Emigration Dreaming

Natasha Julius

Give us your tired, hungry, oppressed and downtrodden. Of course we mean Canada. Can we convince them to take us?

To: Canada
From: Natasha
Re: Opportunity of a lifetime

Dear Canada,

I think it's time you got serious about your position in the world. Look at yourself. You're smart, humane, just, clean, beautiful, roomy and polite. Human rights organizations around the world want to date you. You've shown an unflappable commitment toward supporting the dignity and freedom of all your citizens. And yet, you're constantly passed over on the world stage in favor of your neighbor to the south. Why is that? I can sum up the problem for you in one word: population.

Think about it. As of your 2001 census, there were 30,007,094 of you. Please. Do you know how many people lived in California alone in 2000? There were 33,871,648, out of a total US population of 281,421,906. I can't even give you figures from 2001 because we're so freaking populous we can only count ourselves every ten years.

The impact of this iniquity has been clear. Your currency is always worth less than ours, you don't get the same treatment at international events, and you live in constant fear of us ruining your most precious national institutions with our superior clout and buying power. Heck, look what we've done to hockey! No matter how hard you try to gain respect, to the United States you're little more than a snowy wasteland filled with cheap prescription drugs and Mounties.

Well, now you have the opportunity to change all that. It's very simple, really. We've just had an election that had an impressive turnout. An estimated at 115 million people went to the polls. Now that the results are in, 48% of those people want to leave. Seriously. I'm not kidding. You cannot get these folks the hell out of Dodge fast enough. A certain percentage of these people probably have kids. Let's say 45% have two children apiece. That conservative estimate puts the numbers of this nascent Diaspora at 129,720,000 people. Many of these people are young and healthy, highly skilled and educated. OK, so they were educated in our pathetic and under funded school system, but still.

Think about it, Canada. If you welcome us in, you would see an instant 450% population increase. Suddenly, you'd be on par with countries like Russia, Indonesia and Brazil. Your dollar would surge in value. You could stop calling it the Loonie and start calling it the Saney! You'd have a motivated workforce full of people who don't want their rights trampled on, their health insurance dissolved, their children left behind, their social security privatized or their environment destroyed. You'd be able to buy your sports teams out of hock. Best of all, you could afford to lose Quebec.

And of course you'd finally be able to tell the United States exactly what you think of it. What would they be able to do about it? There'd only be 151,700,000 of them! I know intimidation is not your thing, and I totally get where you're coming from with that. Honestly, though, you wouldn't have to do much to intimidate the remaining Americans because they're already afraid of you. They're afraid of everyone. They like fear. They love living in fear. That's why they voted the way they did in the first place. That's why I'm able to offer you this chance.

Growing pains, you say? Oh come now, Canada. Don't be coy. I've been to Saskatchewan. I know there's plenty of room for us. We're resourceful enough to live anywhere. Heck, if you've been impressed by our achievements in Las Vegas, imagine what we could do for Baffin Island!

Don't worry about integration, either. A lot of us will be coming from states that border you. We're already familiar with your customs and your culture, your wonderfully inexpressive verbal anachronisms and your intriguing obsession with curling. We know half the words to your national anthem. Well, half the words that are in English, anyway. We want to build a stronger Canada, with stronger beer and stronger civil liberties.

I know what you're thinking. We've been down this road before. I told you I was coming in 2000 and I left you high and dry. I wanted so much to run to you when the U.S. invaded Iraq, but I just couldn't work up the nerve to call. This time it's different. This time I've got the numbers. I've got a well-developed network of people, stirred by grassroots organizations. We're ready to pour out our time and our ideas, our creativity and hope and passion if only we could find a nation that would dare to love us back.

So what do you say, Canada? Don't pass up this opportunity of a lifetime. You just say the word and I can be there in, like, five hours.

Thank you for your consideration.





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