Banff National Park. (The Canadian Press)

RCMP hand out $8,400 in fines to U.S. travellers stopped at Banff National Park

Americans are allowed to drive up to Alaska but not make any non-essential stops along the way

Alberta Mounties handed out seven $1,200 fines to U.S. travellers stopped at Banff National Park last week.

According to Alberta RCMP media relations manager Fraser Logan, the fines were issued under the Alberta Public Health Act and are not criminal in nature.

“The Banff RCMP mostly responded to the complaints reactively,” Logan told Black Press media by phone Monday (June 22).

He wasn’t able to comment on individual tickets but said that circumstances could include being stopped in parking lot near a hiking spot with out-of-country plates. The Canada Border Services Agency confirmed to Black Press Media that Americans are allowed to drive over the Canadian border in order to get to Alaska, but are not allowed to make any non-essential stops along the way.

“Non-symptomatic foreign nationals, travelling through Canada for non-discretionary purposes, such as to return home to Alaska, may transit through Canada,” the CBSA said in a statement.

The agency said Americans must provide a substantive reason as to why their travel to Alaska is essential, and may not enter Canada if they are travelling to the northern state for discretionary purposes. Travellers who are allowed in are given a handout from the Public Health Agency of Canada which says to not to make any unnecessary stops, and avoid contact with others.

Logan said that officers who spot American licence plates can exercise discretion as to whether they will hand out a fine or simply issue a warning, although he said travellers from anywhere outside of Alberta “need to do your own research” to make sure they are following COVID-related rules.

“We’re reiterating that education first and enforcement second,” he said. “There are different situations as to why someone may have a U.S. registered vehicle.”

Those reasons could include dual citizenship or being in Canada for work or other essential reasons.

But the CBSA said anyone misrepresenting the purpose of their visit to Canada could face serious consequences. Violating the Quarantine Act could lead to fines up to $750,000 and six months in jail, while causing a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm could net up to $1 million in fines and three years in jail.

READ MORE: Second rare grizzly bear spotted in Banff National Park by Calgary family


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

AlbertaBanffCoronavirusRCMPUSA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich calls for applicants to join Housing Strategy task force

Council to appoint ‘diverse group’ to tackle housing challenges

North Saanich submits ALR exclusion despite large opposition

Opposed North Saanich residents now shift their attention to ALC after 6-1 council vote

Popular octopus art stolen from Colwood neighbourhood

Knitted utility pole artwork went missing Monday afternoon

VicPD seeking witnesses for fatal crash on Hillside Avenue

A pedestrian was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, where she later died

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

Feds fund safe drug supply pilot program for Cowichan

The opioid overdose crisis continues to be one of the most serious public health crises

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

Most Read