Why this U.S. expat says moving to Canada was the best decision she ever made

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Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?  Regardless of who wins the American election, Canada could see a boost in U.S. citizens looking to relocate north of the border.

Amanda Ortiz, 25, moved to Canada seven years ago.  Living in Long Island, New York, Ortiz  was tired of the familiar message from politicians that the United States is the best country in the world.

“I thought it was the complete opposite. I saw other countries in Europe and Canada, they treat their citizens much better,” said Ortiz.

At 18, Ortiz felt Canada’s high-quality education system and universal health care made it an ideal choice. She left her family and friends and moved to Toronto, where she now works as Sales and Events co-ordinator for a downtown restaurant.

“I have free health care.  I don’t worry now if I want to switch jobs, or if [my new employer] offers a good insurance package.”

Ortiz is an American citizen and has already voted for an independent in this election.

“I don’t trust Hillary, I hate to say it,” said Ortiz, who usually votes Democrat.

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U.S. presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton attend campaign events in Hershey, Pennsylvania, November 4, 2016 (L) and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 22, 2016 in a combination of file photos. (Carlo Allegir/Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Ortiz feels this election campaign is more intense than ever and it has created a lot of political friction and controversy.  She understands how the election results could leave many Americans feeling divided and wanting to leave the country.

But Ortiz says some of her fellow U.S. citizens might be surprised at how hard it is to immigrate to Canada.
“It took me five-and-a-half long years to get my permanent residency and it was a struggle.”

Yet, despite her own challenges, Ortiz says she would not have chosen a different path.

“It’s the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. I do not regret it,” she said.

“New York will always be my home. My family is all there, but Canada is 100 per cent my home and I will never leave.”