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What is Canada like (for foreigners)?

Posted in Canada forum

Hello everybody!
I'm considering leaving Europe and go to an oversea country (at least when I saved enough money for this).
What is Canada like? Is it easy to settle down and feel homelike?


  • Go to Michelle A's profile

    posted by  in Canada forum 

    Health care in Canada is NOT free!
    It is financed by the astronomical taxes that Canadians
    must pay whether or not they use the health care that may or may not be available to them depending where they live in Canada. Every Canadian I know has also purchased private insurance because they want better services than they can get through the government provided health care. So not only are Canadians paying huge taxes but they also are paying big bucks to buy private health insurance just like Americans do. (This is also happening in the UK where many Brits are also purchasing private coverage because the government health care can be inconsistent or they can have a long wait for the simplest care)
    My friend Nina who lives in Montreal just had to wait 4 months to get an appt with a family Dr (she just had a baby in July) and has Crohn's disease and needs to see a specialist.
    She was told she would have to wait A YEAR AND A HALF TO GET AN APPT.

    The sales tax in Ontario with GST and PST hovers around 14%. While in the US it is at its highest less than half that. Then there is the income and property taxes. The cost of almost all goods and services in Canada is very high because
    there is less competion which is a direct result of a small population. Just try getting a cell phone in Canada. The insane rules about contracts and long distance are enough to make any one scream.

    I have never been a relieved to be an American as I have been since I moved to Canada. As soon as immigration paperwork is finalized my Canadian husband and I will be running to the border.

  • Edvin Lundahl

    posted by  in Canada forum 

    Hi Matt and Sheena!
    Thanks a lot for your answers! Has got a lot of important facts in it. But first I have to read it all a second time to internalize it :D

    Thanks again

  • posted by  in Canada forum 

    Hi Sheena,

    I saw your reply today about Canada. It seems that you don´t like your country or don´t like the immigrants. Why don´t you come to Brazil? We have all those problems you have mentioned and much more because the poverty here is enourmous, but it´s still a marvelous country for everybody and we love to receive people from all over the world.



  • Go to Matt Kab's profile

    Missed out on "Cost of living" part!

    posted by  Matt Kab in Canada forum 

    "Out Of Control Cost Of Living.
    From rent, to utility bills, to shopping, to phone, internet and cable bills, to gas, to car insurance, to eating out, to basically anything you have to pay for or buy, the cost of living in Canada has become astronomical. Recent immigrants are astonished as to how expensive everything is. It is estimated that compared to most countries around the world, the cost of living in Canada is on average five times greater."

    According to Mercer’s latest list of the cities as per cost of living, Toronto is less expensive than Tel Aviv, Shanghai and Mumbai among others. The full list is here:

  • Go to Matt Kab's profile

    posted by  in Canada forum 

    After living in three continents and visiting two thirds of the countries of the word, I can assure you that Canada is indeed a great place to live and raise your children.

    Here are my comments on the accusations I read in an earlier post!

    "Discriminatory and Dishonest Immigration System.

    Immigration to Canada is based on a point system, obtained with your education, qualifications and job experience. Points are good enough for immigration, but in Canada, they are not good enough to get a job in your field. Amazing, how the credentials that qualify you to come to Canada are the same credentials that don't qualify you for your profession in Canada. The reason is, Canada only wants immigrants to do the labor jobs - pizza delivery, driving taxis, factory work etc."

    The person, who wrote this, confuses immigration – the right to live in the country with finding a job in a particular community. The perception that if you are allowed to live in the country means also that the country has to find a job for you is ridiculous! In the job market, even if the competition is equal, the locals always have an inherent advantage. This is absolutely normal! Your options, apart from whining and blaming the immigration system, are either to get local qualification and experience in order to successfully compete or become an entrepreneur.

    "Out Of Control Cost Of Living.
    From rent, to utility bills, to shopping, to phone, internet and cable bills, to gas, to car insurance, to eating out, to basically anything you have to pay for or buy, the cost of living in Canada has become astronomical. Recent immigrants are astonished as to how expensive everything is. It is estimated that compared to most countries around the world, the cost of living in Canada is on average five times greater."

    "Health Care Crisis.
    Practicing physicians in Canada are in a shortage, 1 in 4 Canadians cannot get a family doctor. Canadian doctors are leaving to move permanently to the United States. Statistics Canada and the Canadian Medical Association both have identified that for every 1 American doctor that moves to Canada, 19 (nineteen) Canadian doctors move to the United States! Doctors in Canada are overworked and underpaid, and there is a cap on their salaries."

    Here is the comparison between USA and Canada, according to the data available from World health Organization.
    Physician density per 10,000 population: USA – 26, Canada – 19
    In Canada the health care is free as oppose to being very expensive in US.

    "Money Hungry Government.
    Canadian Embassies around the world lie to foreigners, painting this picture that Canada is Utopia, because they want them to come to Canada. Why? Because foreigners bring money! So after being deceived, these foreigners come. They must bring with them at least $10,000. Canada has an immigration quota of 250,000 per year. So please do the math, 250,000 multiplied by $10,000 each equals a whopping 2.5 Billion dollars that Canada gains from immigrants every year."

    A country with a GDP of 1.3 trillion $, 2.5 billion is not even a drop in the ocean. However, this amount helps offset part of the federal expenses in the field of immigration.

    "No Culture.
    Unlike almost every other country in the world, Canada has no culture. Actually American culture is what dominates Canada. When was the last time you had some 'Canadian' food? There are no Canadian traditions and there is no national identity. What does it even mean to call yourself a 'Canadian'. . .nothing really. People living in Canada, still identify themselves with the country they 'originally' came from."

    There is indeed a problem of multiculturalism exists in Canada. As an immigrant nation Canada should be the melting pot of the best of the cultures that human race has produced. But, in reality, unfortunately, the immigrants not always bring the best of the cultures. A revision of the meaning of multiculturalism which will give a better clarity is long overdue.

    As far as cuisine is concerned, Quebec has numerous authentic, albeit, French influenced mouthwatering dishes that you won’t be able to savor anywhere else.

    By the way, hockey by itself is a great cultural phenomenon!

    "Worst Weather.
    Yes, Canada has the worst weather conditions of any country in the world. Freezing cold temperatures, snow, ice, hail, winds, storms etc. From the Prairie provinces to the Maritimes, from the Territories to southern Ontario, the weather is so horrific and disgusting that many Canadians leave Canada simply because of this reason alone."

    If you like skiing or other winter activities, you will get used to the weather. In any case, it is much better than living all your life in hot and humid climate. Weather is always a matter of personal taste.

    "No Jobs.
    Yes, coast to coast, there are no jobs. Immigrants are highly qualified (MD's, PhD's, Lawyers, Engineers etc.) but they are driving taxi cabs, delivering pizza's or working in factories. Even people with bachelors degrees from Canadian Universities cannot find jobs after graduation. This is the tragedy associated with immigration to Canada. I feel sorry for those immigrants who are stuck in Canada for the rest of their lives. It is indeed a very sad and hopeless future." posts over 900,000 new jobs each year. Before coming to Canada, check out if your qualification is good enough to land a job in your respective field. With around 7 percent unemployment rate Canada is no worse than any European country as far as jobs are concerned.

    Adapting to a new society is not an easy task! However, if you are optimistic, open-minded, hardworking and you have worked out a good game plan before landing, in a very short period you will feel absolutely at home in your new country.

  • Edvin Lundahl

    posted by  in Canada forum 

    Hi Amanda,
    seems like Vancouver is a quite favoured city! Are many expats living there?

  • Edvin Lundahl

    posted by  in Canada forum 

    Hi Jose, I heard that Vancouver should be quite nice, too.
    Does anyone know any further cool cities? ;)



    posted by Deleted user in Canada forum 

    Edvin Landahai

    Good day, I was in Vancouver last 2006. It beatifull city.


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