But for everyone else -- and I really apologize for how harsh this is going to be -- Canada is not your fucking safety school. If you drive across the border, there will not be a career magically waiting for you in the middle of an economic downturn. If you're a middle-class white guy and your first instinct is to abandon your country when you experience a setback, I'm not sure how you expect to ace a job interview here. "I was sad about my country so I decided to fall back on yours" is not a good answer to "What attracted you to this position?"
I spent a lot of time on social media during election night, because it was a great excuse to not work, and two things stuck out to me. I saw lots of Americans asking themselves how they could have gotten so out of touch with the world, and then several of my American friends with a history of making exhaustingly cliched maple syrup and igloo jokes asked me how my government worked. Because up until then, they had no clue and no interest. That's not an approach to life that helps you settle down in a new country -- it's the approach that got you into trouble in the country you're in now.
I also saw lots of comments about how dreamy the prime minister whom I and 60.5 percent of my fellow electorate didn't vote for is. Because clearly, if there's one salient thing you need to know about a country's leader, it's whether or not they're fuckable. A nationality is not a sports team; you can't just buy a hat and hop on the bandwagon. Canada recently welcomed over 33,000 people fleeing a brutal civil war. If you're not also fleeing hatred, you're going to have to do better than "I lost a fair and democratic election, even though I Tweeted a few zingers about it, so I'm crashing at your place. You guys have a king or whatever, right? Can I have a job? Or do I have to learn the rules of hockey first, eh?"
Canada is not a Shangri-La where all of your problems will be solved. Don't get me wrong, I love my country. I wrote this entire column while getting a free MRI, just because I could. But a politician currently running for a leadership position is praising Trump, we treat our Aboriginal people with horrifying indifference, and Quebec is currently struggling with Islamophobia. I live in a province that recently elected a progressive female leader, but awful attitudes toward women did not suddenly vanish overnight. Vancouver, which Lena Dunham said she'd flee to, is currently experiencing record housing prices, thanks to foreign buyers like Dunham who love its idyllic climate, as well as record homelessness, thanks to owners of expensive houses who think homeless people are an inconvenient eyesore blighting the idyllic climate.