Every time election season rolls around, people declare that they’ll move to Canada if a certain candidate gets elected, but, this year, the prospect of Donald Trump becoming leader of the free world seems to be filling voters with a special brand of terror. Luckily for those who would prefer the Great White North to a Trump presidency, a Canadian island has volunteered to take U.S. refugees if Trump is elected. The friendly island is Cape Breton, located off the eastern coast of Canada; part of Nova Scotia, it’s about the size of Hawaii’s Big Island, with a population of about 135 thousand. A new website, called “Cape Breton If Donald Trump Wins,” is offering a big welcome to Americans who, in the wake of a Trump victory, “decide to get the hell out of there.”
Created by Cape Breton radio announcer Rob Calabrese, the website enumerates why immigration to Cape Breton is a win-win for both Americans and the island: In moving to Cape Breton, Americans would get to live in a place “where women can get abortions, Muslim people can roam freely, and the only ‘walls’ are holding up the roofs of our extremely affordable houses.” And if that weren’t enough, the island also boasts an environment “where health care is free, you know your neighbours and they look out for you, and nobody has a hand gun!” In return, Cape Breton gets a boost to its economy and dwindling population.
The website is clearly tongue-in-cheek, but, since going viral, it’s actually done a lot to boost Cape Breton’s profile. Mary Tulle, CEO of Destination Cape Breton, the island’s tourism organization, reported to the National Post that the organization’s website has received almost 12 thousand visits this week, up from only 1,300 this time last year. Calabrese said that, despite the joke behind “Cape Breton If Donald Trump Wins,” he’s received hundreds of serious emails from Americans interested in Cape Breton. “It’s mostly having to do with wanting to get to a lifestyle that a place like Cape Breton has to offer —rural, good neighbours, rich culture, safety, peace, all of those things,” he explained. He added that the island “has a lifestyle and a culture and a way of life that is appealing to millions of people, if they just knew where we were.”
A perusal of the “Cape Breton If Donald Trump Wins” website — depicting an island with a diverse culture, extremely affordable housing, and warm summers — shows that the move might not be as crazy as it sounds. After all, who would choose this: