With Donald Trump’s momentum in the U.S. presidential election showing no signs of slowing, people are being forced to ask themselves: What if the unthinkable happens? What if he actually wins?
Some think the most likely outcome is that the moon will turn to blood and the seventh seal will be opened. But a Trump win might actually be a boon for one small Canadian island.
Cape Breton, off the coast of Nova Scotia
, has long been a draw for tourists. But with its major industries – coal mining and steel – drying up, the island has had a tough time holding onto a permanent population.
That’s why Ron Calabrese, a local radio D.J., created Cape Breton If Donald Trump Wins
, a website encouraging U.S. residents to move to the island in the event of the orange-haired one becoming president.
Calabrese admitted that he started the website as a joke. But after just two weeks, the site had seen more than 800,000 visitors – and Calabrese told CNN that thousands of U.S. citizens are seriously considering a move to Canada if Trump wins the general election.
“As people have told me, I’m just some bozo up in Canada on an island no one’s ever heard of,” Calabrese told CNN. “What I think of him is irrelevant, but the fact is he makes a lot of people very nervous about the future of the country.”
The evidence seems to back him up. Google searches for “How can I move to Canada?” saw a spike of nearly 400% in the U.S. after Trump dominated the Super Tuesday primary elections, CNN reported. And Calabrese’s website has been getting serious interest.
“As soon as I started getting serious inquiries, then all of a sudden the joke is over and this is serious, and we have a serious problem,” he told CNN. “People are showing a serious interest in moving here.”
And Mary Tulle, CEO of nonprofit tourism organization Destination Cape Breton, said the level of interest in the island has been unprecedented. Tulle said the organization’s receptionist had handled about two inquiries per day in the past. And now? “We have five people dedicated fulltime to manage the inquiries,” she told CNN.
So why Cape Breton, as opposed to other parts of Canada? Well, the island’s natural beauty is a big draw – but so are the housing prices. According to Cape Breton If Donald Trump Wins, the island has one of the most affordable housing markets in North America. In Cape Breton, the average home price is about double the average annual household income. In Vancouver, it’s eight times the average annual income.
Most island residents have reacted positively to the increased interest, according to CNN. Many hope that even if the island doesn’t see an influx of refugees from Trump’s America, tourism will see a bump.
“Rob’s our hero! He really is, yeah,” island resident Tracey Boutilier told CNN. “I know it started out in fun, but I think he said what we were all thinking. We’re a little bit terrified of what’s going on with your political situation in the States, and Cape Breton is such a haven.”