Canada: pros and cons? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 80 Old 09-14-2010, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
jenhill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ok. We just moved to Florida (US) from GA. Not my ideal place to live (i hate being hot-ha). But we had to for Dh's job. I am in school to be an RN. We plan on moving back to GA when I finish school--but I have been contemplating Canada for a while now. I don't know a ton about it though. But it seems like a cool place to live.

I was wondering about the government there. Positives and negatives. What do you think makes Canada a great place to live?
What are the taxes like and does anyone know wages for an RN? Anything.

I had several things in mind before I got on here-and now my mind is blank.
Oh, just in case it matters. We also want DH to only work part time and start up a photography business when I finish school. And we have three children (all of which will be school-aged when I finish in less than 3 years). Right now 6yr dd1, 3.5yr ds, and 2yr dd2

I read on another thread about different areas. And Stevenson (South Richmond) sounds nice. And so does Pemberton (north of Whistler).
jenhill is offline  
#2 of 80 Old 09-14-2010, 11:57 PM
 
pumpkinhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Great North
Posts: 4,448
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Taxes vary by province. Which province were you interested in?

Canadians pay some of the highest rates of income taxes in the world, but we have free basic medical services and do not require additional medical insurance for things like emergency care, doctors visits, essential surgeries and hospital stays etc. For example, having a baby in a hospital is 100% free. You can purchase supplementary health insurance for things like dentistry, eye care, ambulance service etc but the premiums don't tend to be as high as those you pay in the states.

As for salary, here is a job ad for a staff nurse in B.C.
https://psjobs-emploisfp.psc-cfp.gc....616&psrsMode=1

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 .

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
pumpkinhead is offline  
#3 of 80 Old 09-16-2010, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
jenhill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you. So check ups and sick visits are free? What about prescriptions? Also--this might seem like a stupid question-but how does the canadian dollar compare to the US dollar?
jenhill is offline  
#4 of 80 Old 09-16-2010, 10:20 AM
 
nsmomtobe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: NS, Canada
Posts: 1,176
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Prescriptions are not free and most health insurance drug plans require a co-pay.

The Canadian dollar hovers around (usually just below) the US dollar, but this doesn't matter unless you are doing a lot of international shopping. Unfortunately, I think you will find that most things are more expensive in Canada, so it may be cheaper to by things from the US.

After spending a lot of time on (predominantly American) parenting message boards, I have come to the conclusion that Canada is much more family friendly than the United States. I mean, the fact that we get up to a year of parental leave says something about the government's attitude (also the fact that doctor visits are free), but I have never witnessed negative attitudes from others about nursing in public, for example. There are other examples, but I can't think of them right now.

Now mom to a boy born January 2010. 
Cautiously expecting Dec 2014!

 12/08 (6 weeks),  1/13 (11 weeks), &  12/13 (9.5 weeks)
nsmomtobe is online now  
#5 of 80 Old 09-16-2010, 10:27 AM
 
new2texas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'll chime in here, I live in Texas now but I lived in Canada for 30 years. To be specific in Alberta, so my info pertains to that particular province, things vary greatly from province to province. In my opinion Alberta is a great place to live. My SIL is an RN, works in a big hospital in Edmonton, and makes I believe 32$ an hour. Pretty good wage. Alberta's economy is good, housing is pricey but has become much more reasonable after the latest economic downturn. (which did not affect Canada in nearly the same way as the US) I understand Florida is a very expensive place to buy a house so the prices may not seem that high to you.

Alberta also has no provincial sales tax, a plus, but is subject to the country wide GST of 5%. They also have a flat rate income tax, another plus.

Prescriptions tend to be much less than in the US.

Also a different SIL has had 2 babies in the last couple years, one in Alberta, one in BC both with midwives, one in the hospital (BC) and one at home (Alberta) both fully covered by the provincial health plan. Also you get a year paid maternity leave.

The dollar varies, sometimes on par with the US, usually a little below. Most big ticket items, cars, houses, boats etc will be MUCH cheaper in the US. Little things like clothes, food, household items will be slightly cheaper in the US but not significantly.

I agree with the PP about it being more family friendly. Attitudes towards breastfeeding are definitely different and there isn't the "doctor is god" attitude like I've experienced in the US. There are small cultural differences. There also isn't the great political polarization, a favorite Canadian past time is bitching about the government (and the weather!) but few people care enough to actually get out and vote.

Hope that helps!

SAHM to 3 girls
new2texas is offline  
#6 of 80 Old 09-16-2010, 02:32 PM
 
JessieBird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Quebec, Canada
Posts: 1,363
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Prescriptions actually depend on the province - Quebec, where I live, provides excellent prescription coverage for anyone who doesn't get insurance through work and I believe that other provinces are starting to talk about developing systems. Health care also varies by province but is very comprehensive everywhere - far, far more than simply check ups and sick visits are covered. All medically necessary procedures/care are "free," and preventive programs abound. I can't think of a single time I've ever paid for a medical service of any kind and I've had broken bones, physiotherapy, major surgery, superior midwifery care through two pregnancies and one birth (soon to be two), etc. You'll hear us complain about wait times and service standards but for the most part our system is exceptionally good (IMO). I agree also that Canada, and Quebec in particular, is far more family friendly than the US. Your public policies in regards to maternal care, maternity/parental leave and benefits, childcare, etc, sound negligible in comparison. Many of these policies and services also vary from province to province but in general folks are pretty well taken care of here...

...and thus brings me to how I would sum up the biggest difference between Canada and the US, and it's largely a philosophical one - here we have chosen to have big government and high taxes in exchange for being more "looked after" by our central agencies. You don't have to save up to take a decent mat leave for example, it's legislated in law and we pay into a system to ensure that everyone has access more or less equally. However, this means that individuals have less choice when it comes to many services, such as health care. And you have no choice but to pay for services you may never use, all in the benefit of the society at large. Because of this, we grumble A LOT about how our taxes are being spent and who is benefiting and who's not, etc... But I'm pretty sure that most people wouldn't have it any other way.

I'd say that across Canada you can encounter so much diversity in way of life and political outlook - we're a huge country and the geography plays a big part in the variety of regional character - that it is impossible to be specific about what makes Canada special and different from the US. No matter what you are looking for, you will find it somewhere in Canada. But there will always be that over-riding philosophical difference between Canada and the US.

PS Don't be deceived by our northerness in regards to the weather - though most parts of Canada have awesome winters, it still gets BRUTALLY hot in many areas. We melted this summer. I hate being hot too and could not be happier to see the leaves changing colour.

Happy mumma to my boys Henny Tom (Nov 30, 2008), Arlo Odie (Oct 5, 2010), and baby SISTER! due mid-Dec 2014.
JessieBird is offline  
#7 of 80 Old 09-16-2010, 03:14 PM
 
JessieBird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Quebec, Canada
Posts: 1,363
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I have to add that you will find here a lot of policy areas where we lag far behind the US - many aspects of environmental policy would fall into this. Because our economy is so dependent on yours, we often wait to see what the US is going to do in terms of a regulation on a chemical (or whatever) so that we can fall in line instead of doing differently if that is what we believe is best. I can't think of an example off the top of my head but I feel like I hear stories like this in the news all the time - times when the Canadian collective values on a particular issue may be different than the US but we follow along so as not to jeopardize trade. Hrmph. We're also increasingly hearing about US lobby groups pressuring our government - I just heard how the NRA is all over our long-gun registry debate!!! So I guess in some ways we are very proud to carve our own path but in many ways we are very dependent and therefore similar to the US.

Happy mumma to my boys Henny Tom (Nov 30, 2008), Arlo Odie (Oct 5, 2010), and baby SISTER! due mid-Dec 2014.
JessieBird is offline  
#8 of 80 Old 09-16-2010, 03:57 PM
 
Bluegoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,619
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm in Nova Scotia, on the East Coast. People have summed up a lot of the differences. The general outlook on life also tends to be much different, sometimes in unexpected ways. Overall, for example, Canadians are less religious. OTOH, you tend not to see the same kind of vilification or fear of religious groups like Muslims. Many Canadians hunt and have guns, but few have strong philosophical commitments about gun ownership.

Taxes are indeed higher, but there is also a lot less difference between the poor and wealthy. Overall, at the moment, the Canadian economy is very healthy. There seems to be less differences between the quality of public schools, overall, than in the US.

Doctors appointments are free. Drugs are not, though most full time nursing jobs will have a good drug plan. For example, through my dh's job we pay under $10 a month for a plan that pays most of the cost of drugs, dental, glasses, and so on.

There are a lot of nursing jobs available here.

FWIW, I love Eastern Canada, and wouldn't live anywhere else. Jobs here pay ok, and the cost of living is reasonable. People are pretty laid back. My BIL is a nurse in a smaller town here, so if you want more info, feel free to PM me.

 I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt.
Bluegoat is offline  
#9 of 80 Old 09-16-2010, 11:00 PM
 
half-pint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 59
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm an American who married a Canadian and moved here 8 years ago. We lived abroad prior to that so the last time I lived in the states was 1994 but still have family/friends etc. there.

I generally really like it here and feel especially blessed that we live in a place with provided health care. As a nurse, you will likely have good extended health to cover prescriptions ,etc. We are self-employed and finding a decent extended health plan has not been easy. My son has special needs so this is a very necessary thing. In general most of his needs are covered but the health system is more conservative and a very expensive treatment that he needs is not covered by the system. This is due to reluctance to cover it because of the cost and it being an "off label" prescription. But if I were to move to the states, he would be uninsurable due to his diagnosis (unless we got jobs with a company with a stellar health insurance program)
We paid nothing for his extended stay in the NICU whereas in the states I know people who had to pay thousands in copays.
We never pay to see a doctor or get an xray or see a specialist.

Taxes are higher. In BC we have 12% sales tax. Housing here in the Vancouver region in particular is very costly. You will not find a detached home for under $500k anywhere in Vancouver and probably a 50 mile radius. Other areas of the country are much more affordable.

I find it much safer here. When we first moved here, my husband drove me around the "worst neighborhood" in Vancouver - east hastings street. Yes, the street were littered with addicts but where I come from in California the worst neighborhood will get you carjacked, shot at, and worse. Violent crime is much much lower. Personal property crime, (home break-ins, car break-ins), however, is not better and sometimes a bit worse depending on the area.

Definetely less religous, especially the evangelical type. Religious differences respected.

Um, no Fox News type channel.

Shopping, I must say, is much better in the states. Better variety, better pricing. But that stands to reason since our population is about 10% of the states. People living in border areas often go over for shopping and to fill up the tank (gas is about 1/3 less over there)

The immigration process can be long but since you are in an in-demand field it might be easier. I was sponsered by by husband so I don't know how it works for a family.
half-pint is offline  
#10 of 80 Old 09-17-2010, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
jenhill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks so much for all the help!! Yall are being very helpful. Does anyone know how the small towns are? And what areas are close to the border? What are the winters like?
jenhill is offline  
#11 of 80 Old 09-17-2010, 11:59 AM
 
Bluegoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,619
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Close to the border is where the majority of Canadians live, so there are a lot of settlements. Is there a place that you are particularly interested in being able to get to?

There are a lot of nice small towns in all the provinces. They can vary a lot in character too.

 I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt.
Bluegoat is offline  
#12 of 80 Old 09-17-2010, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
jenhill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't know too much about any of the towns there or provinces. I want something that is on the smaller side-with shops and that I may can walk more than drive. And of course good schools (public is fine with me). Are there places close to the border that are wooded? and with very low crime.
jenhill is offline  
#13 of 80 Old 09-17-2010, 01:13 PM
 
pumpkinhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Great North
Posts: 4,448
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
PIck a province .

Right now we're in south eastern Manitoba. Really long, cold winters (think Montana or Northern Minnesota but colder) but really dry cold and really hot summers for the most part. Nice spring and fall. It's about 3 hours to Grand Forks North Dakota for me. If I lived in the city, it would be 2 hours.

I live in a small farming town about an hour from the capital city. Housing is really, really, reasonable where we are and considerably more expensive in the city. There are lots of services available to us, but for big shopping, we go to the city. An hour really isn't a big deal.

I've lived in the maritimes which are further from the US border, but they're just amazingly beautiful. More moderate climate than the praries (warmer in winter, cooler in summer).

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
pumpkinhead is offline  
#14 of 80 Old 09-17-2010, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
jenhill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Does everywhere in Canada snow in the winter?
jenhill is offline  
#15 of 80 Old 09-17-2010, 05:13 PM
 
RaeDyCo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 138
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenhill View Post
Does everywhere in Canada snow in the winter?
Not necessarily -- the winters in lower mainland BC (Vancouver and area, Vancouver Island) are generally mild but may still get some snow. It really depends. However, the winters are wet and rainy which I personally find harder to deal with than snow and cold.

Loving my two wild and crazy boys -- DS1 06/07 and DS2 12/09
RaeDyCo is offline  
#16 of 80 Old 09-17-2010, 07:09 PM
 
Bluegoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,619
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaeDyCo View Post
Not necessarily -- the winters in lower mainland BC (Vancouver and area, Vancouver Island) are generally mild but may still get some snow. It really depends. However, the winters are wet and rainy which I personally find harder to deal with than snow and cold.
Yeah, the west coast is warmest but it rains all winter. The east coast gets snow, and it's damp, which makes it seem colder that central, which are actually colder temperature wise.

I can think of a lot of towns like you have described in my province, and I'm sure in other provinces too. My dad is in Parsborro, a town of a few thousand, with little shops and a hospital, and there is a professional theater, so lots of artists and so on too. It's about 45 min from the bigger town, and 2 hours from the city.

I also really like Annapolis Royal. I lived in Truro, which is a farming town, which has a lot to recommend it, and they are building a new hospital at the moment. The South Shore has a lot of nice towns too.

For something a bit bigger, Charlottown in PEI is a small city which is really a nice place.

 I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt.
Bluegoat is offline  
#17 of 80 Old 09-17-2010, 07:22 PM
 
pumpkinhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Great North
Posts: 4,448
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wolfville NS is gorgeous . Lived there for 10 years.

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
pumpkinhead is offline  
#18 of 80 Old 09-17-2010, 07:51 PM
 
leilasmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: London etc.
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm an American with a Canadian DH & we've lived abroad for the last 13 years. This year, after having my DD in January, we spent the summer in North America & I have to say that I found Canada preferable to the States. Apart from things like health care, people just seem (in general) more open & tolerant... I dunno, there's just a good feel there (ok, I was in the Toronto & Vancouver area & obviously I'm generalizing wildly). But we are now considering leaving urban Europe for backwoods BC - problem is we're looking for the same sort of place as you Jenhill - smallish, but walkable - seems pretty tough to find a place you don't need a car, even in the city.
leilasmama is offline  
#19 of 80 Old 09-18-2010, 12:52 AM
 
babygrant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 7,834
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenhill View Post
Ok. We just moved to Florida (US) from GA. Not my ideal place to live (i hate being hot-ha). But we had to for Dh's job. I am in school to be an RN. We plan on moving back to GA when I finish school--but I have been contemplating Canada for a while now. I don't know a ton about it though. But it seems like a cool place to live.

I was wondering about the government there. Positives and negatives. What do you think makes Canada a great place to live?
What are the taxes like and does anyone know wages for an RN? Anything.

I had several things in mind before I got on here-and now my mind is blank.
Oh, just in case it matters. We also want DH to only work part time and start up a photography business when I finish school. And we have three children (all of which will be school-aged when I finish in less than 3 years). Right now 6yr dd1, 3.5yr ds, and 2yr dd2

I read on another thread about different areas. And Stevenson (South Richmond) sounds nice. And so does Pemberton (north of Whistler).
I work as a Long Term Care Aide and work directly with RN's. Starting wage with HEU I believe is $32.00/hour with lots of overtime since we have a nursing shortage in BC.

I really love living in BC Canada. It's beautiful. Doctor visits, emergency room visits, surgery, etc is free. Perscriptions need to be paid for unless you have optional coverage that you pay for. DH's work place pays for optional medical coverage so we get 80% back for perscriptions, 100% of everything paid for with dental, $250.00/year for glasses, 80% back for naturopath/accupuncture/massage, etc.
babygrant is offline  
#20 of 80 Old 09-18-2010, 03:06 AM
 
Tjej's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: a beautiful place
Posts: 1,580
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you are from Georgia think long and hard before you move to the Pacific Northwest. It is a rain forest. Literally. Winters are LONG and GRAY.

BUT, there are a lot of good things about BC. If you want a small town Richmond is not what you want. Pemberton, maybe. I don't know much about it but I picture it small.

Health care here is definitely less stressful on the paying side, but as far as waiting for services it's really different. One relative of mine waited 6-9 months for hip surgery. She was just waiting for a spot on the table that whole time - it was all arranged and she was ready to go. Emergent services seem to be timely, but anything that can possibly wait seems to have a wait-list. Public health care isn't actually "free" in BC - we pay about $110/month for a family of 4. But compared to the US prices it's free. Drug coverage - drugs are cheaper here, and often secondary insurance provided by an employer will bring costs down even more. I did end up paying over $100 for an epipen, but other than that we've had nothing crazy/suprising in that department.

In the lower mainland there are places to buy homes that cost less than $500K. www.mls.ca is a fun site to play on looking at houses. The further out you go, the cheaper they are, but there are normal neighborhoods in Abbotsford where you can get something for $300K (I *think*, I haven't looked lately, but it hasn't gone up a ton lately anyway).

On the healthcare side, since you work in nursing - I think there is a lot less equipment here. Ultrasounds are done in special U/S clinics, not at the Dr's office hardly ever. MRI or CAT scan - you WAIT. Patients go here and there to get blood draws, U/S, X-rays, etc. It isn't as streamlined as it was where I lived in the US.

Tjej
Tjej is offline  
#21 of 80 Old 09-18-2010, 11:07 AM
 
Irishmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In the bat cave with heartmama
Posts: 45,981
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenhill View Post
Thanks so much for all the help!! Yall are being very helpful. Does anyone know how the small towns are? And what areas are close to the border? What are the winters like?
Canada is the second largest country in the world, covers 6 time zones, and a heck of a lot of climates. Maybe if you narrow down where you are considering moving, it would help with answering your questions.
Irishmommy is offline  
#22 of 80 Old 09-18-2010, 11:33 AM
 
gigismom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: nj
Posts: 889
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Great thread! Dh has been telling me for years he would like to move to Canada. We are Muslim and given the recent increase in non-tolerant chatter in the States, I am now allowing this idea to creep into my own head. There's some great info here. Some basic questions that I don't have a clue about.... how does the immigration process work? Dh and I are both American citizens and we have 3 American-born kids. I am an occupational therapist and would be looking for a job in Canada. Would the job somehow sponser me and then I bring everybody else along too? OTs are in high demand in the States so I am thinking the same might true in Canada. Currently, we live about 30 minutes outside of NYC in a beautiful small-town-feeling area. I love the quick access to the city. I need to have a great public school system and safe place to live. I love to go to parks with the kids, ride bikes, spend time outside etc... The area we live in is very pricey but was quite hard hit by the housing melt down so if we sold our house now we wouldn't have a lot left over to buy another house. Also, dh owns a pizzeria and would likely want to open a new one in Canada. Phew! Seems way to overwhelming to truely contimplate. So... any thoughts on the immigration questions and what area might be similar to that I described above? Is there a great need for OTs (I work in geriatric home health now and LOVE it). How do Canadians feel about really awesome NY-style pizza?

thanks... don't mean to hijack your thread but thought some of the above might be relevant overall

jen

jen mommy to dd1 (11y), dd2 (6y) and ds (3y)
gigismom is offline  
#23 of 80 Old 09-18-2010, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
jenhill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i dont know about the immigration process either. So that is a good question.
We are almost in the same boat as you. ALl 5 of us are Americans (born here). And I will be working as an RN. But my husband will be (possibly working a small part time job) and starting a photography business.
I don't know about the different areas in Canada. Or I would try to be more specific-sorry.
jenhill is offline  
#24 of 80 Old 09-18-2010, 09:03 PM
 
Callimom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 3,000
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigismom View Post
Great thread! Dh has been telling me for years he would like to move to Canada. We are Muslim and given the recent increase in non-tolerant chatter in the States, I am now allowing this idea to creep into my own head. There's some great info here. Some basic questions that I don't have a clue about.... how does the immigration process work? Dh and I are both American citizens and we have 3 American-born kids. I am an occupational therapist and would be looking for a job in Canada. Would the job somehow sponser me and then I bring everybody else along too? OTs are in high demand in the States so I am thinking the same might true in Canada. Currently, we live about 30 minutes outside of NYC in a beautiful small-town-feeling area. I love the quick access to the city. I need to have a great public school system and safe place to live. I love to go to parks with the kids, ride bikes, spend time outside etc... The area we live in is very pricey but was quite hard hit by the housing melt down so if we sold our house now we wouldn't have a lot left over to buy another house. Also, dh owns a pizzeria and would likely want to open a new one in Canada. Phew! Seems way to overwhelming to truely contimplate. So... any thoughts on the immigration questions and what area might be similar to that I described above? Is there a great need for OTs (I work in geriatric home health now and LOVE it). How do Canadians feel about really awesome NY-style pizza?

thanks... don't mean to hijack your thread but thought some of the above might be relevant overall

jen
Here's some info on immigrating to Canada as a skilled worker.
I don't think there is a shortage of OTs enough to warrant special immigration status but I would contact the Canadian Association for OTs to find out and to see if you need to be recertified to practise here.

Lots of places in Southern Ontario would be similar to what you describe - close to large cities and yet having a smaller town feel. Our school system although not spectacular in IMO is good with far less evidence of funding discrepancies and school violence etc than we hear about in the US. I went to highschool in FL (3 different schools) and moved back to Canada on my own because the system there was hideous - and that was 25 years ago.
Good luck with your decision
Karen

Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha

Callimom is offline  
#25 of 80 Old 09-19-2010, 03:31 PM
 
JessieBird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Quebec, Canada
Posts: 1,363
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Only have a sec but want to add my two bits on some questions that have come up.

Having lived in Vancouver, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, personally I'd take a snowy winter over a rainy one! Lower mainland BC is so lovely in a million different ways but not seeing the sun for 75+ days IN A ROW is brutal. Maybe I was there for a bad year but I'm seriously not exaggerating. It just about broke my spirit. I live in Quebec now, close to Ottawa, Ontario and we have classic Canadian winters. Pristine snow and sun, sun, sun. It is just spectacular...as long as you have lots of down and wool in your wardrobe! Winter is nothing to be afraid of - the outerwear is a bit of an investment up front and you may want to take a winter driving course to get a few tips on handling slush, ice, etc, but other than that, it's an adventure!

I live in a small town close to a "big" (900,000 is big to us) city. http://chelsea.ca/home/index_e.php is us. http://www.wakefieldquebec.com/ is also nearby. Both are very crunchy, outdoorsy, friendly, farmy, community-oriented. Single family homes go for as low as $150k, average is probably around $300k. Almost everyone lives "in the woods." There are several hospitals in the area within easy commuting distance. You don't have to speak French AT ALL to live here, though I think you would have to to work in a public hospital/clinic. There are also lots of private jobs for nurses (home care agencies, etc) where just English would be fine. Across the river in Ottawa (Ontario), just English is fine for getting a job and there are several big hospitals also within commuting distance.

Many people are scared of Quebec because of higher income taxes and the supposed language barrier. Speaking only English in most areas (esp Montreal and westward, where most of the population is) is absolutely fine, in fact my area is predominantly English and there are English schools, etc. As for the taxes, it's true that they are higher than the rest of Canada but services in general are a lot better. Health care here rocks (though I've heard others say the opposite so maybe I've just been lucky) and many things including property taxes, auto insurance, child care, contractors, haircuts, you name it, are MUCH less expensive than most of the rest of the country, so I find that it in fact balances out. If you are lower income, then Quebec is probably one of the more cost effective places to live.

As for getting to the border, we're about 2 hours from Ogdensburg NY. We visit NYC often and it takes about 5-6 hours. Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, etc, can all be easily accessed by heading south just a bit east of Montreal. Not immediately close but the highways are mostly very good and it's a pleasant drive. A major international airport is only a 15 min drive from downtown Ottawa, so about 30 mins from my house.

Ooops...I really didn't mean for this to turn into a sales pitch! After living all over the country, I have no doubts about my choice to call this part of Quebec home and I can't imagine living anywhere else. I'd also put a big fat vote in for Nova Scotia. A pp mentioned Wolfville - it is truly gorgeous there! The coast just south of Halifax is chock a block with sweet towns too.

Good luck making your decision!
erthe_mama likes this.

Happy mumma to my boys Henny Tom (Nov 30, 2008), Arlo Odie (Oct 5, 2010), and baby SISTER! due mid-Dec 2014.
JessieBird is offline  
#26 of 80 Old 09-20-2010, 11:44 AM
 
Bluegoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,619
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We have a rather nice Muslim school here in Halifax, if that would be of interest. They have a pre-school too.

As I understand it, if you are in a profession that is not especially designated, you need to get a job offer in order to get permission to immigrate. I would contact the licensing bodies in each province - they would also have an idea what areas would be under-serviced for OTs. And the Immigration Canada website would be helpful too.

 I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt.
Bluegoat is offline  
#27 of 80 Old 09-20-2010, 07:39 PM
 
pumpkinhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Great North
Posts: 4,448
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenhill View Post
i dont know about the immigration process either. So that is a good question.
We are almost in the same boat as you. ALl 5 of us are Americans (born here). And I will be working as an RN. But my husband will be (possibly working a small part time job) and starting a photography business.
I don't know about the different areas in Canada. Or I would try to be more specific-sorry.
Canada is a really big country. it's actually a bigger land mass than the US but far less populated.

A good place to start might be to get a map and then search each province on Wikipedia or somethng similar.

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
pumpkinhead is offline  
#28 of 80 Old 09-21-2010, 11:05 PM
 
Tapioca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Burnaby, BC
Posts: 782
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessieBird View Post
Only have a sec but want to add my two bits on some questions that have come up.

Having lived in Vancouver, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, personally I'd take a snowy winter over a rainy one! Lower mainland BC is so lovely in a million different ways but not seeing the sun for 75+ days IN A ROW is brutal. Maybe I was there for a bad year but I'm seriously not exaggerating. It just about broke my spirit. I live in Quebec now, close to Ottawa, Ontario and we have classic Canadian winters. Pristine snow and sun, sun, sun. It is just spectacular...as long as you have lots of down and wool in your wardrobe! Winter is nothing to be afraid of - the outerwear is a bit of an investment up front and you may want to take a winter driving course to get a few tips on handling slush, ice, etc, but other than that, it's an adventure!

I live in a small town close to a "big" (900,000 is big to us) city. http://chelsea.ca/home/index_e.php is us. http://www.wakefieldquebec.com/ is also nearby. Both are very crunchy, outdoorsy, friendly, farmy, community-oriented. Single family homes go for as low as $150k, average is probably around $300k. Almost everyone lives "in the woods." There are several hospitals in the area within easy commuting distance. You don't have to speak French AT ALL to live here, though I think you would have to to work in a public hospital/clinic. There are also lots of private jobs for nurses (home care agencies, etc) where just English would be fine. Across the river in Ottawa (Ontario), just English is fine for getting a job and there are several big hospitals also within commuting distance.

Many people are scared of Quebec because of higher income taxes and the supposed language barrier. Speaking only English in most areas (esp Montreal and westward, where most of the population is) is absolutely fine, in fact my area is predominantly English and there are English schools, etc. As for the taxes, it's true that they are higher than the rest of Canada but services in general are a lot better. Health care here rocks (though I've heard others say the opposite so maybe I've just been lucky) and many things including property taxes, auto insurance, child care, contractors, haircuts, you name it, are MUCH less expensive than most of the rest of the country, so I find that it in fact balances out. If you are lower income, then Quebec is probably one of the more cost effective places to live.

As for getting to the border, we're about 2 hours from Ogdensburg NY. We visit NYC often and it takes about 5-6 hours. Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, etc, can all be easily accessed by heading south just a bit east of Montreal. Not immediately close but the highways are mostly very good and it's a pleasant drive. A major international airport is only a 15 min drive from downtown Ottawa, so about 30 mins from my house.

Ooops...I really didn't mean for this to turn into a sales pitch! After living all over the country, I have no doubts about my choice to call this part of Quebec home and I can't imagine living anywhere else. I'd also put a big fat vote in for Nova Scotia. A pp mentioned Wolfville - it is truly gorgeous there! The coast just south of Halifax is chock a block with sweet towns too.

Good luck making your decision!
I hate to be a downer...but Quebec can be problematic for Anglophone non-Canadians. I'm thinking of education in particular. I'm assuming you're canadian - an english-speaking canadian can educate his/her children in english public schools in Quebec, as long as they can prove eligibility, but english speakers from outside of canada are expected to educate their kids in the french public school system and don't have the same choice.

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.

It is getting tougher and tougher. Not impossible, but due to recession etc. it's not as easy as it used to be.

However, that's the federal skilled worker programme, which in a lot of ways is the hardest. There are other ways. Each province has it's own PNP (provincial nominee programme) where they can nominate immigrants that they believe are needed in their province.

Nova Scotia as the Community Identified immigration stream, but you have to prove ties to NS/make an effort to establish yourself there. But it's another way if you don't have the required skills.

A good place to start is here:

www.cic.gc.ca
Tapioca is offline  
#29 of 80 Old 09-21-2010, 11:13 PM
 
Tapioca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Burnaby, BC
Posts: 782
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
http://www.welcomebc.ca/wbc/immigrat...out/index.page

BC PNP above

Alberta, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan all have provincial immigration plans. You (general you) really need to think about what kind of lifestyle you want, as they are all VERY different.
Tapioca is offline  
#30 of 80 Old 09-22-2010, 01:19 AM
 
Piglet68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 11,097
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It is hard to make generalizations about any place, particularly such a large country with such a diverse culture.

Health care expenses are not an issue here, period. When I see how much it impacts families in the US (I lived there for 3 years) I wouldn't trade our system for yours for all the tea in china. Better maternity care, overall more liberal attitude (legal gay marriage) and tolerance. Of course, you will always find places that are the opposite of this.

I was born and raised in BC and love the mild climate. I don't mind the rain or the gray at all, probably because I'm so used to it. But I can see how it would affect people. OTOH, I simply cannot tolerate the cold (spent a very miserable winter in Boston) nor intense heat so the West Coast is perfect for me. In general, the bigger cities are close to the US border, and things get more conservative as you move northwards from there. I have not lived in any other province, but there are many wonderful small towns in BC that are crunchy and have a great sense of community. Housing prices in the big cities are pretty astronomical, but in the smaller regions they are affordable.

I like many things about the US, but ultimately decided to bring our family back home to Canada because I just didn't like the overall "tone" down there. A little too much "taking ourselves seriously" in the US, while we Canadians err in the opposite direction, lol.

Anyways, I'm sure you would love it here if you can swing it.

teapot2.GIF Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)  ribbonjigsaw.gif blogging.jpg homeschool.gif

Piglet68 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off