By Aaron Smith
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — A Canadian island has invited Americans to move there if Donald Trump wins the presidency.
“Hi Americans! Donald Trump may become the President of your country! If that happens, and you decide to get the hell out of there, might I suggest moving to Cape Breton Island!” says the Destination Cape Breton association on its web site.
The tourism organization juxtaposes the island’s Canadian health care system and “affordable” housing market against Trump’s right-wing policies.
“Don’t wait until Donald Trump is elected president to find somewhere else to live!” says the site. “Start now, that way, on election day, you just hop on a bus to start your new life in Cape Breton, where women can get abortions, Muslim people can roam freely, and the only ‘walls’ are holding up the roofs of our extremely affordable houses.”
The site also mentions that “health care is free” and “nobody has a handgun!”
Cape Breton acknowledged the infamous cold of Canada’s winters. But at the time of this writing, the island was only 2 degrees colder than New York City, Trump’s primary residence.
So is anybody actually going to take them up on it? Mary Tulle, CEO of Destination Cape Breton, said they only put out the invitation three days ago, but they’ve received 50,000 U.S. inquiries on their web site in that time, which exceeds all of the traffic they got from the U.S. last year.
Cape Breton is experiencing a sharp decline in its population, which Tulle blames on shuttered coal mines and steel mills, as well as the appeal of oil industry jobs in Alberta prior to the decline in oil prices.
The population was 101,619 in 2011, in the most recent statistics available from the Canadian Government. That’s down 4% since 2006, compared to 6% growth nationwide. Forecasts suggest that the island might have already dipped below the psychologically significant level of 100,000.
But it’s hard to deny that the scenery is beautiful in Cape Breton — Tulle said that even Trump would like it there. Since his mother was from Scotland, he might appreciate the island’s Scotch-Irish heritage, she said.
A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign did not immediately return messages from CNNMoney.
Cape Breton is located directly up the East Coast from the U.S., at the eastern end of Nova Scotia.
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