You probably remember a few months back, just before Donald Trump had won the presidency, when a website was launched encouraging Americans to move to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
The story was picked up around the world, and, at the time, many people considered the idea to (mostly) be a joke. A well-needed laugh when many US citizens were feeling uneasy about the lead-up and aftermath of November 8, 2016.
When one of the largest newspapers in the US gives an idea serious front page consideration in its Sunday edition (both print and digital), that idea can no longer be considered a joke, let alone a fringe concept.
Yesterday, the Washington Post devoted some 3,500 words to Cape Breton in an article entitled Americans Adrift, under which title is posed the question: “Can a remote island in Canada become a safe harbor for those who want to flee Donald Trump?”
As reported by the Post, owner of the website Cape Breton if Donald Trump Wins, Radio DJ Rob Calabrese, has now received roughly 5,000 inquiries from Americans potentially looking to leave the US.
The article highlights one American couple in particular, Jimmy Gantenbein and Cathleen McEwen, who wrote an email to Calabrese that began, “Looking to immigrate to Cape Breton area from Colorado. I am a skilled paralegal and my wife is an attorney.”
The two are looking into selling their house in Loveland, CO (50 miles north of Denver) and are considering several different countries to move to, including Panama, Belize, Costa Rica and Canada.
The story also dives into available real estate on Cape Breton ($200,000 CDN will go a long way), the high unemployment rate (15.5% last year), as well as the continuing problem of people leaving the island. (According to the Post, 1,000 people leave Cape Breton for larger cities every year.) Indeed, Calabrese originally started his website in part as a way simply to draw attention to Cape Breton and to get people to consider moving there.
A recently landed Syrian family is also profiled, shedding light on the harsh realities of living in rural Nova Scotia as a foreigner – struggling with language barriers and the inability to find work.
Overall, the article neither flames the Cape Breton fires nor suggests it would be a wasted experience. Rather, it simply presents the island for what it is – a beautiful Canadian landscape with its own unique set of problems.
In this case, however, not one of those problems happens to be having Donald Trump as its president.
A fact so singular, many people looking to leave the US for Nova Scotia would happily say that alone is worth taking on all the others issues they might find there.
You can read the Washington Post’s full article here.