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

A pair of Surrey Eagles fight for a puck against Langley during a game last season. The two teams were set for an exhibition game last weekend, but it was cancelled after an unnamed member of the Eagles tested positive for COVID-19. However, no other team member has tested positive so far, leading the BCHL to call it an 'isolated incident.' (Garrett James photo)
No additional positive COVID-19 tests for Surrey Eagles so far: BCHL

All but one test has been processed, with no further players or staff infected, league says

Hundreds of people gathered in White Rock last year to participate in the annual Remembrance Day ceremony – but due to COVID-19, the city’s ceremony this year will be online only. (File photo)
White Rock chooses ‘virtual’ Remembrance Day

Due to COVID-19 the Nov. 11 ceremony will be online only

Peace Portal Alliance Church, at the corner of King George Boulevard and 152 Street, is the extreme-weather shelter for South Surrey for the upcoming season. It is to have 14 mats available nightly for those experiencing homelessness, regardless of weather conditions. (Tracy Holmes photo)
14 beds planned for South Surrey extreme-weather shelter

Webinar tonight to field questions, share info on Peace Portal Alliance Church refuge

White Rock Whalers president Ronnie Paterson (inset photo) is hopeful the team and City of White Rock will be able to find a solution that will allow the Whalers and their PJHL opponents to use the dressing rooms at Centennial Arena. (Jody Harris photo)
Whalers waiting to hear on dressing-room availability as PJHL home-opener looms

White Rock team owner ‘confident’ hurdles can be overcome in talks with city

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Commissioner Austin Cullen listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver, on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. money laundering inquiry hears of $800,000 and more in bags, luggage, backpacks

The lottery corporation has said it consistently reported suspicious transactions to Fintrac

Some of the characters in the League of Legends video game. (Photo: na.leagueoflegends.com)
E-sports trial at B.C. high schools to start with ‘League of Legends’ team game

For fall launch, Vancouver’s GameSeta company partners with BC School Sports

Graphic on promo material for Best Buy Canada’s Tech Wonderland event.
Drive-through ‘Tech Wonderland’ coming to PNE site a few weeks before Christmas

Best Buy Canada-backed ‘holiday’ event to raise money for charity

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of seven-year-old in Langley was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government photo)
Unnamed school in Fraser Health region closed due to COVID-19

Closure announced by Dr. Bonnie Henry during daily briefing

Most Read