Why Americans really should move to Canada
In case you’ve been in a coma the last two years (!), there’s been a particularly amazing election campaign going on down south. “Amazing” in the sense that it’s hard to believe it’s actually happening. From Wikileaks and sexual assault to Russian interference and a failed assassination attempt (sort of), the campaign to become the 45th president of the United States has been something of a buffet of national shame and political theatre – like watching a version of House of Cards that was somehow uglier and harder to believe.
In fact, 62% of Americans say they are less proud of America as a result of the 2016 presidential contest. There has also been the inevitable stream of liberal celebrities threatening to move to Canada should Trump win, including Jon Stewart, Bryan Cranston, and Lena Dunham, among others. As a Canadian, your reaction to this might be to think that living in Canada is a privilege, not a consolation prize. There’s truth to that, of course, but wouldn’t it be nice for a change to have a “brain/talent drain” that goes the other way?
So don’t just make idle threats all you poor frightened Americans. The Great White North is waiting for you…
Here then are some reasons why Americans really should move to Canada.
You’re already looking for jobs in Canada
Who are you kidding Americans? We know you’ve been checking us out, and we have the numbers to prove it.
As the never-ending nomination process dragged on throughout the summer, visitors from the US searching for jobs in Canada started to rise on Workopolis. This began at the end of May and rose gradually over the course of a month. We then saw a 24% increase in visits from the US in the week leading up to Trump’s nomination on July 19th. This increased by another 14% following Hillary Clinton’s nomination on July 26th.
Everything is bigger in Texas, and the Lone Star state proved to be the largest source of traffic over this period. We’re not sure, though, if this surge was fueled by liberals looking to escape a perennial red state, or conservatives afraid that Hillary might actually turn Texas blue. The next biggest sources of traffic were New York state, California, Virginia, and Florida.
Toronto was the destination of choice for our American searchers, followed closely by Vancouver, and Calgary.
Our cities are very “livable”
As it does almost every year, the Economist Intelligence Unit has ranked three Canadian cities – the aforementioned Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary – in the top ten of the most livable cities in the world. To measure “livability,” the Economist compares 140 major cities around the world, taking safety, health care, educational resources, infrastructure, and the environment into consideration. As you can imagine, the resulting list is a bit staid, to put it mildly, but it does speak to the value of being reliably boring (and secure).
No American city, by the way, made the top 10, which begs the question, when it comes to social issues and city building, is it better to be good and a bit boring? Or fun and a total basket case? Judging from this index, the answer seems to be the former.
As my uncle used to say, “never sleep with crazy.”
In Canada, you can have kids and a career
Out of the world’s 196 countries, the United States is one of four that has no federally mandated policy to give new mothers paid time off. Currently, maternity leave is dictated by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), which mandates 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually for mothers of newborn or newly adopted children. This is an almost unfathomable burden on parents.
In Canada, a pregnant employee or new mother can take a paid maternity leave of up to 15 weeks. Either the mother or father can then take 35 weeks of parental leave after the baby is born or adopted. This time can also be shared between both parents. Benefits throughout this time equal 55 per cent of the parent’s average weekly insurable wage, up to $485 per week. For low-income families, the rate of benefits increases up to 80 per cent, with the same maximum of $485 per week.
Of course, Canadian parents then have to worry about paying for child care…but that’s another story.
You don’t have to choose between your house or your health
It’s quite confusing for Canadians when American politicians hold up our health care system as some sort of terrible thing to avoid. Yes, we sometimes have to wait for non-urgent procedures. And yes, there are some things that are not covered (like dental and vision care).
Despite this, you’d be hard pressed to find a Canadian that would swap our system with the American one. Our system covers all citizens and puts no financial burden on them. This has helped prevent diseases and push our life expectancy past that of the US. It’s not perfect, sure, but it’s pretty damn good, and most of us know that. In fact, when it came time to name “the Greatest Canadian,” we chose Tommy Douglas, the politician that created our health care system.
But don’t just take our word for it. According to a 2014 report on health care by the Commonwealth Fund, “The U.S. health-care system is the most expensive in the world, but this report and prior editions consistently show the U.S. underperforms relative to other countries.”
Our election campaigns are never longer than three months
No offense America, but your election process is obscene. Yes, the reality TV vibe and the amount of money spent are outrageous, but the sheer length of the whole thing really beggars belief. For comparison sake, our last election lasted 11 weeks (78 days), and it was one of the longest campaign seasons in our country’s history. That’s right, at our worst, we only had to deal with debates and political attack ads for three incredibly boring months.
Thankfully (or depending on your point of view, unfortunately), the madness of this US presidential election campaign will all be over tonight. By this time tomorrow, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be the 45th president of the United States, and if the thought drives you crazy, you could try your luck in Canada.
The question is, can you make the cut?