Canadian exchange rate least favorable in years as Americans wait for border reopening

Ella Ruehsen
Burlington Free Press

As Vermont's tourists and shoppers remain hopeful for the reopening of the Canadian border this summer, the exchange rate has hit a five-year low. 

Although the U.S.-Canada exchange rate still favors the U.S., as of June 11, the rate was at its least favorable since June 2016 at $1.22 Canadian dollars to $1 U.S. dollar, according to Google Finance and Morningstar.

In the last five years, this rate has only been matched once, in Sept. 2017.

The rate was at a five-year high when the pandemic hit, at CA$1.44 to $1 in March 2020. Noncommercial cross-border travel was halted by the U.S. and Canada that month and the travel ban has been reimposed on a month-by-month basis ever since. The current restrictions are set to expire June 21, with a possible extension when the terms are reevaluated.

Highway signs to Canada and exit to USA

The Canada Border Services Agency recently issued a travel checklist and as Vermont's congressional delegation urged Biden's administration to begin relaxing restrictions

More:When will the U.S.-Canada border reopen? Reason for hope quickly fades

The delegation cited financial stress on both sides of the border. 

"Small businesses in both Canada and the United States have struggled to stay afloat as regular cross-border travel has all but disappeared," the letter states. "Vermont businesses throughout the state that have long relied on tourism and activity from our Canadian neighbors have been particularly harmed."

Last week the U.S. State Department shifted Canada down on its travel advisory list from a Level 4 ("Do Not Travel") to a Level 3 ("Reconsider Travel"), and Canada announced that it will loosen its quarantine restrictions in July on already-approved travel.

More:The Canadian border remains closed. This restaurant near the border is trying to survive.

U.S.-Canada border:150-year-old Vermont general store sees its final days

Political leaders in both countries have stated that climbing vaccination rates are promising for the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the near future. 

Contact Ella Ruehsen at (207)509-1429 or IRuehsen@gannett.com.