abortion, affordable housing, Cabot Trail, Canada, Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Cape Breton Island, Cape Breton regional council, CBC, cbiftrumpwins.com, Cornell University, Donald Trump, economics, fishing, Gulf of St Lawrence, immigration, Ishaan Tharoor, islands, lobsters, maritime provinces, mining, Muslims, Nova Scotia, population decline, presidential election, Rob Calabrese, United States, WashingtonPost.com
A website put up by a Canadian radio host from the maritime province of Nova Scotia invites Americans worried about life under a President Donald Trump to relocate north.
The tongue-in-cheek stunt, put together by local DJ Rob Calabrese, opens with the following guidance urging Americans to move to Cape Breton Island, in the northeast of the province:
Hi Americans! Donald Trump may become the President of your country! If that happens, and you decide to get the hell out of there, might I suggest moving to Cape Breton Island!
Don’t wait until Donald Trump is elected president to find somewhere else to live! Start now, that way, on election day, you just hop on a bus to start your new life in Cape Breton, where women can get abortions, Muslim people can roam freely, and the only “walls” are holding up the roofs of our extremely affordable houses.
The website, cbiftrumpwins.com, has an array of sunny, appealing pictures of the island, which is blessed with tremendous natural beauty, a modicum of cultural diversity and history, and great lobsters. Calabrese notes that unlike others parts of Canada farther west, Cape Breton Island boasts a temperate climate with balmy summers.
“We are an island about the same size as the Hawaiian Big Island, on the East Coast of Canada,” the website says. “We always rank high on travel magazine lists of beautiful islands.”
As the website admits, there’s a serious concern underlying the jabs at the United States and the Republican front-runner, whose rise is the source of bemusement elsewhere in the world.
Cape Breton Island, like other parts of rural Nova Scotia, has experienced considerable population decline with the dwindling of traditional industries such as mining and fishing. In 2011, the Cape Breton regional council predicted losing 1,000 people a year for the next two decades. The island’s population is just above 100,000.
Calabrese is adamant that if more people knew the perks of life in Canada’s maritime provinces, they would consider moving. The bottom of his website links to Cape Breton Island’s official tourism campaign.
There’s also the affordable housing and Canada’s vaunted social safety net. “If you have a baby, you get paid leave for almost a year,” Calabrese remarked to CBC. “If you cut your hand, you can go to the doctor and get stitched up for free.”
The radio host, who put up his website in the beginning of the week, told the Canadian broadcaster that he’s already received a number of serious enquiries from Americans curious about his home island, including, apparently, a professor from Cornell University.
“They’re asking genuine questions about things like the immigration process, the economics,” he said. “It’s been taken seriously by some people, which is great and not intended, but I’m going to help them out as best I can.”