Metro Vancouver drivers can get cheaper gas and skip required COVID testing at Point Roberts
Over the weekend, the cost to fill up a gas-powered vehicle hit a new record high in British Columbia, with Metro Vancouver posting prices of $2.09 per litre.
Under normal circumstances, drivers near the US border might consider driving to Washington State to save gas. But the remaining COVID-19 border restrictions have made that more complicated.
In Bellingham on Monday, gasoline averaged US$3.45 a gallon, or about C$1.33 a litre.
And in Point Roberts, an American community just south of Vancouver and, if in a vehicle, accessible only through Canada, it averaged US$4.31 a gallon. This represents approximately CAN$1.45 per litre.
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Canada still requires a rapid antigen or PCR test to enter the country, and all travelers must continue to submit mandatory information on the ArriveCAN app, including proof of vaccination.
But the federal government happens to recognize Point Roberts as a “remote border community” until March 31, so fully vaccinated Canadians can visit for any length of time without having to present a negative test when they return. at their home. They just need to submit information to ArriveCAN and could be randomly selected to take a COVID test at home later.
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“A special exemption because of our unique situation and our economy‘s dependence on Canadians,” said Brian Calder, president of the Point Roberts Chamber of Commerce, which is trying to publicize the path to cheaper gasoline.
Said Malora Glenn, who is traveling to Point Roberts from South Surrey: “There is no problem. Border guards know what to do, as long as you know what to do and tell them what you are bringing and what you are bringing back. It’s easy.”
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As for the rest of the border crossings, Federal Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino gave no indication of when more restrictions would be eased.
“We want to get there, but we have to get there at the right pace and at the right time based on the right evidence and that’s what we will do,” he said during a visit to businesses in Surrey near from the border on Monday.
Fuel demand has surged as COVID-related restrictions ease across Canada, while the war in Ukraine strains the already limited global oil supply.
Gas prices were the first to skyrocket nationwide. Food prices should follow.
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Over the next three to five months, Canada will see prices for grain products rise. Next, animal proteins, according to Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agrifood Analysis Laboratory and professor at Dalhousie University.
“Meat counter products, followed by dairy products,” he clarified.
“It really depends on two things: how long this conflict will last and how China will react because China is a big part of this,” Charlebois added, noting China’s influence in the global market.
— with files by Craig Lord and Irelyne Lavery
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