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Why Canadians in Silicon Valley miss home more than ever


Hey, I’m Phil for Communitech News and I am here in beautiful California celebrating, ironically, Canada Day! There’s a huge event that happens each year called the Digital Moose Lounge. It brings a ton of Canadian expatriates together to celebrate everything that they miss about home. ♫ O Canada! We stand on guard for thee. ♫ Some of the things that they miss are the things that you would expect. I miss the Canadian sense of humour. These guys miss miss the snow, but after 40 years of snow I’m okay with missing it a bit. The beaches and the lakes. The other thing I really miss is actually ketchup chips. I do miss the Canadian vibe, you know. CBC Radio. I miss the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. The thing that I miss the most are the people. So friendly, they’re so kind. East coast is where our hearts are still, our families are still there so that’s really where home is for us. (Yeah.) Everything. My family. My friends. But this year the event felt a little bit more poignant, there were definitely some more social, political and cultural things that people were missing about home. The safety standards in Toronto just are far superior. You get off the airplane and you’re walking in Kensington Market in Toronto and it doesn’t feel like there’s an ounce of danger in that city which is really nice. And then also healthcare. Canada takes care of its people. It’s diversity, its tolerance. Canadians seem much more measured after having lived eight years in the U.S. Canada is really peaceful, people are more laid back, especially you feel more secure in Canada. Honestly I think Canadians usually don’t know how good they have it. It’s nice to see how important and influential Canada can be on the stage when you’re on the outside looking in. It reinforces all the positive stereotypes about Canadians. That Canadians don’t seem to have as many complicated feelings about the Syrian crisis. Canada has a phenomenal PR firm. I try and work into every sales call somehow that I’m Canadian, because as soon as I say that I’m Canadian they know I am honest, polite, smart, trustworthy, hard-working and I’ll take care of them. That is the brand of Canada. I came out to the Silicon Valley for law school, and, obviously the degree unfortunately isn’t transferable so now I’m in the Bay Area. I think I didn’t learn to appreciate how lucky I was to be from Canada and what a good country it is until I left. I, obviously, now working in America, it’s different for me; having to go to the doctor and the healthcare and… It’s a big reality check. It is. There’s this feeling that you’re going to be taken care of. It’s nice that they’re no guns. I don’t know, it’s all of those things. American politics has turned into more of a reality TV show for the masses than actually a campaign of who’s the best leader for this country. It seems, oddly, the accepted culture is you’re not trying to pick who’s the better candidate, you’re trying to pick who you’re trying to lock out. So, that seems to be the status of American politics. Well, if Trump gets elected we’re all going
back! (laughter)

Stephen Childs

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