As It Happens

After Trump win, Philadelphia CEO says employees can relocate to Vancouver office

The CEO of a Philadelphia tech company says his employees can relocate to the company's office in Vancouver, if they're worried about how a Trump presidency will affect them.
WebLinc's CEO Darren Hill, right, says any of his employees can move to the company's Vancouver office. (Left: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Destination BC-Albert Normandin, Right: Kate Swan)
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As soon as it looked like Donald Trump was going to win the election last week, many Americans started asking the same question: How can I move to Canada?

Canada's immigration website crashed that night. Since then, a number of articles have provided answers and suggestions to Americans who are considering moving north.

Darren Hill is the CEO of the Philadelphia-based tech company WebLinc. He has told his employees that they can relocate to the company's Vancouver office, if they're worried about Trump's presidency.

The company is offering two options. According to Hill, it's a pretty simple process to work at the Canadian office for less than six months. If employees want to permanently relocate, the company's immigration attorney would help with that process.

"We wanted to give the employees a pass if they felt uncomfortable in the United States — that they could get out and still stay employed at a company they love. They don't need to live in fear of their families being deported, or anything else.- WebLinc CEO Darren Hill

Hill spoke with As it Happens host Carol Off. Here's part of their conversation:

CAROL OFF: Have you heard from your employees that they're worried or uncomfortable living in the United States since Mr. Trump was elected?

DARREN HILL: I think I've heard from everyone I know that they're uncomfortable. Yes. I have heard from many employees — some that are actually fearful and uncomfortable, some that are just angry. Some employees have made almost a definite future plan of relocating. But most . . . have leases or own homes or whatever. So they're going to take some time. But we wanted to give the employees a pass, if they felt uncomfortable in the United States — that they could get out and still stay employed at a company they love. They don't need to live in fear of their families being deported or anything else.

CO: Do some of them fear that they might be deported?

DH: No direct WebLinc employee. But we do have some employees with direct family members who are undocumented workers . . . So, for their parents, they're concerned.  

(Evan Vucci/Associated Press)
CO: Are you hearing from any other companies in Philadelphia that are considering this kind of an offer?

DH: Not necessarily in Philadelphia. But, we have heard from other companies in the U.S. that are reaching out and asking questions of how we're doing it and what we're doing . . . I've also heard from many Canadian friends who think it's wonderful and are looking forward to the "brain drain" from the United States of people who are fantastic people and just happen to look or act or believe in slightly different things than Mr. Trump believes in.    

I want to stay here. I love the United States. However, if it becomes the country that I don't think it is — if it becomes a country that isn't open and friendly to all types of people — then I think there will be an absolute "brain drain.- Darren Hill

CO: Can you imagine that there might be a "brain drain" from the United states since this election?

DH: I think we'll see. You know, if all of the sudden we're deporting 11 million people, putting people in temporary deportation camps and creating new laws to make sure gay rights are reversed, then I think there will be a "brain drain." I may be in that as well. I have no plans in the short-term. I want to stay here. I love the United States. However, if it becomes the country that I don't think it is — if it becomes a country that isn't open and friendly to all types of people — then I think there will be an absolute "brain drain."

CO: I understand that you are traditionally Republican. 

DH: That's correct. I'm a registered Republican. . . I'm second-guessing that. This election, as you guys know, was just incredibly ugly. Really, I think that Donald Trump goes against all of the Republican values that the majority of Republicans aspire to. I don't think he has many values at all.

Hill says approximately 10 per cent of his staff have expressed some interest in moving to Vancouver. The company's Canadian office currently employs about 20 people. They joined WebLinc earlier this year when the company acquired Vancouver's OrderBot.

For more on this story, listen to our full interview with Darren Hill.