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#61 of 80 Old 10-25-2010, 09:17 PM
 
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re: climate. DH is from Tennessee. Over the course of the winter, he habitually begins to refer to Vancouver as "Mordor" (from Lord of the Rings). He's never really adjusted to the rainfall here. (I love it, and would probably die if I moved to Knoxville - so pretty, but it seems so...dry.) He finds it very depressing and has to work hard not to let it get him down too much.

Someone upthread said that we get free health care. BC is an exception, as we do have medical premiums. They're very low, compared to people I've talked to in the US, but they do exist.

Other than that? I think other people have said most of what there is to be said. Canada's very diverse and you'll run into a lot of different cultures here.

Oh - I also agree with another poster about the survey about sharing values with Muslims. I'm not exactly an atheist, but I'm close to it. There are many values I don't share with Muslims - or Christians, for that matter. That doesn't mean I think there's anything wrong with being Muslim or Christian, or that I don't tolerate Muslims or Christians. It just means we have different value systems. (I have different values than my brother and sister, too - and neither of them are any more religious than I am.)

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#62 of 80 Old 10-25-2010, 10:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
re: climate. DH is from Tennessee. Over the course of the winter, he habitually begins to refer to Vancouver as "Mordor" (from Lord of the Rings). He's never really adjusted to the rainfall here. (I love it, and would probably die if I moved to Knoxville - so pretty, but it seems so...dry.) He finds it very depressing and has to work hard not to let it get him down too much.

Someone upthread said that we get free health care. BC is an exception, as we do have medical premiums. They're very low, compared to people I've talked to in the US, but they do exist.

Other than that? I think other people have said most of what there is to be said. Canada's very diverse and you'll run into a lot of different cultures here.

Oh - I also agree with another poster about the survey about sharing values with Muslims. I'm not exactly an atheist, but I'm close to it. There are many values I don't share with Muslims - or Christians, for that matter. That doesn't mean I think there's anything wrong with being Muslim or Christian, or that I don't tolerate Muslims or Christians. It just means we have different value systems. (I have different values than my brother and sister, too - and neither of them are any more religious than I am.)
Ontario, and I think Alberta also have a health care premium. I think Ontario is something like $500 a year? I don't think you generally find them in the "have-not" provinces, none of the maritime provinces have them, nor I believe does Newfoundland.

Newfoundland is a nice place too for anyone looking to move.

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#63 of 80 Old 10-25-2010, 10:26 PM
 
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Ontario, and I think Alberta also have a health care premium. I think Ontario is something like $500 a year? I don't think you generally find them in the "have-not" provinces, none of the maritime provinces have them, nor I believe does Newfoundland.

Newfoundland is a nice place too for anyone looking to move.
Alberta no longer has the premium, it was gone a couple years ago.

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#64 of 80 Old 10-26-2010, 08:59 PM
 
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The premium in BC is rated according to family income. So if you have a low enough income, you don't pay any premiums. The absolute maximum is $114/month which is nothing compared to the US.

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#65 of 80 Old 10-28-2010, 01:16 AM
 
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The premium in BC is rated according to family income. So if you have a low enough income, you don't pay any premiums. The absolute maximum is $114/month which is nothing compared to the US.
This is true. We definitely get a good deal.

But, I will say that the BC Medical idea of "low enough income" and the mom-trying-to-keep-the-family-bills-paid idea of "low enough income" are...quite different.

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#66 of 80 Old 11-05-2010, 11:47 AM
 
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It's quite tough to emigrate to Canada. My brother was looking into it and they keep making it harder and harder. You have to sit an international english language test now, for instance. For certain very very in demand skills you don't need a job offer, but for most other skills you need not only a job offer but an LMO (labour market opinion) which is where the government decides whether or not your particular skill really requires a foreigner or whether it can actually be done by a Canadian.
That's what I was going to say, as well. A good friend of mine (who also happens to be a nurse) tried earnestly to emigrate to Canada and was denied. Unfortunately, it's an extremely difficult process and the likelihood of denial is high.

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#67 of 80 Old 11-05-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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This is true. We definitely get a good deal.

But, I will say that the BC Medical idea of "low enough income" and the mom-trying-to-keep-the-family-bills-paid idea of "low enough income" are...quite different.
Well, another difference is that you will absolutely qualify for care. And, if you don't manage to pay your $114 premium (which, compared to private insurance in the US is quite low, especially for a family), and need to go to emerg, you can & you will get treatment and not be billed many thousands of dollars. They will want you to bring your premiums up to date, but they're not going to make you pay the hospital bill. Or deny you altogether for pre-existing conditions. Just to be fair though, it should be noted that unlike many American plans, BC Med does not cover prescriptions. I don't know about the other provinces.
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#68 of 80 Old 11-05-2010, 12:06 PM
 
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r
Oh - I also agree with another poster about the survey about sharing values with Muslims. I'm not exactly an atheist, but I'm close to it. There are many values I don't share with Muslims - or Christians, for that matter. That doesn't mean I think there's anything wrong with being Muslim or Christian, or that I don't tolerate Muslims or Christians. It just means we have different value systems. (I have different values than my brother and sister, too - and neither of them are any more religious than I am.)
There was a survey that said Canadians share values with Muslims? What does that even mean? Canada is a HUGE country, with many diverse regions and cultures. I don't see how anyone could make sweeping generalizations like that, even if you could accurately quantify "muslim values."
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#69 of 80 Old 11-13-2010, 07:44 PM
 
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I was commenting on posts #34 and #39 earlier in the thread.

 

I agree about Canada being huge, and containing many different cultures. I was mostly addressing the idea that saying that a person saying he/she shares or doesn't share values with someone else necessarily reflects on the speaker's tolerance or acceptance of the other person/group. Sharing values and tolerating/accepting values are two different things.


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#70 of 80 Old 11-13-2010, 08:14 PM
 
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Well, another difference is that you will absolutely qualify for care. And, if you don't manage to pay your $114 premium (which, compared to private insurance in the US is quite low, especially for a family), and need to go to emerg, you can & you will get treatment and not be billed many thousands of dollars. They will want you to bring your premiums up to date, but they're not going to make you pay the hospital bill. Or deny you altogether for pre-existing conditions. Just to be fair though, it should be noted that unlike many American plans, BC Med does not cover prescriptions. I don't know about the other provinces.

This is true, and it's a good thing, but I still think we should be able to opt out, and we can't.  We aren't as free as we could be.


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#71 of 80 Old 02-06-2011, 07:05 PM
 
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There are not any health care premiums in Ontario. There used to be, but not for several years now.

Depending on where you live, the waits are not all that bad.

I just waited 4 weeks for an MRI. But, although it was necessary for me to have because I needed to have something checked out. It was for a sore back, not anything emergency like. I once had to have an MRI for a suspected brain tumour, and I waited a couple of days. So wait times all depend on what the problem is.

 

I love living in Canada. I have lived in tiny towns, small cities and big cities from coast to coast. I have spent the majority of my time in Southern Ontario. Mainly in Toronto.

I love it here. It is a large city. But it is a city made up of many many communities. Each community is very walkable. I hardly ever leave a small couple of square miles. I live, work, shop and play all within a couple of blocks. Sometimes, just to go to particular shops or to see a live show I go into other neighbourhoods...but it isn't necessary on a regular basis.

 

All healthcare is free. I have had broken bones, minor surgeries and major surgeries. I have been to emergency numerous times in my life, seen a doctor, had well baby visits for our DD, my partner had a c-section and a midwife, etc, etc, etc. The only thing that has cost any money was an ambulance ride cost me $30 and crutches cost me $10. Oh, and a cable TV in your room while in hospital costs money.

 

Prescription, dental and optometry costs money. Many businesses have extended health care. Mine pays 80% prescriptions, $250yr for glasses, $1500yr dental, $700 for acupuncture and massage and chiro and homeopathic doctors (thats $700 for each service!). And all of this is for each person in the family. It doesn't cost me anything.

My partners pays 100% prescription and only $400 for chiro or massage and the rest is the same. It costs about $140/mth.

 

If you do not have coverage, and cannot pay for extended health, you can get help through social service agencies and other agencies.

 

Our public school system is pretty good. And there are a lot of alternative public schools in larger communities.

 

I love living in Canada.


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#72 of 80 Old 02-09-2011, 02:56 PM
 
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i'm an American  (from Kansas) and living in Ontario.  I find that the general culture/mindset  towards children is much more open here.

 

Maternity  leaves (gov't paid at 55% of your income in ontario) are much longer, tax credits are far more generous, and breast feeding is applauded. If I were back in Kansas, I think i'd have to go back to work only a month after having my baby(i'm self employed, but that's beside the point), would recieve much less in tax credits, and would be forced to "cover up" when breast feeding in public.

 

All in all, I find that ontario is a much cozier environment for the crunchier mom. It's not unheard of to hear of someone having a water home birth, (Even hospital births here are much less invasive than that of my US friends' experiences ) consuming their placenta after birth, co-sleeping, having a naturopath rather than a family doctor, attachment parenting, and homeschooling.

Often, all at the same time.

Not too many eyebrows raise if you nurse your baby in the mall of a food court-and there are public "family" rooms/stations in many stores, and family washrooms and changerooms.

For the most part, the culture here tries to work 'with' children, rather than thinking of babies/children as a bother and annoyance.  


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#73 of 80 Old 02-09-2011, 10:47 PM
 
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On of my favorite YouTube videos on the topic of Canada vs US healthcare...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7lPc7DEARU&feature=related

 


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#74 of 80 Old 02-10-2011, 12:31 AM
 
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There are lots of things about the USA that make me want to live there but until the health care system changes to more closely resemble that of Canada, we're stayng put .


This thread is interesting to me, as I am a Northern European married to a man from WI, now living in Europe. We also have socialized medicine here, and I would not trade it for anything. Having lives in the USA and gone through the stress of the medical system (and its inability to work with the insurance company without me in the middle), we have sometimes talked about moving to Canada. We don't want to deal with the USA, for many reasons, health care being the biggest one.


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#75 of 80 Old 04-01-2011, 11:22 PM
 
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Great thread! I really enjoyed reading it.

I love Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Lots of great little communities. Weather is milder here although we do get a lot of rain. But I'd rather have rain over snow.
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#76 of 80 Old 04-23-2011, 06:33 AM
 
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we don't suck in southwestern ontario! i swear!! ;)

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We just moved to Bridgetown Nova Scotia from Northwestern Ontario. I've also lived in central ontario and Ottawa. We have visited all of the major cities in Canada.

Ottawa is amazing if you want the city life. We lived right downtown and had no issues with crime. It's expensive, beautiful and very walkable.

The rest of Ontario, IMO sucks. Northern Ontario is too cold and lacking in culture and Southern Ontario just gives me a bad vibe.

We are absolutely in love with NS and we've only been here 6 weeks. The people are completely different. Friendly, helpful, tolerant and extremely laid back. If you are looking for a slower pace, the Annapolis Valley in NS is where it's at.

Nursing jobs are plenty here. I'm sure wages are less than the rest of Canada but so is cost of living. You can get some gorgeous old houses here for dirt cheap (100k).

Bridgetown is smack in the middle of the valley and within a quick drive of shopping. Weather is moderate, we're sheltered in the valley so nothing too extreme. Growing season is lovely which is why all the farming is here. Forests, lakes, ocean nearby.

Check out my blog in my profile for info on our new life here.


 


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#77 of 80 Old 04-23-2011, 11:38 PM
 
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I live near Steveston in BC and wanted to comment to original poster.  Totally this is a quaint, walkable village within a larger city and metro area.  Would be hard however to get by completely without a car - basically anywhere in BC, unless you are in the highest density part of Vancouver - I know people there who are members of a car co-op and love it.  Schools in Steveston area are excellent.  Housing is *very* expensive.  You mentioned woods, and you cannot have both walkability and wooded property.  You would find woods in the South Surrey area, close to White Rock - this is very close to the border.  Also beautiful trees, mountains and nature in North Vancouver.  Also very good schools, and very expensive housing. 

 

Pemberton is now essentially a bedroom community of the ski town of Whistler.  Many who live in Pemberton would commute to work in Whistler.  Definitely a small town, but with a lot of real estate development and influx of new money that is likely eroding that.  There is no hospital up there - nearest one is Squamish.

 

Other posters commented on weather - it is not so much the rain IMO as the gray winter skies, which are definitely depressing.  Many suffer from SAD.  Have to take the attitude that rain/gray skies will not keep you indoors.  One great thing you notice is that when the sun does come out, *everybody* heads outside!

 

Re immigration process - I believe you either qualify on your own, based on your education, work experience, language skills, etc. or you can qualify as a "foreign worker" if you have a job offer already.  The later would be a much faster process, but limited to specific jobs that are experiencing shortages.

 

More generally on the differences in the two countries:

 

Re government - Canada is weak on national policy issues (e.g. environment), and strong on provincial issues (health, education).  USA is the opposite.  If I recall my history correctly - when it came time to form the first Canadian government in 1867, the US had just fought a civil war due to too much strength in the governments of the individual states.  The US constitution was intentionally drafted to limit the power of the central government, to keep the power in the hands of the people.  To prevent a similar fate, the Canadian constitution was drafted to limit power of provinces (at that time health, education, and private business were matters of minor importance).  Over the next century, matters of governance changed considerably and now Canadian provinces are in charge of what matters most to us, and the central gov't can't make a law to save its life. The opposite is true in the US, where we see super strong central agencies such as EPA, DEA, FDA.  So for the political "flavour" of your chosen destination, look to the provincial government.

 

Some say the fact that Canada was not formed through revolution is part of what makes us different from Americans.  Rather we politely knocked on the Queen's door and said, "Excuse us mum, but would you mind handing over the constitution?" And she said, "Yes, we are quite happy to take you off the books - darn colonies are so expensive!  Go off and make yourselves a nice little country."  Our colonial connection also means we have a different international reputation - more of a team player, so to speak.

 

Re culture - some say that the US is a "melting pot" while Canada is a "mosaic".  When you immigrate to America, you become American first and foremost and assilimilation is key to success.  Canada seems more willing to tolerate a desire to maintain one's original cultural identity.

 

Intentfullady, I imagine you are somewhere near Nelson?

 

Can't remember what else I was going to comment on...

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#78 of 80 Old 04-24-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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very interesting thread!

have you checked out the immigration website? it would probably give you some valuable information about whether or not you can immigrate to Canada.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/apply-who-instructions.asp#list

I found it interesting and I wasn't sure if you are aware there is a cap on registered nurses of 1000 per year, which is full for this year, so you would probably want to be very timely about when you consider applying.

 

Canada is a huge huge country and it is very hard to generalize. I live in a small town (not sure what you consider small) of 2400. It has it's ups and downs but I really enjoy it and will never live in a city. Keep in mind that depending on the size of your community, access to health care can be limited. That being said, I've always been able to see a doctor when necessary, but often times that included a trip to emergency for something that was not an emergency but only because doctors in the clinic are often booked for 2 weeks in advance and the more popular doctors up to 6 weeks and couldn't get in to see someone at the clinic. I do have a family doctor, but haven't really figured out the point of it because it takes me 6 weeks to book an appointment with him which seems silly because typically when I make an appointment it's because my kids need to see someone within a day or two!

 

anyway, I would not recommend Northern Alberta to you just because although it is beautiful country, it is COLD in the winter and winters are soooo long. That is the thing I do really hate about living where I do.


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#79 of 80 Old 06-12-2011, 08:38 AM
 
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I know this post is rather old, but I thought I would just mention some things as I looks like I am the only one living in the Prairies.

I was born in Thunder Bay Ontario, grew up in Ottawa, moved 'West' in '97. We started out in Cold Lake (very small Air Force/oil city but beautiful!), then Edmonton and finally Swift Current Saskatchewan.

Even though I grew up among trees, I find the open Praires just spitacular! They don't call it the land of open skies for nothing.

A PP mentioned that it is very cold in the winters. Yes, temp wise yes, but I can handle a -30 C here, where it is a drier climate, than a -11C in Ottawa with the damp air that goes straight to the bones. And we get a heck of a lot less snow! I will also mention that there are 4 RN positions wanted in the area right now.... AND we have a lot non-Canadian Dr's here.

Some one mentioned wanting a treed area where you can walk everywhere..... How do you feel about biking as well? Two of my favorite cities are Canmore and Banf Alberta. Banf is nestled in the Rockies about 11/2 hrs from Calgary ( closest major city) I love it there! Expensive, but worth the money! Canmore is just outside Banf and considered cheaper than Banf, but not by much. Banf is a huge tourist town. People come from all over the world to vist and work for that matter. It is situated in one of our National Parks. Canmore is more of the family town. I had a friend who biked her kids to school everyday! Just beautiful the two.

Another PP mentioned being Muslim. Well, Calgary has a Muslim Mayor. I think that should speak volumes. And I think Calgary is 3 hrs from Great Falls Montana....

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#80 of 80 Old 06-14-2011, 05:41 AM
 
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Hello everyone!

 

I thought I'd chime in here, having immigrated to Canada (Quebec) 3 years ago from Germany (though I am French and was born and raised in the US).  The provinces like BC, Ontario (and even Quebec) tend to get most of the immigrants, so have stricter regulations.

A lot of the other provinces, such as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Saskatchewan are very welcoming to immigrants, and regularly look for qualified people in certain sectors to fill job openings. 

The best place to go is the Provincial website, or any of these Provinces you might be interested in.  I know of people who were offered jobs in Nova Scotia and NB before they left, and with this job offer were able to streamline their immigration process. 

 

If your family speaks French, you might want to try immigration to Quebec (they have different immigration criterea...favouring French-speaking immigrants) or Manitoba (with a sizeable Francophone population in Winnipeg) as they are also favouring French speaking immigrants.

 

Another way to come to Canada would be to get a job with a company with many branches in Canada, and ask for a transfer to Canada.  Once in Canada, you can apply for a permanent resident card, and if you are already employed this process can be quite easy.

 

That said, I have lived in Germany, France, UK, Switzerland and the US, and I am very happy in Canada.  The ratio of cost of living v. quality of life is very high, especially in Montreal where I live.  The health care system is better than in the US - about the same as in most European countries (and yes, even in Germany and France you do have to wait a couple of hours to see a doctor in the large cities) and their system of supplementary health care through the employer means that most people have excellent coverage for things that are not necessarily covered by the Provincial health care.  

Education is excellent - University education is affordable!! Child care is as expensive as in the US (the one regret I have - in Europe early child care doesn't cost much...) but once the children start school they offer day care services at $7 a day for all students (here in Quebec - I'm told that in ON it's much more...).

I am very happy here in Canada, and am happy my children are growing up here. 


Single mama to a 5yo and 8yo

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