Oh, Canada

May 18, 2016 at 10:09 am
Oh, Canada

Months ago, I said the outcome of the presidential race will turn on whether we are more afraid of Donald Trump, or we hate Hillary Clinton more (and of course, which team casts more votes). I found myself with the Ohio Valley crud over Derby, and I couldn’t help wonder whether I would get to choose my physician when I move to Canada, should Trump win. It was fortuitous, then, when I found a Canadian charmer at Unbridled Eve, the Derby Eve fundraiser for Blessings in a Backpack.

Mo-D (yes, that is his name) is a Canadian producer and the perfect person for me to pepper with questions about what we can expect as expatriate Canucks. Is maple syrup as exalted an elixir in Canada as is bourbon in Kentucky? Is the prime minister as sexy in person and as beloved for his egalitarianism to Canadians as he is to Americans? Are lumberjacks real? Can you introduce me?

We began with the tough questions: Do Canadians use Tinder? “Tinder, absolutely, man,” said Mo-D, who is executive director and producer of Mo-D Productions in Toronto. He called Canadians “very social creatures,” and he said Canada implemented a mandatory use of Tinder throughout the provinces. “We don’t racially profile: We Tinder profile,” he said, and allow only those to cross the border with a profile that features a unique Canadian perspective, such as the CN Tower in Toronto, which is the world’s seventh-largest tower, Niagara Falls, the Toronto Blue Jays or the original six hockey teams in the NHL.

Rather than a Terry stop (a brief detention), then, if officers suspect you of criminal activity, you might be subjected to a Tinder stop, according to Mo-D, which is better than a “Terrance and Phillip” stop, (unless you think flatulence is fantastically funny, like me). Speaking of gas, if you’re an American seeking entry to Canada, and you have a prior charge for driving under the influence, you may experience intestinal distress at the prospect of admission. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Control Protection website, a Canadian immigration officer will decide if you can enter when you apply for a visa. A little legal research provided two means of entry: 1) a temporary resident permit, or 2) criminal rehabilitation, which is similar to our own expungement process, provided you meet the criteria. An acquaintance who shall remain nameless has written an “apology letter” to Canada for a single DUI charge, in hopes of making it to a friend’s Canadian wedding soon.

And we can’t even get a proper thank you from the provinces for bacon, which many Americans might be forced to forgo upon expatriation, in lieu of Canadian bacon, which we all know is ham, you hosers. As for the man who says he has a big hose and happens to be the presumed Republican candidate for president, Mo-D said, look no further than Toronto’s own now-deceased Mayor Rob Ford. “You see what we started? Mayor Ford’s legacy has been taken by Trump to the next level.”

Despite Ford’s admission that he used crack cocaine in a drunken stupor during his tenure, the BBC reported this about him after his death on March 28, 2016: “He was especially popular among people living in Toronto’s suburbs who felt left behind by liberal Toronto and liked his populist message.” Arguably, Ford supporters are not those in the same gaggle as the “Q” radio show critics embarrassed by a photo of Prime Minister Trudeau in a yoga pose while on duty. The intellectual/working class divide seems alive and well Due North, too.

“Canadians take politics too seriously,” Mo-D said. “Why do we care if the prime minister is taking a selfie in a yoga pose. Let’s focus on hard issues and deal with them with a social perspective, not a social media perspective. What bothers me the most is [Canadians] are so quick to jump on board when a child is in jeopardy overseas versus here,” said Mo-D, who has four young children. “It doesn’t matter where they’re living.”

Mo-D’s passion to help kids must shine through the work he does for Covenant House, an organization that provides not only shelter, but also education and social programs, including job training and after care, for homeless youth. Trafficked kids may or may not be homeless, but it looks like Covenant House gives them a safe place to land if they are. “It’s amazing how unaware people are this is happening in our own back yard. People are oblivious to it. If you think drugs are bad this is worse,” he said. Like good drugs, great films have the power to transcend reality if only temporarily. I am looking forward to enrolling in the University of Toronto’s Cinema Studies curriculum. I asked Mo-D what I should I say in my entrance interview? “I’m an American, and I know everything about film.”

I think they’ve got our number, America.