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It's Not Me, Right?

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A “Just in Case” Guide to Relocating in Canada

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-9-03-58-pmYou might think this is overreaction. I see it as being prepared. Much like washing down a Xanax with a glass of wine before a Presidential debate.

I think we’ve all had to swallow our “that couldn’t happen” words too many times not to see planning for the impossible as prudent.

Think aboot it. (That’s right; start working vocabulary and accent into your speech as soon as possible.)  Just make some initial considerations.

Are you a city person? Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver are options.

Francophile? Montreal.screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-9-05-35-pm

Do you speak Chinese? You’ll love Vancouver.

Drink tea in the afternoon? Nova Scotia might be for you.

Have lots of Frye boots? Calgary.

Personally I’ve settled on Knowlton, a small village an hour east of Montreal. It’s charming, with an Auberge in the center of town, and a Farmer’s Market’s on weekends. There’s even a lavender farm nestled among the vineyards just outside the village. Lots of wildlife. Including bear and my favorite, the Canadian moose.  What better way to start the day than to a moose call. If you can’t laugh at that, there’s no hope.  Seriously. I may make this my wake up alarm on my phone.


screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-9-10-55-pmAnd being a French speaking region, I’ll be able to avoid English news since I won’t want to hear who’s being rounded up what’s going on in “Merika.”

No, I don’t speak French, but I have French-speaking friends in Knowlton. I figure I’ll follow them around at the grocery store and eat at home while working on basic vocabulary.  Until then I’m working on how to say, “I’ll have what she’s having.” (Je vais avoir ce quell ayant.)  That seems safer than winging it on my own.  I tried that in a Parisian restaurant once and got a plate of pickles, to the delight of my smug waiter.

Once you have a destination in mind, you need to contact the Canadian immigration office. (It’s Canada, for God’s sake, they’ll let anybody in.) The rules for eligibility are given at

It says at the website that it will take 10-15 minutes to complete the form to determine eligibility. Seriously.  You can’t fill out a form to get your car detailed in 10-15 minutes in the U.S.!screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-9-06-57-pm

Then Canada, bless them, has something called Express Entry in case staying in the U.S. post January becomes either unpalatable overnight, or in some cases, maybe not “safe.”

But with the influx to Canada that could be happening, better to get yourself to the front of the line. Pepper your application with statements aboot how much you love hockey, that your wrote a cookbook of different ways to use maple syrup, drink only Tim Horton coffee and Molson beer, have seen Celine Dion in Vegas on multiple occasions, and that you are anxious to pay more taxes to get free health care.  Speaking of taxes, don’t worry about having to tax in both the U.S. and Canada.  If you’re living in Canada that means it will be considered “smart” not to pay any taxes in the U.S.!

It’s probably wise to leave out snarky opinions on Justin Bieber in your application, though saying that Justin Trudeau is hot can’t hurt. And it happens to be true!

By the way, Justin Trudeau doubts that the 28% of Americans who say they’re moving if you-know-who wins will actually do it.  That’s 86.8 MILLION Americans with severe PTSD. Be very afraid Justin….it’s real. Canadian writer Margaret Atwood was prescient when she wrote Handmaid’s Tale in 1985.  It just turned out not to be an environmental crisis precipitating dystopia in the U.S. and driving fleeing Americans north, but rather bigotry and stupidity.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-9-07-52-pmIt’s likely there will be an in-person interview as part of the process.  The key there will be to finish your sentences with “eh.” For example: “Nice weather you’re having, eh?” ” I can’t wait to eat Poutin, eh!” (Helpful hint: You will likely be told by “real” Canadians how great Poutine is. Smile but shy away. It’s French fries topped with tasteless cheese curds and brown gravy. It’s regularly featured on Diner’s, Drive-Ins and Dives, and it’s obvious Guy Fieri is choking it down.)

And finally, learn the words to O’Canada. Here’s a helpful YouTube, with lyrics. Get started.


6 thoughts on “A “Just in Case” Guide to Relocating in Canada”

  1. Cathy Shepherd says:

    Love it
    ! I will be with you!

  2. mike & debbie says:

    Your cousin wants to know if you would like to get a bigger place and have a couple room mates

    1. Joan says:

      We pool our money and get a farm…it’ll be Netflix and organic food for eight years while “Merika” goes crazy.

  3. Maggie says:

    Brilliant, and so timely.

  4. Erin says:

    so true. see you there, joan!

  5. Linda Bemis says:

    Toronto – I have connections!

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