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Point Roberts proposes Boundary Bay crossing to be first port of entry to welcome Canadian travellers

Last Updated May 25, 2021 at 10:56 am PDT

FILE - Point Roberts is seen here from the NEWS 1130 Air Patrol in the summer of 2019. (Riley Phillips, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

Canada-U.S. Border has been closed since March 2020 but Point Roberts Chamber of Commerce is proposing a plan to reopen

Point Roberts Chamber president Brian Calder says Boundary Bay crossing could be the first port of entry to open

Calder explains that Point Roberts would be the ideal place to re-open without compromising safety

POINT ROBERTS (NEWS 1130) — The U.S. community of Point Roberts’ Chamber of Commerce, is proposing a pilot project as a first step to reopening the Canada-U.S. Border.

Point Roberts is a town that relies heavily on cross-border travel with majority of its real estate owned by Canadians. The town is home to less than one thousand residents — 80 per cent of which are vaccinated.

So, Chamber President Brian Calder suggests the town is the perfect spot for a reopening trial, especially since businesses in the small community rely so heavily on Canadians.

“90 per cent erosion of our economy. And it’s absolutely devastating. And if we have another summer of that, we’re not going to have any businesses left to reopen,” he says.

Calder says the community has become a “ghost town” and he doesn’t believe Point Roberts could survive another summer of a closed border so he hopes the proposal will be considered as a means to potentially accelerate the reopening of the border.

“Why isn’t anyone being proactive? And I include British Columbia and Washington state. No one in any bureaucracy, health care, or transportation or political office has been here, has looked at the situation, or cares about it. And we’re offering solutions that are safe. The last thing we want is COVID to spread here,” he says.

“So we’re trying to come up with reasonable, sensible, safe solutions. And we believe we have done that in writing to all levels of government and all health ministries.”

Calder says the community would be happy to vaccinate Canadians via. a drive-thru clinic and explains the various COVID protocols they would implement to ensure safety.

“We’re a perfect spot, and we’re small. So if anything did go wrong, or needed to be changed, it can be changed in a heartbeat.”

Calder says he is still waiting on governments to contact him to have a conversation but “no one’s up for that debate.”