Well USA, Welcome to Canada #CanadaIsStillGreat
I have been trying to make sense of the new world–the world that would vote for Donald Trump. As an outsider, I am flummoxed. But, I don’t live in the US and can’t fully understand what would make someone vote for an orange megalomaniac with all the signs of a cult leader. Follow the coin and repeat after me…
I will try and be an adult. I have two friends who are moving to the USA and considerably concerned about bringing their children to a country, that, from the outside, appears to be unwilling to accept their kind. By that, I mean, they are not naturalized, caucasian, US citizens. I have told them each that I have faith in the people of the USA and their ability to adapt, grow, and accept. That confidence is waning with repeated announcements of riots without a denouncement of the Republican or Democratic parties. A simple ‘Stop. We need to be strong for each other,’ would do. But, alas, it has not been forthcoming. Instead, we have tweets that add to the division. Grow up. All of you.
In the wake of the election results, the Canadian immigration website had a surge of requests from the US. So much so, that it crashed the site. So, if you have considered a move to Canada, as I understand many Trump-fearing Americans have, here are some housekeeping things you need to know that may affect your decision.
First, the Advantages of Living in Canada:
- We have Universal Health Care. I understand you are leery or, dare I say, frightened to walk into a hospital and get help as the bill might give you a heart attack and make things worse. Not to worry here. You leave without a bill, and your problem is solved. (* This does NOT include elective surgeries. But if you have had a mastectomy, you can get implants, and that is paid for. No one wants breast cancer, but that could be considered a perky perk.)
- Leave your guns back home. We use guns to hunt. That’s it. Nothing automatic either. Deer can go down with one shot. True story.
- Maternity leave. Stand back… you get one whole year off for each child. That is enough time to bond with your baby, get some rest, lose 2 pounds just to gain back another 20, and fully recuperate from birthing. Plenty of women don’t even buy a breast pump because they are always home with milk at the ready. Your job is guaranteed when you get back after the year and the government pays you to stay at home. This is not a joke.
- Vacation. Two weeks paid vacation is minimum and still kind-of pathetic. Most people get 4 or more weeks paid vacation. It is not as good as Italy, but it is better than one week or, in some cases, nothing. Plus, we have 9 paid holidays a year.
- We are not a ‘Melting Pot.’ We have all kinds of people here and we don’t ask them to melt in and conform. On my way around town, I will pass temples, churches, mosques, synagogues, and shop signs in every language possible. We have pockets of people from everywhere and we LIKE hearing many languages spoken when we walk around. It makes us feel worldly.
- People love us. Do you ever wonder why we stitch the Canadian flag to our luggage? It’s because we don’t like it when others mistake us for Americans. Sorry, but, US citizens don’t have a really great travel track record for being polite, patient, tolerant, and understanding of differences. This is a gross generalization, and I have met some truly lovely US travellers (Sorry, ‘travelers.’ I don’t want to have another incident like the great Jewellery/Jewelry troll of 2015 where I was berated for being a poor writer because I spelled Jewellery ‘wrong.’… might confirm the point here as 99% of the world spells it Jewellery with the USA being the only exception.) It is, unfortunately, the rude and entitled travel(l)er that everyone remembers.
- Our banks don’t crash. We have a chartered banking system which means your money is safe in the bank. Also, our money is coloured**. That’s right. We can use the word coloured** and it means nothing more than it has pigment. **aka colored.
- Your kids will not fear school. School shootings in Canada are 6:302 in fatalities as compared to the USA since 2010. The actual number of school shootings with or without fatalities since 2010 are 3:126. That’s right. There have been only 3 school shootings in Canada in the last 6 years. Only 8 in the last 16 compared to 185 in the USofA. Your kids are safer here.
- We have room. Compared to the USA, Canada has 2% more land mass which is not a lot. However, our population is 11% that of the USA (or 89% smaller if you failed math). We can breathe here.
- We are paid better. You might say ‘your dollar sucks,’ and you would be right. But, the average US citizen is paid $51,939/year. Canadian average is $76,600/year which is $56,595 is US dollars. Sorry. Yes, I’ll even apologize for that.
- Regular beer has 5% alcohol by volume.
- Pot is legal.
- Women have control of their bodies.
- The man who runs our country has great hair.
Disadvantages of Living in Canada.
- We don’t have Target. We tried it and just didn’t like it as much as Walmart. Target couldn’t get the same great products, and we thought that was wack. We always visit when we are in the US, though.
- We have misogynists too. Unfortunately, they are everywhere.
- Native rights are pathetic. We have problems being good with our native peoples. They have a high suicide rate, deplorable living conditions in some places, and they feel racially discriminated against. We try but often fail to make this situation better.
- Things cost more. Mostly because we are getting goods from the US even though they originate somewhere else–even, sometimes, Canada (oil, for one).
- The USA spends more on athletes. Canada doesn’t fund our amateur or even professional athletes even close to as much as you do. As a result, we suck at the Olympics (except hockey, because we rock that).
- Sometimes we have to wait for medical specialists. If you have a non-life-threatening problem, you might have to wait behind the list of people demanding the surgeon’s time with ‘real’ problems. The nerve!
- We have real winter. Some skiers may place this in the ‘advantages’ column, but they would be wrong. Cold is dumb. I shouldn’t have to plug in my car unless it is a Tesla. Period.
I think, given the math, Canada is still great. 14 in the plus column and 7 in the minus column is good, right?
I have faith that the USA will band together and truly rise above. Hey, your president-elect HAS to exceed expectations since we expect nothing. He certainly can’t be more underwhelming than he already is. That is something in the good column, right? Make that 14/8. You are winning already.
Please, bridge the divide and build your country. You are better than the 20 steps back you have taken in your anger. Get the poison out, then bring the country together. Trump needs you. America needs you. The world needs a strong USofA without anger, resentment, division, and bigotry. Be great. Be better than great. Make America the gold standard again. Together. United. The world wants you to succeed. We are rooting for you. Don’t let us down.