Outside our immediate environs spans the rest of Toronto. A Canadian friend confirmed this, based on her having lived throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Taxes. Not quite all their destinations are heaven-expected, though the U.S. makes it look as such. In our nook of suburbia, we are taxed according to how expertly we've primped our homes...including that swimming pool. With my complete lack of decorating sense, I should have moved here years ago. And Canada may not spend globs of money on bomb-making per se, but assisting the U.S. does entail opening our northern wallets. No, I'm not sticking my finger down my throat. Canada hasn't hijacked its own voting system, nation's capitol or capital. What hasn't been hijacked in the U.S.?
Within Mayberry (my friend's word) you have safety, friendliness, tasteful homes and higher taxes. Outside our quiet, tucked-away town that no one-even Canadians-knows the name of, is more crime, lower taxes, a degree of less friendliness and, at least, one nuclear power plant. Still no finger down the throat. We're still in Canada.
Political sensibility was ours. Calm conversation points are easy to come by, but once in a while, politics wiggles its way in. Because I don't want to be seen as a complete basket case, toning it down is forcibly easier. In the U.S., I didn't mind sounding crazed over this. Most everyone so deeply understood. Here, they are able to calmly and patiently listen to the horror that is U.S. politics, even as an anchor for this emotion-driven immigrant when envisioning the U.S. politically, economically, environmentally and morally imploding.
Toronto, though not paradise, is the only home that much of the population here has known. Others are from other provinces and countries and all are helpful toward my education. And Elsewhere, Canada does have similar communities to Mayberry, while attending to your craving for merciful freedom from Bush and Bush media. It is quietly magnificent to turn on CBC and hear only tidbits about the tyrant, while the ears and eyes are open for parties of interest and distinguishing between them. Not an easy task coming from a two-party system. One of them has within its focus global warming and gay marriage. Its leader has been speaking out against Canada sending more troops into Afghanistan. I know. They're going, anyway.
My friend was curious as to why we chose Canada. I told her it was among a small group of hopefuls, but due to employment already established and a steadier political tide, it was clear. Allies in the adoptive land are helpful, though not mandatory, if you believe in your choice. No one has disagreed and, thus far, only lightly debated the issue of taxes. But our decision is respected by everyone we've met. We are welcome here.