canada since before the border restrictions, another was in the military and said he was an essential worker. The other two were let off with a warning.

The Alaskan, however, proved a “challenging fellow” who thought “this whole pandemic was a farce,” according to Mr. Long. He was issued an $870 ticket under the Alberta Public Health Act and instructed to leave town the following day.

Instead, the couple showed up for their massages the next morning.

“He was a little bit irritated that we said, ‘No, you’re not allowed to have your spa appointment,’” Mr. Long said.


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