Americans enjoying time in Banff, getting slapped with fines, court dates | Kamloops News | iNFOnews

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Americans enjoying time in Banff, getting slapped with fines, court dates

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August 20, 2020 - 3:01 PM

Police in Banff have been dealing with a number of Americans who decide to stop by the popular tourist town and enjoy the sights - even while on government orders to prevent it.

Cpl. Tammy Keibel, media relations officer with the Southern Alberta District RCMP, says nine Americans have been ticketed under the Alberta Public Health Act. Those folks got a $1,200 fine, but one man from Kentucky scored himself a court date for violating Canada's Quarantine Act.

“With the Americans, it's more than likely that they were supposed to be travelling straight through the province, and not stopping for an extended period of time anywhere and these tickets were all issued in Banff, so potentially they were taking a nice leisurely drive to get to their final destination in Alaska or vice versa,” Keibel says.

Kentucky man John Pennington was travelling alone from Alaska back home to the mainland United States in June when he decided to stop in Banff.

“The RCMP were called to the hotel he was staying at. I don’t know exactly why hotel staff contacted police, I believe they had reasons to believe that he was not following the quarantine as he should have been and he was found to be in the company of another person, so clearly not in keeping with the requirements of not having contact with another person,” Keibel says.

That initial police visit was on June 25, and the very next day Pennington was found to be breaking quarantine orders yet again. Police arrived at the base of the Sulphur Mountain gondola after receiving a report of a vehicle with an Ohio license plate in the parking lot. The plate was registered to Pennington, and he was found to have been on the mountain that day.

Keibel says he was arrested and released shortly after. He has orders to face a judge in Canmore this November.

“Banff is one of our Canadian and world-renowned destinations and it does draw lots of people every year,” Keibel says. “It could just have very well been that people who are taking a slight detour to enjoy the mountains might not think it’s such a big deal, but obviously you have to follow the direction that Canada Border Services Agency provides.”

The Canada Border Services Agency lists several rules for Americans travelling through Canada include not making unnecessary stops, avoiding contact with other people, only getting food at drive thrus, and only paying for gas at the pump. Travellers are given a date by which they must have left Canada, although the time frame varies depending on the individual.

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