Saturday, July 19

It Ain't Just The Molson

Discontented Americans consider Canada

NEW YORK (AP) -- For all they share economically and culturally, Canada and the United States are increasingly at odds on basic social policies -- to the point that at least a few discontented Americans are planning to move north and try their neighbors' way of life.

A husband and wife in Minnesota, a college student in Georgia, a young executive in New York. Though each has distinct motives for packing up, they agree the United States is growing too conservative and believe Canada offers a more inclusive, less selfish society.

“For me, it's a no-brainer,” said Mollie Ingebrand, a puppeteer from Minneapolis who plans to go to Vancouver with her lawyer husband and 2-year-old son.

“It's the most amazing opportunity I can imagine. To live in a society where there are different priorities in caring for your fellow citizens.”

For decades, even while nurturing close ties with the United States, Canadians have often chosen a different path -- establishing universal health care, maintaining ties with Cuba, imposing tough gun control laws. Two current Canadian initiatives, to decriminalize marijuana and legalize same-sex marriage, have pleased many liberals in the United States and irked conservatives.

New York executive Daniel Hanley, 31, was arranging a move for himself and his partner, Tony, long before the Canadian announcement about same-sex marriage. But the timing delights him; he and Tony now hope to marry in front of their families after they emigrate to British Columbia.

“Canada has an opportunity to define itself as a leader,” Hanley said. “In some ways, it's now closer to American ideals than America is.”