Please don’t come to Canada…

by Diane Francis


So many thousands of American liberals sought information about immigrating to Canada after Donald Trump won the White House that Canada’s immigration site crashed.

This is nothing new and Americans routinely threaten to leave. Few do and fewer will.

It’s flattering though. Americans rarely pay attention to us, their polite neighbor up north who never complains and always uses headphones. But short of launching another Vietnam-style war, Trump won’t cause a tsunami of Americans to flood the north. Canada is not for everyone. It is to America what Scandinavia is to Germany and executes the Bernie Sanders’ platform on steroids. It’s very Euro. Cornflakes packages and road signs are bilingual and metric, confusing when read at high speeds. Canadian school kids don’t know what a mile, inch or ounce is, nor does the prime minister who is slightly older than Trump Junior. By edict, 50% of Canada’s cabinet is female. Such political correctness can be tiresome, but there are welcome lapses. We have the right to bear arms, and own guns, subject to background checks. The late Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, got 30% voting approval even after he was caught on a video in a crack house and became a global punch line. Then there’s Justin Bieber and, to the horror of American liberals, support for the Keystone XL pipeline. We drill baby drill. Canada’s new Prime Minister may not approve under his new climate change agenda but the previous one – and Canadian westerners and businesses – hanker to ship as much of that gooey stuff south of the border as possible across America’s pristine farmland. And Trump has promised the pipeline will proceed. American immigrants must do a makeover in terms of manners. Canadians apologize if they bump into machinery. They never say “no”, but simply “we’ll get back to you” and always use their “inside voices” outside. They disdain anyone who brags or gloats even at major sporting events. But the sticker shock is Canada’s real estate prices and taxes, high enough to convince the most virulent anti-Trumper to stay put. In Canada, the average residence (from tiny condo to mansion) costs $383,402 in 2016 compared with the U.S. average of $271,803. Canadians cannot deduct mortgage interest from their taxes so few aspire to owning a bungalow with a white picket fence unless they are trust fund kids or wealthy Chinese civil servants who have fled with cash. Taxes are high because Canadians never threw the tea in the harbor. The top income tax rate is 53.5%, but worse still is the 13% sales tax on top of whatever they buy from smart phones and cars to haircuts, writing services, legal work or carpentry. There’s also that climate thing. Canada only has two seasons — winter and in between winter. The really cold stuff lasts six months and drives the entire population indoors, or to drink, where they watch a hockey season longer than human gestation. Even the most temperate city – Vancouver – is a rain-soaked version of Seattle only colder. This is why the natural order of things between these two has been for people to flow from north to south. More than one million Canadian snowbirds live most of the time in the U.S. southern regions and a couple of million more have immigrated south of the border. Facilitating this flight is the fact that a Canadian with credentials can get a visa or green card in the U.S. easily. Alternatively, they can sleep on a friend’s couch, tend bar and drive for Uber illegally. Hundreds of thousands of undocumented Canadians live south of the border. By contrast, it’s bloody impossible to immigrate to Canada. Years of abuse resulted in to sensible immigration controls (Trump take note) and even those with a Canadian spouse must wait several winters to become a legal Canadian resident. Tougher immigration was out of defensiveness. When you run a welfare state, you cannot afford to open the floodgates (Germany take note). Canada has good and cost effective health care for everyone, cheap tuition and a minimum wage of $11 an hour in most regions. Besides, Canada doesn’t need more liberals. We already have too many. Did just write that? Sorry.