Am I leaving to do abortion-access activism in Canada? People have asked if I'm moving to Canada in order to begin a Canadian outpost of the Haven Coalition. Alas, I can only wish I was so dedicated to any movement, that I would uproot my life for the cause.
That said, if the election goes the wrong way and the religious right continues their takeover of American laws, it's conceivable that Haven's work could become illegal. We are fond of calling Haven an underground railroad of sorts, which it is. But Haven could, theoretically, become a real underground railroad, illegally smuggling women into Canada for abortions, just as British women have done for their Irish sisters for decades. Whether or not it would... who knows. Let's do everything in our power to make sure we never have to find out.
Right now, Haven does serve some Canadian women. In a concession to the Catholic Church, the province of Quebec (which has separate laws from the rest of Canada) has stricter abortion laws, and second trimester patients do sometimes come to NYC for procedures. Their national health insurance pays for the procedure, as well as travel expenses. One of the clinics we work with serves some of them, and we are sometimes called to help.
Other than that, Canadian women have no need for a Haven-type organization, thanks to their enlightened health care system.
Am I going to do other activism in Canada? I've been thinking I might work with teenagers again. For many years, I volunteered at an amazing youth center here in New York. I loved it, and I miss it in many ways. Eventually I might look into some youth volunteering up there.
How are the rents in Toronto? Canadians seem to think they're outrageous, but compared to New York City, they look good. And as much as rents might be escalating, you get more for your money: utilities are included and parking is a small monthly fee. I don't think we'll have any trouble finding an really nice apartment that we can afford.
Why am I writing this blog? What can I tell you? Try going to the first entry, that might answer your questions. If it doesn't, leave a comment, I'll expound!
Will our dogs need to be quarantined? Nope. If that was required, we couldn't go, because my Buster boy can't be kennelled. All we need is proof of rabies vaccine.
Will I root for the Toronto Blue Jays? No.
Will I root for the Toronto Maple Leafs? Sure, why not. I have no hockey allegiances, I might as well take up the home team. Allan and I could even cheer for the same team. What would that be like?
Will I become a Canadian citizen? I don't know. I wasn't intending to, but then again, I'll be living in a country in which I can't vote. That's not going to feel very good! (Especially since they have an actual, viable progressive party there!) So I might eventually apply for joint citizenship. We'll be eligible to apply for citizenship after we have had Permanent Resident status for three years. Maybe we will. I feel like I can't make that decision now, and don't have to.
When are we moving? I don't know. I explained the some of the immigration process here. We have no way of knowing when our applications will come up for assessment. Maybe February? March? Later? The assessment process could take a few months, then we have to actually get an apartment and move. So... next summer? Earlier? Later? We just have to prepare ourselves as best we can, and be flexible.
Do I think the Yankees will win the World Series this year? No, I do not. But baseball is a funny game. One should never predict with too much certainty.