Alberta RCMP fined seven US visitors last week for hiking in Banff

Jun 21 2020, 4:50 pm

Alberta Mounties issued seven tickets to visitors from the US who violated health orders to go hiking in Banff National Park.

The Canada-US land border is closed to non-essential travel right now because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the Canada Border Services Agency is letting Americans through who say they’re driving to Alaska.

“They’re only to engage in essential needs on the way. Which doesn’t include going hiking the park,” Cpl. Deanna Fontaine told Daily Hive.

RCMP received a complaint on June 16 about a vehicle with US plates that had been parked at a trailhead near Lake Louise for a long time, she said. Officers ended up issuing four violation tickets at $1,200 each to the American visitors.

Next, on June 18, officers were called again about a car with US plates parked near Lake Louise. Police issued another ticket to that vehicle’s driver, and a second ticket to the driver of another US-plated vehicle parked nearby.

Fontaine said she couldn’t access the RCMP’s full database from home on the weekend, so could not provide details about the seventh ticket.

She said that not all drivers with US plates are necessarily breaking the law, because there are many dual citizens in the Rockies who were living in Canada when the pandemic started and are legally allowed to continue living on their property.

Police will respond to concerns about US tourists sightseeing illegally, but Fontaine said officers are not currently patrolling to watch for this issue. She said complaints about US sightseers ares a small fraction of the calls Mounties get.