U.S. vs. Canada: Bellingham Costco crossborder shopping debate turns ugly on Facebook

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      The traditional reputation of Canadians as polite and mild-mannered has taken a beating. American Facebook users have been protesting the "rude" behaviour of Canadian shoppers swarming the Bellingham Costco, just south of Vancouver.

      Kiro TV reported that the problem with too many shoppers at the Bellingham location has mushroomed to the point that police have to be called in to assist with crowd control on weekends.

      According to the report, Canadian shoppers are flocking to the Washington state Costco due to lower milk and gas prices (dairy is subsidized in America but not in Canada).

      The Facebook page "Bellingham Costco needs a special time just for Americans" was created on July 19 but it has only recently been getting national media attention in Canada.

      Both this page and a copycat page have unleashed a torrent of anti-Canadian criticism and counter-criticism, not to mention remarks targeting South Asian Canadians.

      The original page description was reported to have stated:

      “You all been there. its hard to find a parking spot. Them Canadians can be rude. The lines are crazy. We aren't on a vacation and have an RV to hang out in like those Canadians. We just want to go shopping, not go on an adventure.”

      The description has since been changed.

      The page creator posted that the page is "not to bash our wonderfull [sic] neighboring country men, but to raise awareness to Costco and show the mayor and counsel [sic] members of Whatcom county that they need to let Costco expand or help come up with solutions for these overpopulated situations."

      Another post from the webpage administrator further elaborates upon this point:

      "Even tho some of these pictures are offensive and there may be some offensive comments. In no way do we hate Canadians. They contribute to our county. They are the ones who let our economy flourish. I have some great friends that are Canadians and i love them. All we are asking for is a little compassion from Costco for Americans. make a special time of the day that Americans can do a little shopping before you lose us as customers. We payed for a membership and shouldnt be pushed out by Canadians. Its a choice that Costco needs to make. We love our Canadfians neighbors."

      Nonetheless, the issue has sparked animosity between Canadians and Americans on these pages and across the internet.

      Another post states: "…some of you have blown this way out of proportion. This goes for both Amercian and Canadians. You should really be ashamed of yourselves for the words that have been said. We do not condone racism in anyway shape or form."

      In response to the original American page, a spoof page, "Bellingham Costco needs a special time just for Canadians", was launched on Facebook on August 13.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at twitter.com/cinecraig.



      jonny .

      Aug 14, 2012 at 2:54pm

      Costco in Canada is the same way. All Costcos are the same. Over crowded with people trying to get the best deal, and the best deals go quickly. Im sure the Costco's in the US that are not close to the border are the same. That is just the way Costco is. Costco likes it that way because the huge crowds make money more efficiently than slow quiet stores.


      Aug 14, 2012 at 3:30pm

      I couldn't give a flying rat's as* what a bunch of obese, polyester-clad American morons think about Canadian shoppers.

      Don't like my attitude? Tough luck, Doris. Stay behind me in the check-out line, or be prepared to exercise your Second Amendment "rights", dimwit. And you'd better shoot straight, because you'll only get one chance before I shove that Ak-47 up your ample behind.

      Better that you should just shut up, because Canadian politeness does not stretch as far as you think it does.


      Aug 14, 2012 at 3:34pm

      We sometimes patronize the Bellingham Costco, but we also shop at the Lynden WalMart and Safeway on our US trips to Bellingham from Canada. We have never bought milk at Costco, and we wait our turn at the cashiers patiently like everybody else. I'm curious how it ws determined that it was Canadians near rioting over the milk recently. I sense that some might wish for an Americans-only shopping time at Costco; however, I feel that such a restriction would negatively impact Canadian Costco members from shopping there in favor of other food outlets. We've ALL paid our membership fees and feel we have equal status, same as we do at the Lynden Safeway. Canadians also face long border waits in order to shop American outlets and even face currency fluctuations that are not always favorable. But it's not just about lower costs; it's also about having a broder selection of goods in the US. Surely we can all play nice and get along. We welcome your business here in Canada too and I don't mind if you are in a lineup in front of me.


      Aug 14, 2012 at 3:52pm

      If that photo is representative, then that isn't crowded at all.


      Aug 14, 2012 at 4:04pm

      Do they sell dignity?

      cranky mom

      Aug 14, 2012 at 4:31pm

      As a small business owner in Vancouver, I only have one comment. "So effing what!" You are supporting roads, hospitals, and the american economy. Give your head a shake and shop smarter in Canada.

      How do you plan on cross border shopping when you have no job in the future? dumbass.

      OK, that was more than one comment.

      Martin Dunphy

      Aug 14, 2012 at 4:48pm

      How are people able to make an immediate determination of one's nationality by appearance alone? After all, the licence plates are outside.
      Is it the clothes by Wal-Mart? The rude bahaviour? The waistlines? The colour of the currency?
      Or is it the presence or absence of the bulge that betrays the .38 Special?


      Aug 14, 2012 at 5:38pm

      @ Dunphy: Judging by the photo above, the "problem" seems to involve people with black hair and non-white skin, probably buying 16+ gallons of milk at one time. Not much different than a Lower Mainland "SuperStore". Probably shocking (and terrifying) to a Yankee Doodle.


      Aug 14, 2012 at 5:53pm

      Maybe it was "Own The Podium" that did it, or the Harper/Baird commitment to seek out new wars around the world, but Canadians didn't used to go where they weren't wanted.


      Aug 14, 2012 at 6:32pm

      @ Ellulite - You may be on to something. Add Angry Whoppers to the mix and it's everyone's way or the highway. We're all just taking it to the next level and going big instead of going home.