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Leaving the US-- Moving to Canada

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I 've never been to suburban Toronto, but I 'm about to live there.

When we considered moving there, I wondered how far the houses were from ...well ...anything. Canadian winters warrant, at the very least, pre-introspection. And as we sell our home in New York, I make the best guess as to how I will appreciate the new environment. It 's small. It 's Canada. It has the necessities for a winter day north of the border. It has the new life that I 'm ready for.

Why Canada? It behaves, environmentally and politically, and is consistent. While Al Gore 's movie, An Inconvenient Truth, applies to all who abuse the environment, all it seems possible to do south of the border is wring our hands, then bend them to the sky with verbal lament. It 's baffling that the decision-makers take so lightly the future of their own children. Even more baffling is that so much of the population continues to allow it.

The last time we crossed the border going northward, something came over me --the breath of a mindset. It reached the doorway. And looking to the future, when we approach it this time, after a year and a half of job-hunting outside the U.S., I will feel salvation and sorrow. The U.S., with all its potential, is desperately trying to keep from screwing itself ...and the rest of civilization.

Of course, so as to afford ourselves any sleep at night, we 've signed petitions, donated money, attended a couple of rallies, bought products to support democracy and made phone calls. We couldn 't move out otherwise.

Are we traitors? We would be if we hadn 't tried. Those who stay on, defiantly fighting for the progressive cause, might say that we haven 't tried enough and they may have a point. But the wind is erratic in the U.S., so much so that I cannot see a time when I can trust the system enough to vote in it again. Perhaps my children can and will. A reliable paper trail may gradually be included throughout the voting system, but imagine how long it 's taking for that to happen. The people who are fighting it always will, while so many others continue to vote in favor of a particular religion, unhealthy change or an unworthy status quo. They are why we 're leaving.

Blacks and Hispanics are among those showing the rest of the world just how much this superpower must travel to catch up to what it claims to be. Is any superpower in it just for the money?

I grew up in this country, seeing it as an example of forward-thinking, strength and hope, and to where those in poorer places knew they could turn for help on a planet of uncertainties. Now I see it as the uncertainty.

This, too, is why we 're leaving.

 

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Rachel emigrated to Canada in the summer of 2006.- She has an M.A. in Teaching ESOL, and her poetry, short stories and articles have appeared in print and online. Rachel is a member of Fair Vote Canada.

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