As history is condemned to repeat itself, we are now hearing again from our American friends that they will "move to Canada" if Donald Trump wins the American election. Prescient observers will recall that we heard this same refrain in 2000 and 2004 after George W. Bush won two terms as President of the United States. There was no exodus in 2000 and 2004. While there was certainly more interest in Americans moving to Canada in these years, the exodus did not occur, primarily because the Canadian immigration system does not make it much easier for Americans to move to Canada in relation to other Western nations. Secondly, people rarely leave their home countries as a result of politics. Business and work opportunities; financial considerations; remittances; civil war; war; persecution" these are the primary reasons people leave their countries of origin. In any event, the primary advantage Americans have in coming to Canada is that they can come, if qualified, as NAFTA Professionals as long as they are qualified (for example professor would need to hold a PHD) and they have a job offer from a Canadian employer to work in the same professional capacity in Canada. Having such a work permit or having a work permit as a result of being transferred by an American multinational corporation to a Canadian affiliate does advantage Americans to some extent with respect to immigration, but it as simple as bringing a US passport to the border and informing the Canadian government you are moving to Canada, as some of the more ill-informed media articles out there suggest
Nevertheless, for the sake of argument and entertainment, let's presume the next American election results in the mass exodus of Americans to other countries, including Canada. How could Canada take advantage of the situation? The best way to take advantage of the situation is to try to promote amendments to existing laws that would
address Canadian labour market needs. One of our most glaring needs is for doctors and nurses. The Canadian government could work with the professional bodies tasked with governing these professionals to create easy equivalency situations so they could practice in Canada without having to write additional exams. Another possibility would be to reconfigure additional investor and entrepreneur programs for business people and self employed persons provided they could meet criteria relating to net worth and proven investment in Canada. Another idea might be to create an additional significant benefit work permit for individuals in the cultural or creative fields so as to attract the best and brightest of these individuals to Canada.
Although unlikely, it might make some sense for the Trudeau Government to at least internally discuss such measures if, in the unlikely event, there is an exodus from the United States due to politics. The benefits of Americans who came to Canada as a result of the Vietnam War and the draft for the same have been widespread and diffuse. We should be well prepared if history repeats itself again.