People Say if Trump Is Reelected, They’ll Move to Canada. Is It Really That Easy?

“Most Canadians find it kind of funny, because we know that almost none of those people are actually going to move here.”

Lake Louise, Banff National Park. (Terry Ott)

I've heard people say that if Trump is reelected, they'll move to Canada. That sounds tempting, but is it really that easy? Are there jobs and apartments just waiting to be filled by American expats? How do actual Canadians feel about this? —Prospective Member of the Canadian Club

As the president recovers from his bout of the coronavirus, Americans will be watching his behavior closely for signs of the post-COVID syndrome of irritability and cognitive impairment known as "brain fog."

Since this is a Sisyphean undertaking akin to watching Homer Simpson for signs of jaundice, I'm not surprised some people are ready to chuck the whole thing and spend their energies thinking about something more pleasant, like hockey fights.

Luckily for Canada, the same lazy selfishness that leads Americans to elect quick-fixy demagogues in the first place also means most of us lack the ambition to emigrate.

"I don't speak for the whole country," says Kate Swoger, a CBC Radio journalist who was foolish enough to answer my email, "but I'd say most Canadians find it kind of funny, because we know that almost none of those people are actually going to move here."

Aww, they're so polite! Still, it must be a bit galling that Americans think of Canada—a sovereign nation with, like, laws and stuff—as basically that empty apartment above Mom and Dad's garage that we can always go crash in if life gets a little too real.

Whatever the case, Canada is a lot more welcoming to its southern neighbors than we are. If you're serious about emigrating, the quickest path to the Canadian equivalent of a green card is the Express Entry program, which allows skilled workers with high proficiency in English ("…or French!" huffs Quebec) to receive a decision in as little as six months.

It's not a slam dunk—the screener questionnaire concluded I didn't qualify, and that was even before we got to the felonies—but the program's selection matrix suggests if you're fairly young (ahem) and financially stable (ahem ahem), you've got a good shot.

And if you already have family connections and/or a job offer in Canada, your chances are even better! So what are you waiting for? Run away from your problems, you chickenshit bastard, while the rest of us stay behind and clean up the mess! You're welcome.

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