'I think they don't care': Electronic Travel Authorization system crashes, leaving many travellers stranded
The collapse of the website that processes Canada's Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTAs) has caused missed flights, stress and financial pain to many travellers trying to reach Canada.
This week, Canada expanded the number of countries eligible for the eTA system, which replaces a full visa requirement for countries whose citizens are considered at lower risk of overstaying. Travellers from these countriespay a $7 Cdn fee and fill out an online application in aprocess that would normally take just minutes.
"This exciting development means that more individuals from around the world can now embark on unforgettable adventures, explore our diverse landscapes, reunite with family and friends, and immerse themselves in our vibrant culture without the hurdle of visa requirements," said a statement from Sean Fraser, minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC),which oversees the eTA system.
But the immediate effect of the change was the opposite.
Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, flanked by Rechie Valdez, MP for Mississauga, Ont., and Kevin Lamoureux, MP for Winnipeg North, announces the expansion of Canada's visa-free travel program in the Winnipeg airport on Tuesday. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)