2.21.2016

u.s. election circus puts wmtc in the news again

About a month ago, I received an email from a film producer: Netflix is making a documentary about Americans who moved to Canada for political reasons, and asked if Allan and I would be interviewed. We spent a long time chatting with her, before being told that the film is being shot in Vancouver and we're not in it. Oh well.

A few days later, a writer called about a story for The Guardian, asking much the same questions. That interview resulted in this article: 'An alternative exists': the US citizens who vowed to flee to Canada – and did. This writer didn't use much of my interview, but I did get the last word!

Then someone at The Toronto Star noticed the Guardian story and did a long interview with me. That story came out yesterday: Disenchanted U.S. voters look with longing eyes to Canada, but few follow through.

The editors scrapped most of what I said about the differences between Canada and the U.S. I even gave them the bullet-point version: universal health care, didn't invade Iraq, no death penalty, no abortion law, one of the first countries to legalize same-sex marriage, a party to the left of liberal. A functioning democracy. A more secular society. On the other hand, no one mentioned Stephen Harper, so that was nice.

Funny thing about that Guardian story. The man in the photo is someone I used to work and hang with in the War Resisters Support Campaign. And we met through - wait for it - a radio interview about Americans who had moved to Canada for political reasons.

The Star article includes a link to this blog, so I figured I should write something.

1 comment:

Charles Aulds said...

There has certainly been a change in attitudes toward Americans who left the country rather than be (if only silently) complicit in something they felt is morally indefensible.

I love the reasons you gave, in the Star article, "We were tired of being so angry and frustrated and out of step for so long." Simple.

We immigrated to New Brunswick in October 2005. Our own reasons are very much the same, and just as simple ... we no longer felt part of the tribe. Strangers, suddenly, in a community in which we'd lived for 15 years, in which we built two houses, and had a child. I often say that moving to Canada was, for me, an antidote to a feeling of helplessness that I could no longer endure.

I have not met refugees from America's recent wars, but I have met refugeess, older than myself, who came here during Vietnam and stayed. They are great Canadians and, I believe, exhibit the best of Americans. And that's what I aspire to be, during what remains of my own life.