The Tomato

The definitive guide to acute election-induced American immigration. Photo: CC, James Whatley. Edits: Jaclyn McRae-Sadik.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

After what feels like literally forever, the American election will finally take place on Nov. 8.

Whether it’s what you’re expecting or not, you know one thing for sure—lots of Americans will be moving to Canada in the wake of Tuesday’s election. There’s just no way those were empty threats, they’re definitely going to do it and you need to be ready.

So, to help with this big transitional period, here’s the Tomato’s guide to dealing with the sudden massive influx of American immigrants:

  • Don’t panic: The newcomers may be American, but it doesn’t mean they share our values of peace and the common good. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has promised to put incoming immigrants through a values test so as to prevent anyone with ridiculous political views from getting into the country. Therefore, you can be assured that accepted immigrants will be as Canadian as maple syrup.
  • Be patient if they ask questions: When immigrating to another country, it’s understandable that some people may not know all of the places and terms associated with it (even if said country is just above them). After all, you can’t expect non-Canadians to know what Smarties or BeaverTails are right off the bat, or what the nation’s real capital is—hint: it’s not Toronto! So keep cool and smile whenever someone asks you what kind of shop Tim Hortons is
  • Don’t rub the election in: Yes, we all know that this year’s presidential race featured two of the most unpopular candidates in American history. However, that doesn’t mean we have to rub their noses in it every chance we get. Be mindful of this touchy subject, since it is the reason they came here in the first place. It’s only polite and Canadian to do so.
  • Provide free French lessons: This tip is crucial, especially when immigrants are settling in places like Ottawa or Québec. As any sensible person knows, not being able to speak or understand the language of one’s new home is rather frustrating. Thus, it will always pay to respond to inquiries of “What does that word ‘rue’ that I keep seeing on the street signs mean? I already rue the day the election took place.” Americans have come here for better job opportunities, so there’s no need to create another source of disenfranchisement for them.
  • Take heart in reduced border traffic: With all of the flow coming from the south instead of the north, the prospects for cross-border shopping have never been brighter. Coupled with the fact that fewer Canadians will be inclined to travel to such a chaotic country, shopping and leisure trips to the U.S. will be made much easier. If our cities and towns are getting a bit crowded with newcomers, then rest assured you can take a quick, traffic-free escape across the border.

If you follow these five tips, I promise that you will be able to cope. If we just lift our heads up and follow in Prime Minister Trudeau’s motto of “sunny ways,” then we and our new compatriots will be just fine.