The McBournie Minute: You’re not moving to Canada

For as long as there has been a United States of America, there has been a Canada sitting on top of it. Except for that time when there were two Canadas. I think there was a War Between the Provinces or something, I’m not up on Canadian history. But Canada has been there for a really, really long time.

It’s been there in our time of need. The Canadians were there to supply us with booze when Americans decided that we should all stop drinking for some reason. It has also given us some great comedians and mostly crappy musicians, all while letting us film our movies and TV shows there for tax purposes.

So it seems natural that we would see it as a place of refuge today. But you really need to stop that nonsense. You’re not moving to Canada.

In the 1990s, it was funny the first time you saw someone wearing a “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For [Candidate Who Lost]!” And then it was annoying every time you saw it after that. We’ve moved on from that, and in our brave new millennium, we’ve upgraded to posting “If [Candidate I Don’t Support] wins, I’m moving to Canada!”

The first time I saw this was in 2004, when some people really, really didn’t like George W. Bush. But when he got re-elected, no one moved to Canada. They just shrugged and looked forward to complaining for the next four years.

It’s not even restricted to elections. Now you can threaten to move to Canada for anything. The most recent case was all of the misguided people threatening to move north if Obamacare was upheld, not realizing that Canada has socialized health care.

And because it’s election season, it’s the in thing to threaten to move to Canada, this time if Donald Trump wins. I’m sure there are people saying the same thing about Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, but the most vocal and united voices are speaking out against Trump. They’re not wrong to oppose him. He’s every negative thing they say about him. The fact that he can rally so many people behind his message of fear, bigotry and restriction of freedoms is very concerning. But you’re still not moving to Canada.

Google reported that searches for “how to move to Canada” spiked earlier this month, following whatever new low Trump’s rhetoric and/or the actions of his supporters hit at that time. An island in Nova Scotia is capitalizing on the fears of American voters by offering to accept them should the orange blowhard make it to the White House. The fact that no one sees this as a declaration of war is a sign of how desperate we are as a country.

But you’re not moving to Canada. I’ve been there many times, and it’s a nice country. People seem generally more friendly than they are here. But weatherwise it sucks. If you think Canada is a good idea, as yourself first, “Can I see myself living in Detroit, Chicago or Minneapolis, but with even longer winters?” That’s pretty much what you’re looking at. Can you handle living in a country where not a single beach is warm enough to vacation at? Can you handle having to press 1 for English, because 2 is for French? Can you name two CFL teams? Can you switch to Canadian whisky? No, you can’t and you won’t.

Even if you were super serious about moving to Canada, there’s no reason to think the Canadian government wants you. You see, most countries require that you clearly state when you are leaving. You can take a vacation in Canada, but you need to get the hell out when the fun’s over. In order to live and work in another country, you need a work visa.

The Great White North isn’t exactly teeming with jobs, either. It’s suffering for an unemployment rate of 7.3%. That may not sound bad until you realize that this “terrible” U.S. economy we’re told we have sports a 4.9% unemployment rate. (Sorry for using numbers, I won’t do it again.) That means that should you go job hunting in Canada, you’ll probably face stiffer competition there than you would here. Also, you’re an immigrant. You know how well we treat our immigrants here? Imagine that, but more politely worded. You’re not going to be a priority to anyone up there. And if thousands of your friends decide to go north with you, you’re competing with them for those same few jobs. Before you know it, your job search is fruitless and your visa has expired. Back to America you go.

You won’t move to Canada because it’s really hard to move to a new country. It’s like when you started up your new life after graduating college, only this time you can’t crash with your parents until something works out.

But the real reason you won’t go is that we need you. America is built on a diversity of opinion — it’s our biggest strength. If you abandon us for ideological reasons, you have weakened us. Worst of all, you have strengthened the position of those you oppose.

So let’s stop with the empty threats. No matter who wins, you’re not going anywhere. We’re in this together, so let’s start acting like it.