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Acclaimed Portland Political Cartoonist Matt Bors Is Moving to Canada, Though Not for the Reasons You’re Probably Thinking

For fans of his work, it might sound like Bors is living out the ultimate liberal fantasy of fleeing America’s death spiral for the land of maple trees and single-payer health care up north. But his reasons for leaving are much more practical.

WW presents "Distant Voices," a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they're doing during quarantine.

Matt Bors has had a bad year.

Yeah, so has everyone. And sure, his year has included getting a Pulitzer Prize nomination for Editorial Cartooning—his second—and, in January, the birth of his second child.

But it's also, as he recently told Oregon Public Broadcasting, "the worst year of my life." His dad got cancer. Stuff around the house has randomly fallen apart. That's on top of the pandemic, of course, and the loss of revenue that's coincided with the economic hit sustained by many of the newspapers that used to run his barbed, politically subversive comics. (Including a certain Portland alt-weekly. No, the other one.) And now, this terrible, horrible, no good, very shitty year is about to reach its crescendo: He's moving to Canada.

For fans of his work, that might sound like Bors, 37, is living out the ultimate liberal fantasy of fleeing America's death spiral for the land of maple trees and single-payer health care up north.

But Bors isn't prematurely retreating from another four years of Trump. His reasons for the move are far more practical: With a toddler and a newborn at home and his wife in school, and without any available options for child care that wouldn't quickly bankrupt him, moving to Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada—the small town where his wife grew up and his in-laws still live—was the best option for staving off financial ruin, not to mention a complete mental breakdown.

And though he's trying to stay positive, as he told us, he's pretty bummed about it.

See more Distant Voices interviews here.