Unhappy Democrats Need to Wait to Get Into Canada
Wed Nov 3, 2004 01:16 PM ET
By David Ljunggren
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Disgruntled Democrats seeking a safe Canadian haven after President Bush won Tuesday's election should not pack their bags just yet.
Canadian officials made clear on Wednesday that any U.S. citizens so fed up with Bush that they want to make a fresh start up north would have to stand in line like any other would-be immigrants -- a wait that can take up to a year.
"You just can't come into Canada and say 'I'm going to stay here'. In other words, there has to be an application. There has to be a reason why the person is coming to Canada," said immigration ministry spokeswoman Maria Iadinardi.
There are anywhere from 600,000 to a million Americans living in Canada, a country that leans more to the left than the United States and has traditionally favored the Democrats over the Republicans.
But recent statistics show a gradual decline in U.S. citizens coming to work in Canada, which has a creaking publicly funded healthcare system and relatively high levels of personal taxation.
Government officials, real estate brokers and Democrat activists said that while some Americans might talk about a move to Canada rather than living with a new Bush administration, they did not expect a mass influx.
"It's one thing to say 'I'm leaving for Canada' and quite another to actually find a job here and wonder about where you're going to live and where the children are going to go to school," said one government official.
Sorry guys... nothing but bad news for you guys today.