Google searches for “how do I move to Canada” spiked in the UK following the Brexit vote, in inverse correlation to the value of the pound. Trump has already begun challenging his critics to make the move, perhaps anticipating the gulags (fabulous gulags, the best gulags) he will establish in our frozen north.
Though frequently cited as an empty threat, it’s not unreasonable for Brits and Yanks anticipating a future transatlantic summit between God-Emperors Trump and Farage to contemplate a move to Canada. Many have come before.
Our first wave of disgruntled immigrants crossed the Bering Land Bridge into North America some 40,000 years ago, although history doesn’t record the identity of the neanderthal real estate tycoon they were fleeing. Their First Nations ancestors were later displaced by Americans, loyal to the British crown, who fled the Revolutionary War. During the 19th century, somewhere between 30,000 and 100,000 escaped slaves made their way to Canada on the Underground Railroad.
In the early 1900s they were followed in turn by the Doukhobors, a pacifist Russian sect who fled oppression in their homeland and resettled in the prairies of western Canada. Upon experiencing the reality of life in the prairies of western Canada, the Doukhobors regretted their decision, and devised a plan to return to Russia: they would force the Canadian government to repatriate them by stripping naked and setting fire to their own houses. Canadians are a patient people, but only to a point. The most devout of the Doukhoubors now live in Azerbaijan.
Where should Trump-Travellers live in Canada nowadays? Here are two cities compared.
Canada’s only beautiful city has already been rendered unaffordable by the same borderless capital flows whose panicked stampedes are about to devastate London. Suitable for aspirational fregan employees of weed dispensaries and 17-year-old Lamborghini-driving daughters of Chinese Communist Party officials.
Canada’s largest city is now best-known for the antics of its late mayor, beloved domestic abuser and crack addict Rob Ford. His brief reign so ashamed Torontonians that they promptly elected a man so boring that his name is actually “John Tory”, and whose soporific public persona might be particularly reassuring to Trump/Johnson refugees.
As for those of us already here, I think I’m safe in saying that we are conflicted by Canada’s status as a refuge for the politically dissatisfied. On one hand, we would prefer that control of the US and UK governments not fall into the hands of populist demagogues. On the other, periodic influxes of liberals are an electoral bulwark against their rise in our own country. On behalf of Canada, let me assure you that you’re welcome here, but politely suggest that you consider standing and fighting.
- From Monday 4 July, Guardian Cities is devoting a week to exploring all things Canada. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and join the discussion
All of the above is taken from a very interesting and very well written article in The Guardian newspaper web site. You may read the complete article here.