BRITISH COLUMBIA

Costco Bellingham Facebook Page: Pat Bell, Tourism Minister, Wants Canadian Shoppers To Stay Home

08/15/2012 02:15 EDT | Updated 08/16/2012 07:57 EDT
AP
**Hold For Chris Hatch**A shopper leaves a Costco store Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, in, Portland, Ore. Costco Wholesale Corp. said Thursday, Dec. 8, its fiscal first-quarter profit rose 2.6 percent percent as shoppers spent more on gasoline and the company benefited from currency exchange rates. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

A Facebook page calling for American-only hours at Costco in the U.S. has found a "friend" in B.C.'s tourism minister.

Pat Bell said that Canadians shouldn't be taking their money to Costco's American locations if they want to avoid the wrath of Americans who feel their shopping centres are being filled up with consumers looking to save a few quick bucks on a lower-valued currency, reports 24 Hours Vancouver.

“I want British Columbians to stay at home and shop at home,” he said. "“I’m a personal friend of the Facebook page, if they don’t want Canadians to go across the border and shop down there, I’m OK with that. I want them staying in British Columbia and shopping here.”

Bell, speaking during a Vancouver Board of Trade meeting, responded to a cross-border back-and-forth sparked by the Facebook page, which complains about how crowded the Bellingham, Washington Costco becomes when Canadians come to visit.

The Facebook page generated over 2,400 "Likes" before it was removed but it has since reappeared, with a banner photo lifted from the "Canada on Strike" episode of the popular cartoon South Park.

The Facebook page wasn't the only shot that American shoppers took at Canadians for shopping at the Bellingham Costco.

A Youtube video posted online on August 13, 2012 complained about Canadians "flooding" the Bellingham Costco just to "Buy American Cheap Milk."

24 Hours also reported that the flood of shoppers into the U.S. has become so strong that Costco has announced intentions to build a new store in Bellingham, according to Ken Oplinger, CEO of the Bellingham-Whatcom County Chamber of Commerce.

Oplinger called Canadians "friends" and was thankful to them for helping keep the economy afloat during the downturn of the past few years.

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