Would You Really Move to Canada Because of an Election Outcome?
Or Is Moving to Canada a Figure of Speech?
I normally don't do political writing, simply because it does tend to get very heated, with people on either side of the discussion having very strong views. One thing that has always fascinated me, though, is the people who threaten to move to Canada (or any other country like Australia, England, Jamaica, France, Norway, Brazil or Sweden for example) if __________ wins the election.
It seems like it happens every four years. This year, however, it even happened in March right after the primary. In fact, on March 2nd of this year, more people searched "moving to Canada" on Google than at any other time in history.
I've tried to find information about how many people actually make good on their threat, and it's difficult to find very much information or statistics. I do think maybe this threat is a figure of speech rather than a statement of what someone will actually do if the candidate they don't like wins. One thing I found interesting, though, is a graph that showed a pronounced surge in people who did move, and it happened back in 2008. This was when the number of people who had moved there and were granted citizenship surged to over 10,000.
The thing is, the Canadian government doesn't actually ask people why they moved, so it's hard to say. They did say that most people who move to Canada do so for a job.
On a humorous side note, do you know that there is actually an ad campaign that was done by Air Canada telling people to come on up and "Test Drive" Canada before moving there? One of their catch phrases was to give the metric system a try!
Graph Showing U.S. Residents who were Granted Resident Status
Still Thinking of Moving?
If you are still considering moving to Canada or to another location out of the country, here are some things to consider before you pack.
1. It could take a long time to become a citizen of your chosen country - In Canada especially, they take into consideration the economic contribution you could make to the country through working. The system they use goes by points, and if you cannot find a job there or make a contribution, it lessens your chances of becoming a citizen. I think the exception may be if you're retired and have income from a pension or social security, but I'm not sure. Already having a job lined up in Canada will bode well for you, if your decision is to move there.
2. Cost of living may be higher - In Canada, especially, there are tariffs placed on food, fresh vegetables, and other items you may buy like liquor. The availability of fresh fruits and vegetables can be based on importing them from places like California. If there are drought conditions in California, you'll pay a lot more. There are federal and provincial sales taxes in Canada, and when all is said and done, your income may not go as far as it would in the U.S. You might even find that you're making less there than you were making in the United States.
3. Long wait times for healthcare - Because of the socialized system of medical care in Canada, expect long wait times. Many doctors are already at their maximum capacity for seeing new patients and for caring for their existing patients. If you even find a doctor willing to see new patients, you can expect to wait a long time to get in. Even getting new prescriptions can come with wait times, something citizens of the United States are not used to.
4. Trouble making friends - Depending on where in Canada you're considering relocating to, you can have trouble making new friends there because of language barriers if you move to French provinces where the main language spoken is French. Even in other parts of the country, people tend to be more reserved and less open to being expressive. They are ok with doing things alone like eating in restaurants and going places, which is something many Americans are simply not used to.
5. Difficult to find jobs - I've read that it is more difficult in Canada to find jobs than it is here in the United States. The exception to this is if you have a job in technology, like IT. You could also become stuck in a job with unfavorable working conditions, because you are there on a work permit type status and if you lose your job, you could have to move back to the United States.
6. Long wait times for citizenship - I've read that it can take anywhere from 6 months to over two years to actually become a citizen of Canada. I'm not sure about other countries, but it seems like you could face a long wait. Six months are for those people who work in career fields that are very much in demand, so they tend to be on a faster track for citizenship. I did read about one case where it took the person 26 months to become a citizen, and I've heard that it can take up to four years.
Canada Does Seem Like a Nice Place
Putting a Band-Aid on the Issue
Personally, I think that choosing to move out of the country because of the outcome of an election is unwise. From my experiences living in this country for over 50 years, I've noticed that elections and politicians come and go. It seems that the people of the country help to shape what becomes of a country. It is not only up to one person or one administration. Although, one person can damage things... as we've found out.
To me, leaving the country is almost like choosing to have your leg amputated because of a scraped knee. The knee will eventually get better, over time, and to amputate the entire leg would have permanent, long-term consequences. The same with moving out of the country - the consequences of a life-changing decision like that are long-term and probably permanent. If you're ok with that, then go for it.
Personally, I believe I'll stay put in this country and try to be the best person I can be. That's oversimplifying things I know. This country is not the same country I grew up in. Political correctness and overly embracing it and trying to enforce it has damaged things in my opinion.
The exception I would make to this is if this country becomes a third-world depressed and completely morally depraved country. Then all bets are off. Although, some people would claim that we've already reached that point!