Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The View from Canada

I JUST got back from a short stay in Montreal, Canada but before you jump to any conclusions, the getaway trip was planned weeks before the Nov. 8 elections so I wasn't planning on moving just because a racist, megalomaniacal, misogynistic madman was going to become Divider-in-Chief of the United States.

Having said that, I was tempted. Good people, familiar culture, progressive prime minister, non-militant, universal health care that works, good educational system, bilingualism accepted, poutine and they call their indigenous peoples First Nations.

As the outcome of the presidential elections became more and more clear last Nov. 8, Canada's immigration website crashed repeatedly as Donald Trump inched closer to his U.S. election victory - and thousands of Americans vowed to move across the border.

The official website, which contains information on how to emigrate and obtain citizenship, began experiencing a series of outages early in the evening of the U.S. election night, Nov. 8 - presumably because of a high volume of traffic.

Those people trying to access the 'Citizenship and Immigration Canada' page reported seeing long loading pages or no access to the website at all with messages of internal server errors.

There wasn't a day that went by without someone asking us if we were going to move there because of the elections. The Canadians I met were all sympathetic and a few even tried to convince us that it wouldn't be such a bad move. 

One joked that we should immigrate soon because Canada was gong to build a 9,000-mile wall on their border with the U.S.

Immigration to Canada is not easy, but they encourage immigrants for their wide open spaces and the skill sets that they bring.

Consider this:
  • Hong Kong is Asia’s most Canadian city with a Canadian diaspora community of more than 300 000
  • Vancouver is the world’s most Asian city outside of Asia
  • Immigrants from India, China and the Philippines are settling in places like Edmonton, Regina and Halifax in ever greater numbers while cities like Toronto and Vancouver have deep Asian connections
  • 76 percent of Canadian overseas schools are in the Asia Pacific region 
  • 46.5 percent of immigrants to Canada come from the Asia Pacific region (2009 statistics), the highest numbers from any region. Asia Pacific countries continue to dominate international student flows to Canada. China alone sent nearly 50 000 students to study in Canada in 2009
Will I stay, or will I go? Come back to Views From the Edge for the answer.