Windsor West MP seeks ArriveCan alternative for Detroit Free Press Marathon runners
Windsor-West MP Brian Masse is calling on the Transport Minister to hold discussions with organizers of the Detroit Free Press Marathon after requiring continued mandatory use of the ArriveCan app for all marathon participants.
“Why are we complicating it?” Masse said Thursday. “It’s so unfortunate because this is the type of stuff we want to have happen and get back to being somewhat normal.”
Detroit Free Press Marathon organizers posted a notice on its website earlier this week reminding runners they’ll need to fill out the app before re-entering Canada.
Masse sent a letter to Transport Minister Omar Alghabra asking that an alternative option be discussed that would allow runners to forgo the app, since registration already requires participants to be double vaccinated.
“I just don’t know why we can’t work on these things in advance. Be a little more flexible and creative,” Masse explained. “I’ve asked for a safe border taskforce to deal with this kind of stuff so we’re not going from emergency to emergency.”
Marathon officials told CTV News roughly 20,000 people were registered to take part in this year’s event. Down from nearly 6,000 in 2019.
“It’s a little frustrating to be honest with you because we can actually prevent some of these problems. Unplug them before they get really serious and actually get on with our lives. But you’ve got to be willing to work on it,” Masse added.
“I think there’s less animosity about the additional step of utilizing ArriveCan to facilitate all that information,” said Aaron Velthoven, the marathon’s vice-president and executive producer.
“By and large, I think folks are certainly willing, or at least our registrants have been acceptive of the news and willing to utilize the ArriveCan and quite frankly are excited to get back to racing and that’s the ultimate thing.”
Velthoven continued, “our runners must adhere to the guidelines and restrictions in place at the time in order to cross that international border, and ArriveCan is part of that this year.”
“Those restrictions have impact on the amount of folks that will register and feel comfortable registering and we understand that.”
Windsor marathon runner Ryan Sleiman said the app requirement isn’t too concerning. “I’m excited! I mean it’s a great event honestly for both Detroit and Windsor and the energy in Windsor is awesome so it’s crazy and I’m pumped up it’s back.”
Sleiman said many runners are already accustomed to carrying their passport or phone during the event. “For us being from Canada, we’re gonna have to fill it out anyways to get back in the country later that day so no big deal on my end honestly.”