I’m a young college man in Ohio who lives with two dogs and a great woman. Lately there has been discussion about where we are going to live when we are married and out of school (Or finishing in my case)…And the options are very limited. We have talked of living in many cities, but lately we’re bringing up the issue of local and federal governments and healthcare and some other things (jobs and such)…since we both are displeased with our current situation, and looking for somewhere else to live…we have discussed Canada…
So here is the question…
What possible advantages and disadvantages are there to moving up “north of the border”?
I am not sure that this question should go in GQ, but I wasn’t sure where else to put it, and that means that if it is moved, I understand…
I’m just trying to go to the best source for info before I look into moving any more…
Well Brad - a couple of the advantages include universal health care, leagalized pot, gays can marry, you’ll get as much poutine as you can possibly handle, and you have the option of keeping a moose as a pet.
A major disadvantage is that moving here is sort of…tricky if you’re not a refugee. If you go here and take the test you’ll have an idea if you qualify to immigrate as a skilled worker.
I’m assuming you want to immigrate, as opposed to just getting a work visa for a year or something.
Anyhow - perhaps you could narrow the focus of your question a little - like, Do you have a particular province or city you were considering? Do you have any Canadian relatives? Do you like snow? You know, that sort of thing.
what’s poutine? and well, moose are cool…
also, we were looking into places up above Lake Erie and possibly acrossed from Detriot. I wouldn’t want to live in a large city (the one I live in now is fine, and it’s like 20-30k people) so I don’t really know, this was kinda just a sudden idea the other day and I thought this was the best way to learn about it…
I don’t think I have any Canadian relatives, and I love snow, at least during the winter…hah…I’m gonna take the skilled worker self-assessment in a few moments…
hopefully I’m able to immigrate…a year long visa wouldnt do much for us if we are looking for a new home…
Well, the universal health care is a double-edged sword. It may be free, but there are also waiting lists and quality of care issues. We’re probably going to move to a two-tier system sometime in the future with private facilities mixed with public.
I didn’t know we had legalized pot. Where? I believe we have decriminalized it, which means that posession of small amounts is a misdemeanor and not a felony. But it’s not legal.
Disadvantages - Canada’s standard of living is not as high as in the U.S. Our per-capita income is significantly lower, and our taxes significantly higher (except in Alberta). Gas is more expensive, as are all the ‘sins’. Our taxes on alcohol and cigarettes would shock an American. Our unemployment rate is significantly higher than the U.S. (except in Alberta).
On the plus side, Canada is beautiful, peaceful, tolerant, there’s lots of space, recreational activities abound, and the people are generally pretty laid back, to the point of being apathetic. I think our public school system is better than the U.S.'s. It’s really a great country.
Poutine is fries covered in cheese curds and chicken gravy.
Define “large city”? 20-30K is not a large city. If you want to live above Lake Erie, e.g. southern Ontario, you pretty much have your pick of city sizes, from 20-30K on up to four or five million. As a practical matter, you’ll have to move to where your jobs are.
If you qualify to immigrate, the major disadvantage of moving to Canada is things like having to restart your credit history. Unless you’ve got a mound of cash to put up, you will basically have no credit history at all once you cross the border, so your first slate of loans will not be easily gotten - it can be done but expect some resistance. “Gay marriage, legalized pot,” and stuff like that all sound good in online discussion boards but in terms of your day-to-day life those things are about 0.001% of the experience of moving to a new country.
Your other major disadvantage is getting jobs. If you come without jobs, you’ll be in serious financial hurt until you find them, and not having them probably limits your choice of place to live, since you’ll have to live in or near one of the big cities where there are lots of job opportunities. Regrettably, employers are understandably not quick to hire people until after they immigrate or get permission to. So it’s kind of a delicate timing issue.
The good news is that presently the economy in Ontario is doing quite well so this might be the time to find a job here.
Other than that, truth be told, life in Ontario isn’t that much different from Ohio. There’s little differences, and the balance of payments is a bit different - the sales tax will shock you, but you won’t be getting screwed for medical insurance on every paycheck, either. (Contrary to popular belief, the tax load pretty much evens out if you’re moving to Ontario.) But you’re not in for any sort of big cultural shock. We drive on the right and speak English and eat the same sort of crap.
I understand that we live in a small city…it’s a college town and the college is the only thing keeping it alive…but I have lived in columbus before, and decided it just wasn’t for me…I can’t handle living in large city like that again…but a small town to medium city would be nice…I didn’t pass the immigration test either though, so I guess we are still gonna be american…but I didn’t know that it would be that hard to move to canada…hah…I just kinda assumed it would be possible…darn this sheltered life I live…heh…thanks guys…any more info would still be greatly praised…
Up here we live slightly longer and slightly healthier, but are not as wealthy. Newfoundlanders tend to have the best sex lives. Overall, I expect that there is more variation between various areas of the USA or between various areas of Canada than there is overall variation between the two nations.
We’ve neither de-criminalized it, nor legalized it. Possession of marijuana is still an offence under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, and carries a criminal record.
We don’t use the terms felony or misdemeanour. Most offences are called “hybrid offences.” Once the police lay the information, the Crown decides if it will proceed summarily or by indictment. The maximum sentence is lower if the Crown proceeds summarily.
There are some significant differences between the terms felony/misdemeanour and indictable/summary. They’re not just different ways to describe the likely penalty.
Usually, a felony record carries legal disqualifications, but a misdemeanour record does not. For example, voting rights may be witheld because of a felony conviction, firearms possession can be prohibited, etc. Misdemeanour convictions don’t usually trigger such disqualifications.
Canadian criminal law makes no such distinction between summary conviction and indictable: a criminal record is a criminal record. If there is a disqualification of some sort, it’s triggered by the fact of a criminal conviction, not by the process by which the person was tried.
A good example is driving while impaired, which has some relevance to cross-border travel. I understand that in most U.S. jurisdictions, a first offence for DUI is a misdemeanour, if there’s no harm done to others. However, if an American with a DUI conviction tries to enter Canada, that DUI record may keep them out, even though it was just a misdemeanour. Our system views it as a criminal offence, period.
Since the inquiry came from an American interested in moving to Canada, my thought is that we use the correct terminology to start the indoctrination process.
Next up in the Official Guide for Immigrants: the storied history of Canada’s Team, the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
brad_mac2: *I’m a young college man in Ohio who lives with two dogs and a great woman. Lately there has been discussion about where we are going to live when we are married and out of school *
Huh, you put the two dogs first on your roommate list but you haven’t told us how they feel about the issue. Do they like snow? Are they heavy-coated enough to tolerate the colder climate?
(A former roommate of mine a couple years ago moved back home to Singapore and took along the dog she’d acquired in the northeastern US, a medium-sized American Eskimo, which is related to Nordic breeds like Malamutes. Poor furry Manja is apparently not very happy with the tropical Singaporean climate.)
Don’t give up just yet. We are experiencing (or about to experience) a shortage of skilled workers in Canada. Your college educations may become a very valuable commodity for immigrating here. Maybe your next step is to talk to some immigration people or something (someone who actually knows the anwers to your questions. )
Another method might be to get hired by an American company with Canadian branches. Oil and gas companies come to mind; I think they all have a Canadian office here in Calgary.