Ah, election season. Donald Trump and the GOP are running across the country like animals unleashed from a burning barn. Democrats are feeling the Bern and/or walking with Hill, throwing punches at one-another every chance they get. Things are chaotic, confusing, and slightly concerning.
And, as he sweeps primary and caucus after primary and caucus, Trump is making a lot of people think twice. Could we end up with Donald Drumpf leading our country for the next four or eight years? Some people think yes!
And what do Americans do when they get scared of a potential future leader? They threaten to move to Canada!
This year, Google announced that they had seen the highest hike in history of Google searches pertaining to moving to Canada. Perhaps you were one or two of these searches. Well, if you are planning on heading north in case of emergency, we've gathered some important information on Canada, its climates, and its culture. You should probably read this, and then a lot more.
Happy Travels! Pack a fur coat.
It's true! Healthcare is almost 100% free in Canada. But here's the thing: how good and convenient it is depends on where you live. Finding a family physician may be tough, depending on supply and demand and where you lay your head. Also, don't expect immediate attention for elective, non-urgent surgery. You could wait weeks or months (some say even years) for something of that nature. Don't be worried, though. If you need urgent medical attention, you'll be seen immediately, and taken care of quite well.
Oui Oui! Canada has two official languages, future traveler. French and English. You'll see both of them almost everywhere. Many jobs have bi-lingual requirements. So grab your Muzzy CDs and get crackin'.
Guns Are Legal, But Keep Them At Home
Yes, guns are legal in Canada. Though, chances are, if you're a gun lover, then you'll be happily staying back in the United States if and when Voldemort takes over. For the rest of us, guns are legal, but open carry is a big no-no. Most Canadians are not looking for more gun rights, either. For them, guns are a hunting tool, and that's it. So keep it locked up, or just don't bring one in the first place.
Patriotism Is NOT A Contact Sport
Canadians love their country, but you won't catch them screaming about it. There are no "USA! USA!" chant-equivalents up there. So don't go around wearing a huge maple leaf unless you want everyone to know you're one of those American refugees. (A small maple leaf pin, however, is more than welcome). And don't go waving your red, white and blue either. That would just be rude.
No Bragging, Please
Canadians are practically allergic to bragging. It is seen as unattractive and classless. If you need to talk about how great you are, then they will assume there is nothing actually great about you. Take heed!
It's Really Freaking Cold
The rumors are true, reader. Canada is really, really, really, really cold. You think you know cold? Wait 'til you receive the first full-force face slap of a true Canadian winter. They call it a Canadian winter because it's basically almost always winter in Canada, except during actual winter, where it's even more wintry. Bundle up. Plan to burrow inside of some animal you killed in the woods. Expect to set lots of fires. Yes, they have been experiencing heat waves as of late, and the Western reaches of the country can be warmer and wetter... but it's still going to be colder than you're most likely used to.
Learn The Metric System
No feet or inches or pounds or ounces here! Get started on figuring out meters, kilometers, millimeters, and all of those other things you most likely don't currently understand. Also: this is how the rest of the world also measures stuff. Be slightly ashamed. Now get it together.
Taxes Are Higher
What? Did you think that basically free healthcare was actually totally free? No. Not quite. Taxes are a bit higher than they probably are for you in America because you are helping to ensure that every Canadian citizen has access to free, high-quality healthcare. Feeling selfish and sore about it? Feel free to stay back in America, pal.
College Tuition Is Cheaper!
Still bitter about those higher taxes? Well, if you've got a kid or two, you're in luck! Those taxes also go towards giving Canadian's younger citizens affordable college tuitions. Ka-ching!
Better Work-Life Balance
You won't be taking a siesta at noon every day, but you won't find yourself burning the midnight oil, either. Even cooler than that? More vacations and days off! Two more holidays you've never (or most likely never) heard of, just as an example: Family Day and Queen Victoria's Birthday. Enjoy!
Strong Arts Support
Canada takes good care of their artists. In fact, to keep Canadian culture alive in a world full of incoming media from other places, Canada strictly ensures that Canadian talent be used in journalism, music, and film. The government also offers a plethora of grants via its Canada Council.
They Don't Hate Their Government... At Least Out Loud
Canadians probably think we are absolutely nuts when they turn on their televisions and see rallies full of Americans screaming and complaining about how the strongest, richest country in the world is going directly to hell. Why? Because in Canada, they like their government. It gives them free healthcare, cheap schools, support for their art, and is generally agreeable. Some might even say that Canadians have developed a sort of malaise in regards to leadership. They pay it lots of tax money, it gives them stuff to make their lives better. Will this change with the election of the international political stage's newest heartthrob Justin Trudeau? Perhaps you'll be able to see first hand if and when you move there after this November.
(H/T: Salon, Vox, Alternet)