I think this is great..... (I wouldn't want to move, but I applaud people
who go where their hearts are).
Some discontented Americans eyeing Canada
By DAVID CRARY
Sat, July 19, 2003http://Cnews.Canoe.Ca/CNEWS/World/2003/07/19/140533-ap.html
NEW YORK (AP) -- For all they share economically and culturally, Canada and
the United States are increasingly at odds on basic social policies - to the
point that at least a few discontented Americans are planning to move north
and try their neighbours' way of life. For decades, even while nurturing
close ties with the United States, Canadians have often chosen a different
path - establishing universal health care, maintaining ties with Cuba,
imposing tough gun-control laws. Two current Canadian initiatives, to
decriminalize marijuana and legalize same-sex marriage, have pleased many
liberals in the United States and irked conservatives.
Although many gay U.S. couples are now marrying in Canada, virtually all
return home, hoping court rulings will lead to official recognition of their
unions. During the Vietnam War, U.S. emigration to Canada surged as
thousands of young men, often accompanied by wives or girlfriends, moved to
avoid the draft. But every year since 1977, more Canadians have emigrated to
the United States than vice versa - the 2001 figures were 5,894 Americans
moving north, 30,203 Canadians moving south.
A husband and wife in Minnesota, a college student in Georgia, a young
executive in New York. Although each has distinct motives for packing up,
they agree the United States is growing too conservative and believe Canada
offers a more inclusive, less selfish society. "For me, it's a no-brainer,"
said Mollie Ingebrand, a puppeteer from Minneapolis who plans to go to
Vancouver with her lawyer husband and two-year-old son. "It's the most
amazing opportunity I can imagine. To live in a society where there are
different priorities in caring for your fellow citizens."
New York executive Daniel Hanley, 31, was arranging a move for himself and
his partner, Tony, long before the Canadian announcement about same-sex
marriage. But the timing delights him; he and Tony now hope to marry in
front of their families after they emigrate to British Columbia. "Canada has
an opportunity to define itself as a leader," Hanley said. "In some ways,
it's now closer to American ideals than America is."
Tony - a Southeast Asian - is not a U.S. citizen. The men worried that Tony
could be forced to leave the United States after his student visa expires in
two years: they were elated when Canada's immigration agency said they could
move there as partners. Hanley, who works for a Fortune 500 company in
Manhattan, doesn't know how the move will affect his career. "It's a
challenge, it's scary," he said. "We'll have to drop everything we know
here, go up there and figure it out."
Rene Mercier, spokesman for Canada's immigration department, said any
upsurge in U.S.-to-Canada immigration based on current political
developments won't be detectable for a few years because of the time
required to process residency applications.
Thomas Hodges, a computer systems major at Georgia State University, said
his dismay with American politics started him thinking last year about going
abroad. He recently wrote an article in a campus journal entitled, Why I Am
Moving To Canada. "I'm thinking about Toronto, though I hear it's cold up
there," Hodges, a lifelong southerner, said in a telephone interview.
Hodges, 21, complained about a "neo-conservative shift" in the United States
and praised Canada's approach to health care and education. "The U.S.
educational system is unfair - you have to live in certain areas to go to
good schools," he said. At Georgia State, Hodges said some conservative
schoolmates have challenged his proposed move to Canada, saying he would be
abandoning his homeland.
Mollie Ingebrand, 34, said she has felt an affinity for Canada for many
years, fuelled partly by respect for its health-care system. Her doubts
about the United States go back even further, to a childhood spent with
liberal parents in a relatively conservative part of Ohio. "In school, I was
always told this is the best country on Earth, and everyone else wants to be
American, and that never really rang true to me," she said. "As I got older,
it occurred to me there were other choices."
Her husband, George, 44, has spent little time in Canada, but said it seems
to offer a more relaxed, less competitive way of life. He has no qualms
about leaving his law practice and selling the family's upscale home in
Minneapolis. "I don't idealize Canada the way my wife does, but I'm ready
for an adventure," he said. "I don't know what I'm going to be facing.
That's what I'm revelling in."
The Ingebrands have completed the first batch of paperwork to apply for
Canadian residency, hoping their talents and finances compensate for lack of
specific job offers. As Minnesotans, they look forward to Vancouver's wet
but mild climate: "Green all year, no mosquitoes," Mollie contended. [She]
says some of her friends - people who share her left-of-centre views - argue
that she should stay at home to battle for changes here. "I've been there
and done that," Molly said. "I don't want to stay and fight anymore. I can
have that bittersweet love for my country from somewhere else."