Cape Breton Trump website creator says government has offered no help
Rob Calabrese says there are no immigration officials in Cape Breton
The man who launched a wave of international attention for Cape Breton in recent weeks says with one exception, he has not heard from one representative of any level of government.
Rob Calabrese created a website called "Cape Breton If Donald Trump Wins," a tongue-in-cheek appeal to Americans to consider moving to Cape Breton if Donald Trump is elected president. In less than three weeks, thousands of Americans have responded.
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But, Calabrese said he's been really disappointed that no one in government seems to be taking the queries seriously.
"You can't say 'We're serious about having people move to Cape Breton' when you have 150 Immigration Department workers in Halifax and zero here," he told Wendy Bergfeldt, host of CBC Cape Breton's Mainstreet.
Government help needed
He said Cape Breton needs both provincially and federally funded immigration and settlement services in Cape Breton, not only for Americans with inquiries arising from his internet appeal, but also for international students at Cape Breton University who have an interest in staying in Canada and other special groups, such as Syrian refugees.
Calabrese wants government to jump in to respond to queries prompted by his website.
"We had 4,000 people write in and say, 'What do I do to get started? Where do I look on the immigration website? Can I bring my cats into Canada? How long are visas?'" he said.
"I'm a radio DJ and Destination Cape Breton's front office staff were fumbling through these," Calabrese said, obviously frustrated.
"Could the government extend a helping hand to answer thousands of people's questions and … help us out a little bit here? The inquiries are still coming in."
With files from Wendy Bergfeldt