The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) says it is committed to limiting the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.
Canada has banned non-essential travel at the United States border, and those who try to circumvent restrictions, which have been in place since March, can pay dearly.
"The CBSA continues to be vigilant and applies the current travel restrictions to all persons seeking entry to Canada accordingly," the agency says on the Government of Canada's website.
On June 23, 2020, Lyell Sullivan Buttermore, a U.S. national, applied to enter Canada at the Lansdowne Port of Entry. During the assessment, he indicated that he was seeking entry due to essential work and submitted a letter of support for his application.
Border services officers quickly found inaccuracies in his document and after asking further questions, they determined that Mr. Buttermore had forged the letter and that his real purpose in entering Canada was to visit his girlfriend.
He was arrested and charged with attempting to circumvent current border restrictions and enter Canada using false documents.
Then, on Dec. 8, 2020, the American pleaded guilty to false immigration claims and was convicted by the Ontario Court of Justice in Brockville.
On Dec. 11, Mr. Buttermore was sentenced to a conditional discharge with 12 months of probation, the terms of which include payment of a $2,000 donation to the Lanark and Leeds and Grenville Addictions and Mental Health Services.
“Our officers ensure that those who are granted entry into Canada are complying with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and current border restrictions. Intercepting those who misrepresent themselves is important to protecting the health and safety of Canadians as well as maintaining the integrity of our borders and immigration processes," stated Stephanie Chenier, Director, Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Division, Northern Ontario Region, Canada Border Services Agency.
The CBSA says it invites members of the public to report suspicious immigration activity by calling 1-888-502-9060.
For more information on current border measures and requirements during COVID-19, visit the CBSA website.
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