By: Elliott Smith
Monday 11 February 2013 is Family Day, a statutory holiday in British Columbia.Travelers and shippers should expect heavier than normal volumes for passenger traffic at the border. Retailers and shoppers in the Whatcom County area should be prepared for holiday crowds in the stores.
Several other provinces in Canada have long celebrated Family Day, but have customarily done so on the third Monday of February. This year BC joins them, on a slightly adjusted schedule. While Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan will celebrate Family Day on 18 Feb., British Columbia observes the holiday a week early on 11 Feb., 2013. It should be noted that many printed calendars which purport to list “US and Canadian Holidays” list only the Feb. 18 date as “Family Day / Canada.” Retailers, shippers and cross-border businesses should take note: despite what your calendar may say, 11 February 2013 is a holiday in British Columbia!
Bellis Fair Mall in Bellingham is ready for the expected increase in shoppers, and will be running a special promotion. From 11-4 on Monday Feb 11, shoppers who present $75 worth of receipts from Bellis Fair stores will receive a $10 gift card to Red Robin. Cards will be available at the redemption center in the main mall courtyard, limit one per person.
Other businesses around the area are also preparing for the holiday weekend and the expected increase in shoppers. A Costco representative told Trade Tips Blog that the store is aware of the holiday and planning accordingly.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesman Chief Thomas Schreiber told Trade Tips Blog that “CBP is not anticipating a significant increase in border traffic.” Trade Tips Blog also reached out to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for comment, and received this statement from CBSA Pacific Highway District Director Daniela Evans:
As British Columbians celebrate the first annual Family Day on February 11, 2013, the Canada Border Services Agency is prepared for an increase in traffic this long weekend. The CBSA has an operational plan in place to deal with the expected increased volumes. This includes additional staff to address the anticipated cross-border travellers this weekend.
Our objective remains to facilitate the flow of legitimate travelers while ensuring safety and security at the border. CBSA closely monitors wait times and every effort is made to minimize the waits. We expect Monday to be the busiest day at the border, and recommend travellers avoid peak travel times, which typically begins around 5:00 p.m.
For additional travel tips, please visit: http://www.cbsa.gc.ca/travel-voyage/kwte-qatf-eng.html
International Market Access, Inc. will be open for business as usual Monday 11 February. IMA’s Operations Manager Terry Dickey expects a slight decrease in cross-border shipping activity due to the holiday, but assures that IMA will be fully-staffed and providing complete cross-docking, fulfillment and warehousing services for companies doing business across the Canada/US Border.
Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc
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