My Home and Foreign Land?
All jokes aside, Canada might actually be a viable place to live post-election.
Karen Juarez, University of Illinois at Chicago
Oh, Canada, the beautiful, cold land of the north.
After the recent U.S. elections, Canada was the humorously suggested country for relocation if Trump ever won the presidency. Now, the days for jokes are over, seeing as the fear of Trump winning the election has become a reality.
So, whether you were joking about moving or not, here are six reasons why you should hightail it over to our neighbor to the north.
1. Living Cost
Living in Canada is not as expensive as it is to live in the U.S. Food is cheaper, so if you’re one to stock up on extra snacks and treats, you won’t be disappointed. And while you may not be able to afford having a car in the U.S., in Canada, not only are cars cheaper, but so is the gas that keeps them running.
Moving to a city? Don’t worry, as opposed to other metropolitan areas around the world, the central cities in Canada, such as Toronto and Vancouver, have a lower cost of living.
2. The Process
I would highly recommend visiting a place before moving there, just as one would with an apartment. So, before you start packing your bags and shipping your belongings, you should do some research and take a trip to explore first; plus, U.S. citizens do not need a visa to visit Canada.
Permanent residency, another option associated with immigration, is a serious process. Don’t expect the affair to be as simple as the jokes make it out to be; after all, there is more to the move than just switching apartments when starting a life in a new country.
3. Medical Bills
The common perception of Canada’s healthcare system is that it is much more accessible compared to the U.S., and it’s true, as people have fewer complaints about insurance not covering their medical needs in Canada.
Sadly, people don’t have it as easy when it comes to medical insurance in the U.S., and with the craziness that will undoubtedly follow the process of repealing Obamacare, as proposed by Republicans, running to Canada for its health benefits would be a viable option.
Despite the idealization of Canada’s healthcare system though, you can only receive the benefits only after moving to Canada and completing all the paperwork. Still, Canada boasts a very high life expectancy of about 80 years, two years higher than the US.
Canada is often considered to be one of the safest countries in the entire world. Still, there is one unexpected danger of living in Canada—the weather. Temperatures often get very low if you are far north, and snow can be incredibly dangerous, especially when driving.
While it may seem almost laughable, another threat to one’s safety is the occasional moose. Do not underestimate the animals; they may look cute in pictures, but they pose an actual danger to everyone, including drivers, because of how large and sometimes aggressive they can be.
Other than the unpredictable natural dangers, the risk of other common safety hazards, such as mugging, scams and dangers on public transportation are very low. Canada is considered safe for women to travel alone.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, meaning the highest position in government is prime minister. The current prime minister, Justin Trudeau, payed a visit to the White House a few weeks ago, and the internet basically exploded.
Whereas President Trump has proposed a Muslim ban in the U.S., Trudeau was seen greeting Syrian immigrants at an airport, spreading a message of welcome and equal opportunity for everyone.
Sending letters to state representatives in the U.S. often feels fruitless, as they’re commonly ignored or just counted as a single tally mark in a long list of concerns and complaints, but Canada welcomes all mail with open arms.
A tweet from Trudeau tells followers that he loves hearing directly from Canadians, a glaring antithesis to President Trump’s tweets. Generally, Trudeau’s tweets overall hold a more professional and positive focus, which unsurprisingly contrast with Trump’s scathing remarks on Twitter.
If you’re lucky enough to be bilingual, living in Canada would allow for a chance to experience life in a country that openly speaks two languages. French culture is a major aspect of a Canadian lifestyle, as the language is seen everywhere, from instructions to websites.
If you are not fluent in French, moving is a chance to practice the language or even start learning it through immersion. It is never too late to start learning a new language, and may also help you in the future, as bilingualism is highly sought after in many different job fields.
What better way to practice than to be immersed into an environment, like Quebec, where French is the predominantly spoken language? As a language student, I have found that languages encourage different modes of thought, and the only way to truly master a language is to practice and use it in everyday life.
So, if you’re 100 percent ready to run for the Canadian border, take the process as seriously as you would if planning to move to any new environment. It’s probably best to do your research first to find out what you want in a new home, but, as far as I can tell, Canada is a decent option. Bonne chance!