Whenever national politics fail to suit a disgruntled citizen, they may quip, “That’s it, I’m moving to Canada.” This claim is rarely a serious threat, but it still remains a popular one as Americans look to the Great White North to solve their political woes. Besides this being silly and exaggerated, the sentiment is also ignorant and reveals several issues claimants may not know.
In this scenario, Canada is framed as “America #2,” or a backup location for when we fail to make America great again. The United States shares a friendly history with its northern neighbor; the two countries share a similar language, government and the National Hockey League, but Canada is still its own sovereign nation and not for Americans to claim.
Canada has a stricter immigration policy than the United States. This does not mean the key to Canada’s success is to shun immigration—far from it. Just like the United States, Canada has built much of its success thanks to the spirit of hardworking immigrants. However, in the minds of potential expats, the border is waiting with open arms to accept Americans seeking asylum. However, in reality, Canadians can do without the entitled additions.
The belief one can only reap the benefits of a civil society by leaving their nation misses the importance of what makes our society like this exist in the first place.
Policies and civics do not appear out of thin air within arbitrary geographical divisions. The basis of our society originates in the people, the representatives we elect, the values we prioritize and the battles we fight.
Canada remains attractive for its universal healthcare, better education system, natural beauty and seemingly more sane politics. However, these were things Canadians fought for in their history as a country: battles which are still being fought in America by dedicated individuals that can bear the same success we attribute to Canada from here at home.
Despite grave issues demanding attention in this country, we do not live in the midst of a civil war like Syria, or experience overwhelming threat of violence and widespread corruption, such as Central America. Even with current conditions in said nations, our borders clam up when it comes to welcoming refugees and immigrants from those places. This is ironic in the fact that is something Americans would demand Canada not do when we end up on the other side of immigration, leaving our country for what we believe to be a better option.
Canada is not without its own problems. Similar to the United States, Canada has a bloody history with First Nation peoples, especially with women and children.
Despite appearing as a very progressive and endearing head of government, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau enables injustices domestically and abroad. Trudeau has sold weapons to Saudi Arabia and the Philippines in their destruction of Yemen and their own people. Trudeau’s agenda further harms the environment with the authorization of oil and natural gas pipelines. However, it is easy to forget these charges when he appears at pride parades and insists on the use of the term “peoplekind.”
Americans should fight for the country and ideals they want here at home, because not everyone has the luxury to just up and leave. Running from our societal issues instead of staying to confront them is indicating privilege and selfishness. We should organize and fight for a better United States, ourselves and the most vulnerable. Frustrated citizens have plenty of ways to contribute to a greater tomorrow that would be more helpful than moving to Canada.