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

Rimbey Meals on Wheels volunteer driver Diana Pearman picks up a bin of supplies to start her week of delivering the hot meals.
photo submitted
Rimbey’s Meals on Wheels program continues to meet the need

Volunteers are always welcome to help with the long-running FCSS program

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

Alberta Health Services' central zone jumped from 162 active COVID-19 cases to 178 on Friday. Five additional deaths were reported provincewide, bringing the toll to 323. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
622 new COVID-19 cases set another daily high Friday

Province confirmed 622 additional cases Friday

(Photo submitted)
Rimbey resident avid author despite Parkinson’s

Wins more accolades for her writing

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

A man runs across the Carcross Dunes in Carcross, Yukon, on July 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘No manual or checklist:’ Yukon ditching fall time change this year

The territory decided to adopt year-round daylight time in March

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains makes an announcement regarding vaccine procurement, in Toronto, on Wednesday, Aug., 5, 2020. Despite its status as an artificial intelligence hub, Canada has yet to develop a regulatory regime to deal with issues of privacy, discrimination and accountability to which AI systems are prone, prompting calls for regulation from businesses and experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Canada crawling toward AI regulatory regime, but experts say reform is urgent

5 million images of shoppers collected without consent at Canadian malls

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie "The Name of the Rose" at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

He died peacefully in his sleep overnight in the Bahamas

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

City of Wetaskiwin Mayor presenting the AUMA Above & Beyond Award to John Maude and Susan Quinn. Ren Goode/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin County residents win the AUMA Above & Beyond Award

John Maude and Susan Quinn are being recognized for their role in Wetaskiwin’s sustainability.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

(Pixabay photo)
Spoooky, scaaaary: The ultimate Halloween-in-quarantine playlist

All the costumes, trick-or-treating and spooky-season fun is essentialy off the table due to COVID-19

Pilots Ilona Carter and Jim Gray of iRecover Treatment Centres, in front of his company’s aircraft, based at Ponoka’s airport. (Perry Wilson/Submitted)
95-year-old Ilona Carter flies again

Takes to the skies over Ponoka

Most Read