Skip to main content

Border confusion over fines for B.C. residents resolved now, minister says


Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair says confusion at the Canada-U.S. land border leading to some B.C. residents being ticketed for not presenting a negative PCR test after travelling south to retrieve essential supplies is resolved.

On Tuesday, Blair said he spoke with the president of the Canada Border Services Agency to re-clarify his order that offers a COVID-19 test exemption to fully vaccinated B.C. residents in border towns looking to pick up food, medicine or gas in the U.S. as a result of the devastating flooding in the province.

Some have reported they’ve been assigned a hefty fine for violating the Quarantine Act.

Asked whether the situation has been rectified, Blair said, “actually, yes it has.”

“That direction was given to the border services agencies, but clearly some clarification was required and that’s now been given,” he said.

Blair announced the waiving of the Act for those individuals over the weekend.

It accelerates an already planned expiration of the PCR test for Canadians travelling abroad for less than 72 hours, set to begin Nov. 30.

The Conservative Party issued a statement Tuesday urging action and an apology from the government.

“Conservatives are extremely concerned to hear reports that flood-affected B.C. residents are being charged for COVID-19 tests to cross the border to get essentials like gas and groceries,” as statement from MPs Ed Fast and Brad Vis states.

“The last thing that such residents who are impacted by floods and shortages on everything from food to gas need is a fine. That’s why Canada’s Conservatives are calling on the Trudeau Liberals to apologize to the residents who were fined for following the rules set out by the Emergency Preparedness Minister and to formally rescind these fines.”

Blair on Tuesday said the fines were issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and as such, the body is now reviewing individual cases.

Asked whether tickets handed out to Canadians will be rescinded, the minister said that will be up to PHAC.

The Conservatives and NDP have called for an emergency debate in the House of Commons to address the government’s response to the crisis that’s forced thousands to evacuate their homes.

Blair said there will need to be a “considerable investment” made to rebuild the most severely damaged areas of the province but wouldn’t assign a dollar figure to the task ahead.

The government approved a request for support from B.C. which has sent more than 500 troops to the region to help with ground and air initiatives.

“The resources that we’ve been able to provide, through the Canadian Armed Forces and other means, we’re prepared to scale up as required. We’re working really close with them,” said Blair.


Who is supporting, opposing new online harms bill?

Now that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's sweeping online harms legislation is before Parliament, allowing key stakeholders, major platforms, and Canadians with direct personal experience with abuse to dig in and see what's being proposed, reaction is streaming in. has rounded up reaction, and here's how Bill C-63 is going over.



opinion Don Martin: How a beer break may have doomed the carbon tax hike

When the Liberal government chopped a planned beer excise tax hike to two per cent from 4.5 per cent and froze future increases until after the next election, says political columnist Don Martin, it almost guaranteed a similar carbon tax move in the offing. Top Stories


BREAKING Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter banned from NBA

Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter has been handed a lifetime ban from The National Basketball Association (NBA) following an investigation which found he disclosed confidential information to sports bettors, the league says.

Earthquake jolts southern Japan

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 hit southern Japan late on Wednesday, said the Japan Meteorological Agency, without issuing a tsunami warning.

Ancient skeletons unearthed in France reveal Mafia-style killings

More than 5,500 years ago, two women were tied up and probably buried alive in a ritual sacrifice, using a form of torture associated today with the Italian Mafia, according to an analysis of skeletons discovered at an archeological site in southwest France.

Local Spotlight

Stay Connected