"Listen" Suggestions

It's a new year, and the recent US election seems like old news, except that it isn't--the ramifications grow bigger every day. 

One recent "end of the year" highlight for Canada's news outlets was that the night of the election, searches in the US for "how to move to Canada" apparently spiked. (Note that the site linked isn't the official Government of Canada site, which has updated instructions and laws.) 

So, Americans, here's something to know: Canadians love being the place where Americans move. Sorta. One thing don't love is that Americans assume it'll be easy.  

I heard it expressed best this past summer by Jeff McArthur, a host on one of the morning news shows. I can't find the exact quote, but this is close: "Canada isn't like Disneyland. You can't just show up and pay an admission fee and expect to get in."

Yeah. Maybe think a moment--what is it you have to offer Canada? Canadians are fluent in American culture. What do you know about Canada. Really KNOW? 

Beyond that, many of your neighbors and friends in the US have pointed out that "moving to Canada" is an expression of your privilege. How many of them could use allies? Are you really going to desert them? Maybe think about that, too.

And Canadians, here's food for your listening (reading) pleasure, because what I've noticed up here (sorry) is a bit of your tendency to smugness. (Again, sorry to offend, but you know it's true.)

Don't think it's only American culture that can regress overnight. Here's Sarah Boon, who expounds on that point (and others relating to science, women, mental health, nature) extremely well in this post. I keep trying to excerpt something but it's all so good, and she includes many links with further food for thought.

Basically, she says this: Don't think Canada has--or ever had--progressive society "all figured out." Regression to an even more exclusionary, discriminatory, misogynistic, xenophobic, anti-science world can happen in Canada, too--and in some areas, more easily than in the US. 

While I'm at it, I recommend her blog, Watershed Moments: Thoughts from the Hydrosphere. She's a scientist (snow and ice hydrology), and a thoughtful one. And a good, interesting writer. 

Happy 2017. We have our work cut out for us, on both sides of the border.