Monday, 13 August 2012

U.S. Facebook group complains about Canadians at Bellingham Costco

Blame Canada.

Yes, you’ve heard the phrase and you’re familiar with the good-natured USA vs. Canada rivalry — but a small group of people from Bellingham, Wash. are taking it to another level.

A community page on Facebook named “Bellingham Costco needs a special time just for Americans” has collected more than 2,000 likes on the social networking site and has generated some nasty comments.

“You all been there. its [sic] 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. Costco used to have special opening hours for preferred customers. Why cant [sic] they do that for us loyal American customers?” the page’s description reads.

But it doesn’t stop there — comments on the page take stabs at Canuck driving and parking skills and apparently we buy too much milk — which lead to the nickname “milk piranhas.”

But never fear, the page user cleared the air by publishing this post on July 20, one day after the page was created:

“Even tho [sic] some of these pictures are offensive and there may be some offensive comments. In no way do we hate Canadians,” it read.

The user again clarified Friday: “To our Canadian friends on here that think we hate you: You have to look at the root of the problem. Bellingham has laws that keep big box companys [sic] from expanding. The overcowding [sic] in this small slow paced town has agitated people,” it read.

“The people are only looking at the surface and pointing fingers at our beloved Canadians ... the surface problem is overcrowding and the root problem is expansion.”

Ken Oplinger, president of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the page is “a complete pipe dream.”

“This is not something that would ever happen — frankly some of the comments that were made on there crossed the line of what was appropriate,” he said. “If I was a Canadian [and their plan materialized] what it would tell me is that I wasn’t welcome there and I was a second-class shopper.”

Oplinger insisted the page does not reflect his community.

“Unfortunately, there’s a couple of people who have misplaced some concerns they have about crowds at Costco,” he said. “[These are] just not things the majority of people in Whatcom County would support.”

And much to the contrary, Oplinger said Canadians play a big role in helping their economy and retail stores need their business.

“All those Canadians who come down south and shop — they’re paying [our] taxes and it helps our government provide services to those that live here,” he said.

“So if we have to wait in line a little bit longer — we’re OK with that.”

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