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Why Moving To Canada Might Be A Bad Idea

Canada, the country of your dreams is calling. You’re ready for a move and a new start.

When you think about moving to Canada you visualize the immense space, endless opportunities, authentic living, nature pure, the friendly Canadians, and wilderness like nowhere else.  That all sounds like heaven on earth, and that’s exactly the place you want to be.

Truth is, depending on what country you come from, moving to Canada can be heaven for sure, or it can be…not heaven.

Life in Canada has changed a lot in the last few years. Still, a perfect country to explore on vacation, moving here permanently is a totally different story.

Writing from experience, I’m not just a traveller passing through, or an immigrant who came to this country didn’t like it and left again. I moved here over twenty years ago, I have lived east and west and I know what life in Canada is all about, and yes, I am a Canadian citizen. Of course, everyone’s path is different and in the end, it’s what you make out of your life, no matter where you are.  I will tell you about my experience and my views on life in Canada. What you make of it is up to you. If you know all the facts and you still want to move to Canada, you will be more cautious and do further research. And if you do that, my article has accomplished what it was intended to.

Moving to Canada - icefishing

In the end, it’s like anywhere else, it’s all about money. If you have lots of it, life will be easier for you. As a start, with enough money, you may find a loophole to move to our country.  For the regular person, immigrating to Canada is a difficult and time-consuming process. Unless you’re a refugee you might never get to move here, no matter what qualifications and money you have to show. Still, persistence usually pays out in the long run.

Why even bother moving to Canada if you live a fairly good life in the country you are now? Come to Canada for your vacations; buy a piece of land somewhere or a cabin if this makes you happy and feel that you belong. Come back every year and be a little part of us. But moving here permanently, really?

Why do you want to move to Canada in the first place? Okay I agree, we have the best looking prime minister. We still have fewer restrictions to start a business than many other countries have. The beauty of the country itself is amazing as well as our wild animals. And we still have lots of space.

Like with everything else, there are pros and cons to consider when you think about moving to Canada. For me over time, the cons overpower the pros. So why do you live in Canada you may ask me now. Believe me, Canada was different when I first arrived. Lucky me, I got to live my dream. That was long before the cost of living skyrocket and things got bad.

On first sight, property prices seem reasonable, in certain parts of Canada at least. Wait! Wait until you pay property tax, house insurance, electricity and the rest of the bills. Do you know that Satellite Internet is your only choice for Internet service when you live outside of town and is very expensive? Do you know that our cell phone bills are some of the highest in the world?

What about the big cities, like Vancouver? Vancouver house prices are horrendous and only affordable by Chinese immigrants.

Canada has become a materialistic society and to show off material objects are of big importance for many.  It still might be the land of plenty, but not necessarily the land of happiness. It often seems to me that people are rushing and looking for money, but they are not living. But then again, that’s my own opinion on things.

Moving To Canada - winter

If you decide moving to Canada anyway

  • Make sure you bring lots of money to live your Canadian dream, so you don’t have to depend on Canadian wages.
  • Our job market sucks big time. Expect very low pay. If you need to work when you get here, have a job lined up. Jobs here are not easy to get. Many Canadians work at two to three different jobs to have a large enough income to survive.
  • Do you know about Hunger in Canada? According to Food Banks Canada, thirteen percent of Canadians live in a state of food insecurity, mainly caused by low income, which consistently affects more than four million of us at any given time.
  • We don’t have Free Healthcare like everyone tells you. The Canadian health care system is dysfunctional and sucks. What does Free Health Insurance in Canada mean? In some provinces, you pay Health Insurance premium, unless you’re on a minimum income. The Canada Health Act does not cover prescription drugs, home care or long-term care, prescription glasses or dental care. Costs for prescription drugs come out of your own pocket unless you have extended Health Insurance. Lots of people can only afford extended insurance when it’s paid by their employer. And, learn to be patient; it’s not unusual to be on a two-year waiting list until you get surgery. People who have the money often go to the US to have surgery done. The Canadian health system sucks big time, but that’s material for another blog.
  • Young people have limited opportunities. Going to College or University doesn’t guarantee a job. According to The Globe and Mail dealing with ‘job churn’ is a reality. Some graduates are forced to work for no pay to gain experience. Many end up with low-paid jobs and struggle for years to pay back their student loan. No wonder not many young Canadians are travelling to broaden their horizon, how could they afford it. If you have children, I suggest doing some research on this topic.
  • The Canadian education system has big flaws and needs a major overhaul. Maybe that’s why home schooling is so popular in Canada, even in large cities. As long as the government saves money to put into the education system, there is not much hope of any improvements.
  • It is no secret that Canada has a drinking problem. Some say it’s caused by boredom and a lack of anything better to do. The strict drinking laws are old-fashioned and cause the opposite what they’re supposed to do. Many high school kids are already addicted to alcohol. Legal drinking age in Canada is 19, in Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec 18. According to a Government website, the average age when teens start to drink in Canada is 13.

Moving To Canada - North

Anything else to be concerned about moving to Canada?

  • Are you into healthy living and eating good food? Plan on growing your own food. GMO (genetically modified organism) food sold in Canada is a big concern of mine. Labelling GMO foods is not required in Canada; therefore it is difficult to know if a food product contains GMO ingredients. Buy organic if you can afford it. Gather wild edible plants and learn about foraging. If you are not keen on eating hormone meat from the store, get yourself a hunting licence when you arrive.
  • Canadians are generally friendly people but don’t expect that they will open their house for you quickly. Locals will help you when you desperate but not more than they have to; just like anywhere else. Help your neighbour is slowly disappearing here as well.
  • Are you a beach bunny and don’t like the cold? This is the last place on Earth you want to be. Depending on where in Canada you are moving to, the chance is that summer lasts six weeks with brutal heat, anything longer is a bonus. Canada boosts amazing beaches and a beautiful coastline, but summers are short and the most part of the year lakes and rivers are frozen and the land is buried in snow at subarctic temperatures.

Never forget the saying “It’s always greener on the other side!”

Moving to Canada - ice

The Great Alternative

Come to Canada for your next big vacation and enjoy the country as a tourist. Once you travel the tourist route through the world-famous Rocky Mountains, consider a road trip to less known places in the northern parts of Canada. Your destination choices are endless; once you’ve seen part of this huge country you will want to come back for more – I’m quite sure.


Was this article useful? Would you like to tell me about your own experience? Do you think about moving to Canada? Please leave a comment below.

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Yrene Dee

Yrene lives in Lumby British Columbia, Canada, and is the founder of BackcountryCanadaTravel.com. She was born in Switzerland, lived and worked on different continents and has travelled the world. Yes, that's me, an Entrepreneur, wilderness nut and animal lover. I write about things I love. Mostely.

8 Comments

  1. Laurel Watts

    As a fellow immigrant to Canada, I agree with your article. For the most part, the negatives in Canada run parallel to the problems in the US. Immigration to Canada is complicated and the process is lengthy, the lack of doctors, cost of prescriptions and surgery wait times is unacceptable, there is a drug epidemic and the judicial system needs a lot of work. That having been said, I love this place and the man who brought me here. I included in my wedding vows … “where thou goest, I will go”, knowing that I would be moving with him to Canada. I’ve never regretted it! What brought you to Canada?

    • Yrene Dee

      Thanks for your input Laurel. I hear people around me complaining about the same issues. Believe me, I love Canada as a country; the amazing wilderness and endless space and the hidden opportunities. Over the years of my Guest Ranch business I hosted many Europeans who intended to move here, but changed their mind once they realized how hard life here actually is. Most times Foreigners only read tourist promotions and get information from people who travelled in Canada. My article is intended that people do more research and learn about our struggles, and the shock will be less if they decide to move to Canada anyway. Actually, it was also a man who brought me here, but unfortunately our wedding vows didn’t last.

  2. Brian

    Yrene, I just erased a too too long comment which was meant to elevate you a bit to say the least. I was born and raised around big tree and lake filled northern Ontario and began travelling across country when I was 19. Lived worked in BC, Alberta, NWT, Manitoba, Ontario (20 years there too long and even Labrador. My life has been a string of adventures in between economic slumps. I have never turned anyone gong through hard times away. Ever. I can’t imagine how anyone but a rockstar, successful moviestar, doctor or lawyer can survive in BC. But I Am Going to build my retirement home there anyhow. Cheap land? None you say? You need to contact me by email tree. I low where it is. And even in BC at that. Oh yes. And btw, healthcare in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan costs $0.00. I know where the bumps in the road of life in Canada are. I know by spending a bit of time somewhere if the economy is good or bad. I travelled from Regina to Happy Valley Goose Bay in December too bring my four year old God Daughter, her parents (best friends) and their other two kids presents during rough times there. Because I care. Nothing else. Gnight.

    • Yrene Dee

      Hello Brian, I fully appreciate your comment. You’ve been around and probably know this big country better than most fellow Canadians do. Opinions always shape from our own experience. Canada is an amazing country and has more to offer than we ever can experience during a lifetime. I also lived in Ontario for a few years before settling in the Okanagan. Where I really want to go back to is the Yukon and NWT. Who knows where the roads lead me…Let me know once you settle in BC. Maybe we can meet to exchange our travel experiences. Greetings from BC, Yrene

  3. Andrew

    The article doesn’t even mention the Opioid epidemic we have in Vancouver.
    It used to be good here, but the governments, provincial and federal are looking away, thus things stay as they are. I’m disappointed. I used to love it here on holidays, but the minute I settled in B.C. it was a let down from the get go. Full time employment turned out to be nothing more but “permanent casual” conditions. No job security, no ‘Superannuation’ but RRSP, which is an inferior plan to say what Australia mandated to businesses for employees. Canada could, and should do better. It should be less reliant on the U.S. and be a better trading partner with China. Anyways, just my two pennies worth from my experience living here.

  4. K.S.

    Thanks for the informative article.
    The main reason for me to consider moving to Canada is to raise my 10 year old son there. Having read you mentioned about the Canadian schooling system and the lack of opportunities for new grads is kind of shock to me. I am not sure how to find more information about this matter but, now I have to (I have already bought a home in Hamilton, ON…and I am a proud mortgagor!
    Thanks again…
    Regards,

    • Yrene Dee

      Thanks for the comment. I lived in Hamilton ON for 4 years many moons ago. Just do your research. It all depends on your expectations and what country you are from. Good luck to you and your son.

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