Yes, We Canada : Republicans Consider Move North

Yes, we Canada: Republicans consider move North

By Charmaine Noronha
The Associated Press, November 13, 2008

As a John McCain supporter, Assaf says he is fed up with the direction of U.S. politics. He feels his only real option is to make the move North that so many Americans joke about when things dont go their way.

'I am so disappointed that my fellow citizens have looked past the lack of (President-elect Obamas) relevant experience and poor judgment and have treated something so important and sacred like it was American Idol,' said Assaf, 26, of Brooklyn, N.Y. 'At least I know what I am getting with (Canadas Conservative Prime Minister) Stephen Harper.'

In the days after the election, Canadas Citizenship and Immigrations Web site traffic went to the high end of its normal range, said spokeswoman Karen Shadd. The site, which averages 13,000 to 19,000 hits from U.S. visitors, logged just under 19,000 on Nov. 5.

Though its too early to tell if any recent interest will translate into a significant increase in immigration, Canadian lawyers say there was a significant flood of Americans after President Bushs 2004 re-election, when Web traffic at Canadas immigration site hit a record high of 150,000 visits in a day from Americans.

In fact, any influx of Americans disgruntled with Obama might be countered by a return migration of those who left during the Bush years.

'After the Bush re-election, we saw Americans wanting to immigrate here who were driven by politics. People would call me and say, I cant live here anymore,?' said Linda Mark, an immigration lawyer in Vancouver, British Columbia. 'Before the past six years, Americans barely made up our clientele. In the last several years, theyve become the second most important clientele base for us.'

About 11,000 Americans immigrated to Canada in 2006, the last figure Canadas immigration department has, up from about 6,000 in 2003. Because it can take years to finish the immigration process, experts said the latest numbers reflect moves initiated after Bushs re-election.

One of those immigrants was Shirley Kelley, 64, a retiree who left Seattle after Bushs win to seek what she calls a haven in Canadas beautiful coastal region of Vancouver.

'I was angry, I was ashamed of being an American. I was afraid of where my country was heading, and I just had to get out so I packed up my yellow Lab and headed North,' she said.