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

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read