…But It Doesn’t Necessarily Mean A November Exodus Into The Great White North
Back in March, Google saw a more than 1,000 percent spike in searches for “How to move to Canada” in the hours after Donald Trump won primaries in seven states on Super Tuesday. RT reported that 1 in 4 Americans consider fleeing the US if Trump won the presidency. Ipsos conducted a survey for Global News that suggested 19% of Americans would move to Canada if Trump won. The Globe & Mail reported a significant surge of calls to immigration lawyers in Canada back in March. Rudolf Kischer, an Immigration lawyer in Vancouver, said his firm typically gets a call or two per day from Americans looking to move to Canada, but back in March, that number took a significant jump. Spotify introduced a “Moving To Canada” playlist. Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama even seemed to have an inside joke about this. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia even set up a web site for those that want to live on the island in the event of a Trump Presidency.
This isn’t new. Comical -yes. But not new.
Every election cycle in the U.S. seems to inspire similar sentiment, but it does highlight something interesting. Americans clearly consider Canadian residency and citizenship a bit of a back up plan if things go south (no pun intended).
A look at official immigration statistics shows there is little evidence of any post-election spikes, whether the winner was named Obama, Bush, Reagan or Clinton.
For the last 15 years, 6000 to 15,000 Americans make the decision to move to Canada. Some are attracted by economic opportunity, others are sponsored by a spouse or partner, while many other Americans come to work or study in Canada on a temporary basis.
A recent study by LinkedIn analyzed where 25,000 of its American members who had four-year degrees and job experience in their home countries chose to work and live internationally. Since Jan. 1, 2010, the third-most popular, long-term destination for American expatriates has been Toronto, behind only London and Sydney. More of those American LinkedIn members have chosen to live and work in Toronto than Paris, Shanghai, Madrid, Tokyo, Beijing, Melbourne and Amsterdam, which round out the top 10, respectively.
Canada’s reputation precedes itself. A 2015 study by The Economist named Toronto as the world’s best city to live in, and 2016’s rankings put Vancouver in third spot, followed directly by Toronto and Calgary. There are currently 250,535 individuals born in the United States in Canada — just under 1% per cent of the total population.
Coincidentally, back in February of this year, the Liberal government proposed new amendments to the Citizenship Act that would make it quicker to obtain citizenship or landed residency. Were they anticipating a mass exodus out of America, post election? No. These changes were already part of their agenda and were focused more on facilitating the introduction of Syrian refugees into the country. Both presidential candidates squared off in their first debate about a week ago. Judging by how that went, we’ll hopefully have nothing to worry about.