'Loads and loads': U.S. gas station seeing influx of B.C. customers amid record-high gas prices

With no relief in sight from record-high gas prices, British Columbians trying to save a little money are heading across the border to Washington state.

Shelly Weeden is the manager of Can-Am Gas, the closest station to the Canada-U.S. border in Point Roberts.

Because of its popularity with Canadians, she advertises the price per litre. On Monday, it was 168.9 cents – 54 cents less than the record-high 222.9 in Vancouver.

The steadily increasing cost of filling up on the Lower Mainland has translated into a relatively booming business for Weeden.

"It's been picking up day after day after day," she says.

"Since the prices started going up the way they have, just loads and loads have been coming over."

The difference in price, Weeden says, keeps her regular customers coming back while attracting an increasing number of new customers. Frustration with prices in B.C. – which are the highest in all of Canada – is something Weeden says is "totally" motivating people to make the cross-border trip.

"They're just getting to a point where they feel like they're being gouged," she says.

"We get first-timers all the time, especially when the prices are high."

And customers are filling up more than just their tanks.

"People have always filled up jerry cans but more so now. They're wanting that extra gas to get them through the week or a couple of weeks so that they don't have to come back so often," she says.

For Weeden, the influx of customers is welcome. The pandemic meant the station was completely closed between March of 2020 and October of 2021. Border restrictions and testing requirements further delayed the business's ability to rebound.

"It's been wonderful to get back to work and see all the people again, and get back to some sort of normalcy.

With experts saying the pain at the pumps is set to continue in B.C. and beyond, Weeden says she'll happily continue to welcome Canadians.

"Come on over and see us. We have candies and dog treats,” she says to anyone thinking of making the cross-border trip.