2046 - Toronto, Canada
“Wow, I think this is the one.”
That was always the money phrase. I knew even before I brought them here that the view would hook them from the get. “Mr. Dydynski, let’s be honest here, I think your wife has the final say on that.”
Mrs. Dydynski looked up at her husband and grinned teasingly.
I was in. I just had to hit all the talking points and this deal wouldclose within the hour. “So I’ve shown you four places today. And I think we can all agree I saved the best for last. We’re talking three spacious bedrooms, two baths, a fully renovated kitchen with a built in Makerbot 3D food printer, and a giant living room with a southward view of Yonge Street all the way to Lake Ontario. The area’s safe and this unit was designed for a young couple like yourselves. Not to mention, it’s a great place to start a family,” I added, winking at the wife’s baby bump. “And all of this is under the three million budget you mentioned.”
Then came the tricky part. The delivery had to be direct, but not too serious. “Okay, here’s where I have to put my salesmen hat on and ask: what’s stopping you from signing right now!”
The couple laughed. After sharing a knowing glance at her husband, Mrs. Dydynski took her husband’s hand and answered, “Well, to be honest, Michael has family in the UK, so we’re also thinking of moving there where we have more of a network.”
“I can understand that. If you wouldn’t mind me asking, are there any other reasons you’re thinking of leaving the States?”
“It’s complicated,” Mr. Dydynski cleared his throat. “I don’t think there’s any one specific reason. It’s more of an overall feeling. I guess we made the decision after the flooding, don’t you think, Sheryl?”
She nodded. “Yeah, after Hurricane Bolivar wiped out most of the Chesapeake Bay area, our summer home in Washington was ruined. It took nearly four months before they reached our neighborhood just to pump all the water out. We just don’t feel safe down there anymore.”
That was my cue to reel them in. “Geez, yeah, when I saw that on the news, it was hard to believe. You expect to see that kind of weather damage in South America, or in one of those East Asian countries where monster typhoons seem to happen yearly. I don’t want to sound out of line, but I think you’re making the right decision. Look, I don’t think it’s a secret by the way I roll my O’s that I’m not from here.I came from the land down under.”
“Oh, I don’t think I’ve met an Aussie before,” said Mr. Dydynski.
“Ha, well, we still exist.Now, let me tell you why I chose Canada as my new home. I can go on about how Toronto’s the fastest growing city in North America, or how more Americans have moved north over the past five years than in the past twenty, but really, it was a process of elimination.
“I left Australia because I didn’t want to live in a country where I risked getting an instant sunburn every time I stepped outside. I like my steaks and I didn’t want to give that up just because we couldn’t grow enough wheat to feed our livestock. And outside of the coastal cities, on the far edges of the country, the rest of Australia had turned into a lawless wasteland, like those old Mad Max movies.
“When Ilooked outside, I saw Asia barely able to stay afloat. I saw South America falling to authoritarian regimes. I saw Europe overrun by refugees and Islamic fundamentalists—except for the UK mind you, they smartened up before the rest of the EU did. And then the US, well, you guys let in more South American refugees than your country could support.”
“Yeah, it sounds bad,” Mr. Dydynski shook his head, “but I was always against letting so many in. The government took far too long building that wall. Too much corruption involved with that. It makes me sick. Now they’re asking for special status, trying to create a separate government, and all that.”
“And that’s why I feel Canada would be a great fit for the both of you. The climate is great here. The economy is booming. We have two oceans protecting us from the rest of the outside world. And my favorite, you can still buy real meat at the local supermarket. You can even—”
“Listen, sorry, we really appreciate your perspective,” said Mrs. Dydynski, “but we have to consider the immigration process. The fast tracking process costs a fortune here, but in the UK, Michael's family could sponsor us. I don’t know, I guess this trip was really more about figuring out our options before we commit to anything.”
And that was the second money phrase I was hoping for, the one that would pay for yet another early Christmas present. “You know, I could help with that.”
“What do you mean?”
“I have friends, friends in the immigration office. For a price, much smaller than the standard fast track program, I could get both of you a permanent residence status. That’s really all you need to move and access government services. And then from there, becoming a full citizen shouldn’t take too long, if that’s what you want.”
Mrs. Dydynski looked at Mr. Dydynski skeptically. I knew that look. “Don’t worry, you won’t pay me for that. I’ll arrange for you to meet with my contact at the immigration office downtown. You can ask her all the questions you need confidentially. So what do you say, can I make a few calls?”
“You can, actually, but only after you answer a few of our questions,” said Mr. Dydynski, in a new and decidedly French-Canadian accent.
Mrs. Dydynskiyanked a stomach pad out from under her shirt and tossed it to the floor.Shethen drewanRCMP badge from her back pocket and flashed it in my face. “You mentioned you don’t want to go back to Australia. Well, we could help with that … if you give us the names we’re looking for.”
WWIII Climate Wars series links
WWIII CLIMATE WARS: NARRATIVES
Southeast Asia, Drowning in your Past: WWIII Climate Wars P9
South America, Revolution: WWIII Climate Wars P11