Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Will the American election race lead to the next “invasion” of Canada?

Will the American election race lead to the next “invasion” of Canada?
Is Canada on the verge of an invasion?
This question isn’t as crazy as it sounds as the bizarre primary election race down south increasingly points to a victory for the “Great Vulgarian,” Donald Trump, and if this is the case, recent polling numbers point to an American invasion of the Great White North.
No kidding!
According to Global News, a poll conducted in March found that 15 percent of registered American voters said they would “very likely” consider moving to Canada if Trump were to win in November and another 12 per cent said they were “somewhat likely” to consider a Canadian move if the Great Vulgarian became Commander-in-Chief.
The poll surveyed 2,000 registered American voters, asking: “If Donald Trump was elected President of the United States in November how likely are you to consider moving to another country such as Canada?” In a poll of that size, the results are considered accurate within a range of two per cent, plus or minus. Still it was only one poll, but other factors are pointing strongly in the same direction.
 After Trump’s first Super Tuesday win in March, “how to move to Canada” surged as a question on the Internet, according to Google Trends. The question spiked 350 per cent in just four hours on Google and Canada’s immigration website was overrun with traffic at the same time.
But when push comes to shove, many claim Americans, more than half of whom don’t have passports, would never head North. History, however, speaks differently. During the Vietnam War, thousands of young Americans crossed the border legally or illegally and some 40,000 of them remained as permanent residents or citizens, according to a federal government report. And this wasn’t a bad thing according to an archived report by Citizenship and Immigration Canada which called them “the largest and best-educated group this country has ever received.”        
Will history repeat itself after November 2016? Only “The Shadow” knows, as the old radio show used to say, but another interesting aspect of this situation is that polls showing Americans moving to Canada if Trump wins also show a sizable number of conservative Americans considering a northern move if Hillary Clinton wins. Writing in the Huffington Post, Robert Waite says these are the people “that love guns, God and Rush Limbaugh!” Can anyone doubt that we have a deeply troubled and dangerously polarized country on our southern border?
Despite this, I would personally welcome a new influx of young, well-educated immigrants from the Home of the Brave and Land of the Free. It’s nothing new in Canadian history going as far back as the mid-17th Century when up to 50,000 British United Empire Loyalists fled to Canada after the revolutionary war when  the US won its independence from Great Britain. As for the Vietnam war resisters, draft dodgers, call them what you will, the vast majority of them contributed greatly to this country, becoming productive citizens in the professions, education, the arts, trades and even politics. And all we gave the US was Ted Cruz! But seriously, I can tell you from personal experience that the progressive politics, environmental consciousness and “sunny ways” that Canada is enjoying today was greatly influenced by the young, dynamic and idealistic Americans that poured into places like the Slocan Valley and elsewhere in Canada in the eponymous 1960’s. We are a better country for them
And we have been benefiting ever since the hapless presidency of George W. Bush, the man directly responsible for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and indirectly Syria when American immigration to Canada jumped by 34,000 over the previous decade. This only leads to one conclusion – Canadians don’t like Republicans.
So when Nov. 8 rolls around, it won’t just be Americans on tenterhooks over the results. Canadians have a great stake in this election too about the “Great Vulgarian” becoming the 45th President of the United States. And in this Canadian’s opinion there will also be cause for concern if Clinton, the candidate that 55 per cent of Americans say they don’t trust, is elevated to the Oval Office instead.
One thing is for sure. There’s no “winner” in this one.

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and hasn’t given up on the US yet.

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