Yrene lives in the Okanagan, 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 who prefers off-the-beaten-track places. I write about things I love. Mostely.
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.
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 skyrocketed and things got bad.
At 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 for Chinese immigrants.
Canada has become a materialistic society and showing 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.
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 homeschooling 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 of what they’re supposed to do. Many high school kids are already addicted to alcohol. The 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.
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 boasts 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!”
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.
BOOK A TOUR: Check out the best Adventure Tours in Canada
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