Only a tenth of air travelers are using the costly ArriveCan app since it was made voluntary, records show. Use of the app had been mandatory until last October 1.

The Department of Public Safety in an Inquiry Of Ministry tabled in the Commons said of 9.97 million air travelers who entered Canada in the first quarter of the year a total 1.13 million or 11 percent used the ArriveCan app. Usage rates were as low as “less than one percent” at international airports in Edmonton, Winnipeg and Ottawa.

The figures were tabled at the request of Conservative MP John Nater (Perth-Wellington, Ont.) who asked, “How many travelers entered Canada after January 1 and how many submitted their information through ArriveCan prior to their arrival?”

Cabinet had justified ArriveCan as a time saver for travelers by submitting personal information and vaccination status to Customs agents prior to arrival. Program costs totaled $54 million, prompting the Commons to vote last November 2 for a special audit of spending. Results are pending.

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