Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Canadians make a run for the border to the Bellingham Costco, locals want own hours

The iconic Peace Arch monument at the border crossing between Canada and the US has two messages emblazoned on it: Children of a Common Mother on the US side as you enter Canada and Brethren Dwelling Together In Unity welcoming people entering Canada to the USA. The latter inscription is particularly ironic, what with the big brouhaha over Canadians storming the Bellingham Costco just south of the border in Washington state. Why Costco? They've got milk. Cheap milk.

A report on KING-5 in Seattle makes a reference to the shoppers as "milk piranhas" and there's even a Facebook page with more than 4,000 'likes': Bellingham Costco needs a special time just for Americans. The description on the Facebook page is simply, "People lets rant about how horrible Bellingham Costco is to its Founding customers"(sic).

Although a lot of locals aren't happy about the Canadian invasion, wanting special hours set aside for American shoppers, others aren't so bent out of shape: Take a chill pill, says Coscto shopper over cross-border kerfuffle is an article from The Province in Vancouver, BC. And the story has reached the big media, with Fox News reporting Border war: Costco customers in Washington blame Canada for shopping hell. It's put Bellingham and Whatcom County in the spotlight, as reported in The Bellingham Herald.

UPDATE: This ongoing story made the front page of The Seattle Times on August 18, 2012: Canadians crowd Costco, stores near border -- but not everyone minds
Cars enter British Columbia, Canada from Blaine, Washington at the Peace Arch border crossing
Photo by Sue Frause