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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 for 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 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 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.

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.

Ranch For Sale In British Columbia, Canada


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.

55 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.

  5. Maja

    I came to Canada with my husband and 2 small children 20 years ago from Europe looking for an adventure. I got my degree here, changed careers a few times since and realized that I am just sooo bored here. I already visited everything of interest, saw all “historical” places of 100 years of age, fished (a big plus to have great fishing places), hiked (great hiking places) and now I cannot wait to move back to Europe where life has so much more flavour and culture. And the quality of life is way higher.

    Canada is very expensive to live – the cost of living compared to how much people make is huge. A lot of people live in poverty, you see a lot of poor people on the streets. Also big problem with drugs, alkohol, lack of opportunities for young poeple. Broken health and mental health system – I am scared to get sick as people sometimes wait years for surgeries.

    Food you buy at the supermarkets is of very poor quality – if you want to buy better food, it costs small fortune.

    People do not really mix with each other if they come from different cultures – they have no way of learning about each other’s culture (they communicate via small talk which is very popular here, and are polite, that’s all).

    Overall, this is a country of polite and nice people but hard for creating a sense of community and deeper relationships. People commute huge distances for work, spend many hours in cars and cubicles at work, and have no energy for anything more but TV.

    The government systems are very over-developed, they hire a lot of people, everything must be controlled. Citizens very rarely push back against any injustice from the system or even complain. Lack of hope? Feeling powerless?

    I see things getting worse every year – the cost of living has increased so much over the years that is difficult to cover all basic expenses with just one job (and I am a professional who is not earning a minimum wage). For people who work for a minimum wage, food bank is the only option – they simply cannot survive.

    I am moving back to Europe in 2 years for my retirement and I hope that my children whom I brought into this country 20 years ago will eventually decide to live and work elsewhere. As for me, I am just simply bored out of my mind living here and I am glad that I finally realized that…

    • Yrene Dee

      Thanks for your input Maja. I would be interested to hear where in Canada you settled and where in Europe you’re going back to? In any case, good luck and best wishes!

  6. Maja

    Hi Yrene,

    At first, I lived in Toronto, then in Mississauga and Brampton, and I finally settled in Ottawa (last 5 years). Ottawa is actually my favourite city to live in Canada. I especially like Quebec which is very close and has beautiful sceneries for hiking, fishing etc. I suppose that I could live in Quebec, as I love the culture, food, people that actually will talk about something meaningful rather than “small talk” but I don’t speak French.

    I am Polish, and for that reason I will be retiring in Poland. I love Poland for its architecture (you still have small towns with cobblestone streets and buildings from 14th century), palaces, castles with beautiful gardens to visit, amazing, locally grown food and exceptionally hospitable people who not only invite you to their homes, but will never let you leave their house without a dinner and a glass of wine. Living expenses in Poland are very modest, health system is great – free or paid if you choose to pay for a private consultation (free – including dentist, psychologist etc.).

    And, from Poland, you can just take a train or a bus to visit any city in Europe without needing a visa or anything. Everything in Europe is close by, easy to access.

    But, I also believe that any country in Europe is better than North America depending on your language skills.

    I think the American (or Canadian) dream idea for that matter is for a long time just a myth!

    • Yrene Dee

      Thanks for the information Maja. I guess some of us are lucky to be able to choose where we want to live; not that many are in the position to do that. All the best wishes to you.

  7. roland

    I see Canada as another country being run by a government that thinks that its ok that true facts means nothing. All governments are lying. I know that there lies will never end. No matter were you live the lies will always be there. I hope that one day the governments of the world will truly see the light. The light of all the people they represent.

  8. Mitch

    Couldn’t agree more. I’m from Australia and currently going through my permanent residency application. I’m having serious second thoughts about making Canada my new home. The cost of living compared to wages and opportunities is atrocious. I’m an educated professional earning less here in a full-time job than I did at 17 back home in a part-time job. That doesn’t make sense. How people can support a family on these wages is nothing short of a miracle. Having lived in this country for a few years makes me realize just how good Australians have it. Maybe I’ll move back home. I thought this would be different.

  9. Tony d

    It is 2018, and it is 9+ years since I/We came to Canada. Canada is THE MOST RACIST and discriminatory, bigoted and HUBRIS country on the planet!

    Canadians will only accept you if you have CASH and willing to do ‘slave jobs’. Banks (and the government, etc) are not tolerant to people, they are tolerant to CASH.

    For example, if you are a new immigrant the Drivers Test will FAIL YOU THREE TIMES. Since you need to go to driver training, the entire process costs you over $1,500.00.

    The sad part is the CASH racism is adopted by even your ‘own kind’. No white or newer immigrant will accept the fact that another colour other than old Canadian white can own executive businesses or hold executive positions like CEO, Managing Director, etc.

    Canadians LOVE YOU and are NOT RACIST as long as you are doing a lesser job and driving a car lesser than them or spending your CASH here.

    Take note, NOT ONLY, white Canadians are racist, new immigrants, for example (from experiences) from China, India, Philippines DO NOT WANT TO BE EMPLOYED by other colours. If they do they want PREMIUM WAGE. They will BEG and WORSHIP white employers/people (again from experiences).

    Then others will ‘ask you to work free’ so that you can get ‘Canadian experience’ (happens almost one per month).

    Ukrainian Canadians and Eastern Europeans believe that it is their (God given) RIGHT to ‘educate/guide’ all new comers on how to live, etc (they assume that you lived in a ‘sh*t hole’ before coming to Canada… We have had Canadians correct our English only to learn from us that we were explaining to our Son the meaning of a word in another language. English is our first language and we speak 2 other languages.

    Canada is NOT multicultural, Canada is a country of different cultures doing their own thing with sporadic integration which is negligible. In other words, if I am correct ‘The oligarchy promotes this to divide and rule (and keep the CASH within themselves)’ (Read ‘Controlling Interests’ and ‘Who owns Canada now’ – nothing, absolutely nothing has changed, just well hidden with HR people, call-centre agents, etc).

    Canadians are so HUBRIS that if you complain/criticize about the country they will ask you to ‘leave if you don’t like it’ and I now respond ‘only when I get my refund with interest’ and they change their tune.

    In short, the Canadian immigration policy is a MONEY GRAB for the country, and Canada is an Oligarchy, if not,
    I have now come to the assumption that all the ‘high salaries’ etc are all GOVERNMENT PROPAGANDA. Canada is in fact one of the POOREST countries on the planet. That would explain why there is someone ‘hitting you for a buck’ (begging) in the name of ‘charity’ at every corner.

    Whatever the reason, Canada is NOT WHAT IT IS Portrait-ed TO BE in the ‘fake’ (advertisements) media. It is extremely challenging for a new-comer and gets worse as you go along. Canada’s immigration policy is approximately 30 years old, and the ‘writing is on the wall’.

  10. Yvette

    Mitch, same deal for me. But I’m a PR now. What I’ve found is employers want experience, but only want to pay minimum wage for it “oh you have 10+ yeas experince? We can offer $13.60/hr”. I’m going back to work in Oz for 3 months, so we can afford to keep living here. I’d make more as a ski bum in Oz bumping chairs then working here.

    Honestly, I wish I had a time machine.

  11. Ryan

    As somone born and raised here. I agree. I just got back from a year of travel and Canada is such a let down. It’s the way our society has become obsessed with money and the false belief that what the government tells us and does must be for the best of us so we can maintain our “high standard of living”. We are a grumpy overpriced nanny state.

    • Yrene Dee

      Hi Ryan, travelling is a good education isn’t it? It brightens our outlook in life. Thanks for your comment.

  12. Jaillan Yehia

    As someone who spent about 3-4 years in Vancouver (well just outside because the city os so expensive) I am glad to read your post and realise that I am not crazy, and I am not the only one who noticed all these huge issues.

    I am not glad the issues exist, in fact I’m really sad about the drink and drugs problems, the high property prices and the lack of competition on phone, insurance and electricity I found in Canada, but the sooner people start addressing the fact that these issues exist and Canada isn’t just a dream destination with no social issues, the better. I agree it’s fab for a visit, but to live there, not for everyone, and not for me!

  13. Mary

    I grew up in new brunswick in a middle class family. After college I left in my 20s to move to toronto. I also lived in vancouver, alberta, quebec and now ottawa. \Canada is not the nice country it was the physical beauty is great, amazing parks etc. There are 4 million in food banks now. College grads cannot find any work. Massive immigration has changed the country. Older people are not respected. Alot of greed. Its highly competitive here now. Massive layoffs, etc. The taxes are high. I do not think multiculturalism is working very well I never thought it was a good idea. \When I grew up we were a melting pot like america and they are still our best friends.

  14. Mary

    White women are no longer hired for government positions. I had to leave my hometown 7 times alone to survive. Dont talk to me about racism. The maritimes lost 1.2 million people in the last 30 years because ottawa only cares about immigrants and ontario and quebec, people starve in my province. We have the lowest welfare, hardly enough doctors, no subsidized housing, no para transpo, prescriptions you have to pay for unless your one of the golden ones with a gover`A 15 hour hospital wait on average. This massive immigraiton is driving us to food banks now 4 million eat in them. People not from Canada do not care they treat canada as 2nd class to their nations and you wonder why people here 400 years like my family are angry?? lol

  15. Q.M

    Just horrible comments.. As I’m contemplating to move to Canada. . I’m from Bangladesh working at a financial institution for six years and getting paid of around $700 per month.. & can still $200 save per month.. What a bad idea it was

    • Yrene Dee

      It’s not all bad, just do your homework before you decide on a big move so you know what to expect.

  16. Jon

    Q.M, let me be sure I understand what you are saying: when you lived and worked in Bangladesh, you were paid around $700 per month and were still able to save $200 of that per month?

  17. Karen

    Maja, I couldn’t agree more with your comment above. Reading your thoughts made me very emotional and made me realize even more that I don’t belong here and need to move back to my home country. I’m from Norway and I’ve lived in Nova Scotia for 4 years now – I came to do my master’s degree, met a lovely Canadian man who is now my boyfriend, and have now worked for two years.

    Being a student was fun and I was very happy with the level and quality of the university education. However, working in Canada is a completely different story. Coming from expensive, high-taxed Norway, I’m used to thinking “everything is cheaper abroad”, but I was shocked to discover that wasn’t true for Canada. I have a decent-paying government job, but yet I find myself living from paycheck to paycheck. They extract a lot of stuff from my paycheck, not just income tax like in Norway. Luckily I don’t have kids; I have no idea how families survive on the wages here. Daycare is not government-subsidized and is outrageously expensive. I also don’t agree with how children are brought up. Parents are forced to over-protect their children due to different legislation and fear of being sued in case something happens.

    I also cannot stand that I have so little paid vacation; it makes me feel trapped. I envy my friends in Norway that have the vacation time and money to travel several times a year. I agree with you, Maja, I feel life is very boring here, not much for culture or educational and meaningful things to do. Canada has beautiful nature, but so does Norway, and city architecture here is absolutely tasteless, to be honest. I miss the excitement, history and beauty of Europe. (Your comment ‘saw all “historical” places of 100 years of age’ made me laugh so hard!! Couldn’t agree more!)

    I have lived in multiple places in the world, and Canada is the first place I’ve never made any friends, only shallow acquaintances. People are very nice and polite, but very impersonal, they never show their true feelings or speak their minds, and that makes it impossible to develop authentic, meaningful friendships.The culture is very passive-aggressive, and it’s driving me nuts. The only exception is Quebec, I really like the people and culture there, but I don’t speak French.

    My boyfriend and I have pretty much decided to move to Norway together within a year’s time and I’m so excited to finally get my life back! It was actually his idea, he is sick of Canada too.. I will never settle down in Canada again, but definitely visit.

    I really appreciate the advice and resources you provide on your site, Yrene, I think it’s very important that non-Canadians thinking about immigrating to Canada know what they’re up for. Europeans generally think of Canada as a great country to live in, but I have experienced otherwise. I think a lot of people are shocked when they come here to start a new life. Canada is definitely not for everyone.

  18. Peter Andrews

    Canadians are smug, ignorant people. They think emotionally, not logically. It’s extremely hard to have an intelligent conversation with them. They have a superficial patina of fake friendliness, but underneath they are extremely cold. People I have known here for years have never asked me what I do for a living or expressed any interest in my life.

    Food is unbelievably expensive and of very poor quality. Much of it is (unmarked) GMO, so only organic food is safe. A cauliflower where I live costs $22 in winter and about $8 in summer. Tomatoes are $8 a pound (not a kilo) in summer and about $5 in summer. Many things in the shops are several times the price of the same thing in the US – for example, today I was looking at a product I needed for an experiment which cost $145 in the US and $500 in Canada. The Internet is expensive and slow. The media makes US television seem sophisticated. The CBC produces a continual stream of left-wing propaganda.

    The country is run by people who appear to be clinically insane. In Ontario, if a child wants to have his genitals removed and to be injected with hormones because the propaganda has taught him that it’s possible to ‘change gender’ then – if his parents object – the child can be taken into care. If I address a so-called ‘trans-sexual’ using the correct pronoun for his biological sex I can be sent to jail. At the same time, the health service is falling to pieces, the economy is living on debt and the country is importing millions of people who have no usable skills. The immigration system is broken beyond repair.

    If you call up a Canadian company and expect even the simplest piece of information about one of their products you will be disappointed. Compared with Eastern Europe the quality of customer service is appalling. Nobody knows or cares what they are doing.

    On the plus side, there is a lot of lovely forest.

    I will stay here because I like the scenery. But moving from Europe, South America or Russia to live in a place such as Vancouver would be beyond insane.

    • Yrene Dee

      Hi Peter, this sounds a bit rough, but it’s your experience and opinion and I will post it. Where in Canada do you live that a cauliflower costs $22 in winter? Northwest Territories?

  19. barbara

    Hello Yrene, I came across your article and I have to say that it makes me glad – because I keep feeling I am crazy. I had lived in the U.S. for more then a decade and had a great time there. Made friends with Canadians and decided that I should move to Canada – the Canadians I met were so very happy to live in Canada and advertised Canada as a country that takes care of its people.
    What a disappointment is has been so far – everything my Canadian friends in Montreal believe in about their country, must be a decidedly Montreal way of doing things because so far life has been such a struggle, I am now thinking of returning to Europe for a while. I loved BC for the landscape but moved to Saskatchewan to a promising job at the time. None of the jobs I had paid for a life. So far none of the jobs has offered benefits of any kind – immigration was quite a feat in itself – $ 4500 dollars all in all for the Permanent Residency which has to be renewed every 5 years – nothing permanent about it actually.
    What I find most disconcerting is how little Canadians want to know about how their nation has become just like the States – while they keep saying how much they hate the Americans.
    I never met an American who said they hated the Canadians. But I have met plenty of people here in SK who say just that…so much for the polite Canadians, ey?!
    I find that education so far is very low in general – Canadians don’t speak any languages other then English, even though French is the second language.
    Many Canadians do not know the food they eat and they are not at all interested in preserving the great “backyard” they still have….tststs.
    Most Canadians I meet do not know much and they do not care to get to know more. They do not care about how their country is run and many seem to believe things are great – especially seniors from Canada are very insistent that Canada is just like Europe.
    By now I am very tired of fighting so hard for so little – the health system is broken – it is obvious. Canadians who tell me that they have free health care are mostly seniors , who had a great job for 40 plus years, own more then one house and still have their jobs because they do not have to retire anymore now – triple dipping.
    I find that many Canadians here in Saskatchewan have no respect for anyone.
    If you are from the outside, not SK, people are friendly but will not make you a friend. There is also an arrogance at work here that I find baffling…
    Hard work and great work ethics which brought me good jobs and good money in the States get me nowhere here – employers do not care about great staff – makes no difference to them apparently – wages are the lowest I have ever seen and cost of living is so high that the poverty line is always in sight so far.
    9 years now, all struggle despite all my hard work and my creative efforts … and I am beginning to think that coming to Canada was a mistake. I have wasted my life time. Hm.
    I miss the U.S. I miss people who care. Having opportunities. Having friends.
    Canada, Land of Lies 😉

    • Yrene Dee

      Hello Barbara,
      Thanks for sharing your opinion. When I wrote the article I never realized how much respond I would get. I’ve been interviews by CBC a couple of times about articles I wrote, but no request about this one. It seems to be a topic most Canadians don’t like to talk about.

  20. Marcus Dominelli

    I have lived in British Columbia, my whole life. I grew up just outside of Vancouver, and when I was 30 I moved to Vancouver Island, where I have been for the past 20 years. I have travelled and been to Europe, latin america, and south asia.
    I live in Victoria now. It is a horrendously expensive place to live, for both rent and food. There are good people, but most are smug and unfriendly.
    I run my own business here, and I am looking forward to a day when my kids are old enough and on their own, so that I can leave this place. But I am unsure where to go, as it’s one of the nicest places in Canada, LOL!
    If I could live in the U.S. I would move to Port Angelas. It’s just across the water, and I could have a much better standard of living. Houses there are about 30% the price of houses here in Victoria. Food is cheaper too, and there are friendly, unpretentious people there.
    My whole life I’ve been told that Canada is so great, but it’s a bunch of B.S.
    Yeah, I like Canada better than India, but I’d way rather live in Europe or maybe some other place. I like the outdoor life here, but that’s about it. The government and culture both suck, and we are taxed way too high. The government does not do much to take care of its people. They cater to foreigners and the rich. What is the point of having a State if it cannot look after it’s people?

  21. Serj

    Hi as someone who’s in they’re early 20s I’m scared I don’t know the place of my birth is where I want to stay, I’m concerned that this place will eat up my life and I’ll be to frail and tired to enjoy my actual life. People in this country only care about money and time is so valuable because there’s not enough time to fit more work. Jobs here pay so little the standard of living is so high. Education system is awful no one speaks French where I live (Toronto) regardless having students learn it in school. If you have any post secondary education it’s never enough because one isn’t enough. Health care is a joke(enough said). Quality of life is poor we spend so much time working that we forget to live and people don’t have time to genuinely care and keep solid relationships. All in all there isn’t a really a so called Canadian identity it’s really all improv

  22. Karen

    I’m afraid I agree with many of these comments. I’m from Norway and have lived in Canada for four years now – two years completing my master’s degree, and two years in the workforce. Recently I made the decision to move back to Norway later this year; I simply can’t see any future for me here, it would just be a life-long struggle trying to make ends meet. I never imagined it would be like this – I have a so-called good wage, but still it’s a battle every month. I simply don’t understand how Canadians can afford raising kids, it’s a mystery to me.

    Things I do like about Canada:
    – Great service
    – Overall positive, friendly and supportive people and environments
    – Landscape and nature

    Main things I dislike about Canada:
    – Low quality of living: low wages, high cost of living, over-taxation (at least here in NS)
    – Although friendly, people are impersonal, uninterested, shallow and passive-aggressive; difficult to find really good friends and make connections on a deeper level
    – Feeling of isolation: difficult to get around unless you have a car, expensive to fly within Canada and abroad
    – Boredom: unless you live in a big city, there’s really not much to do here. I miss the culture and excitement of Europe
    – Capitalism: large corporations have too much power over government and citizens (e.g., Bell, Rogers, Irving). It breaks my Scandinavian socialist and egalitarian heart
    – City planning: with exceptions of course, I find most Canadian towns and cities are quite ugly architecture- and city planning-wise. I’ve realized that I need to be surrounded by beauty, which does not include plastic houses and cheap 1980’s architecture.

    See you on vacation, Canada! I won’t miss you.

  23. sana

    i am tunisian living and working in dubai Uae thinking of moving to Canada by the end of this year.The agency fees are so high here and the procedures of getting a PR is very complicated but i still have the Canada Dream to go and settle there.Reading all these comments makes me have second thoughts.It is really hard to decide now. Speaking French and English,having a higher degree and 6 years of experience don”t make me privileged. Suffering to get a decent lifestyle is a must it seems. REALLLY SADDDD.. PLZ email me if if having anything encouraging to say : hamila_sanaa@yahoo.fr

  24. LuckyDuck

    Do not move here.

    As a Canadian born and bred (3 generations deep) who has never lived outside of Canada, I can confidently tell anyone thinking of moving here that it is a BAD idea.

    At 35 years of age, I FINALLY managed to land a full-time government job…. And STILL cannot afford to live alone as a single parent of 2.

    The housing prices are absolutely ridiculous.
    There’s no way single parents can afford to survive unless they bring in huge paycheques or apply for social assistance (a system which is severely broken and doesn’t help you to help yourself and instead lands you in a pit of financial dependence).
    Even the families with two working parents struggle to make ends meet and are in debt up to their eyeballs trying to pay for their house and bills and vehicles (because public transit here is terrible and using it carries a “poverty” stigma to boot), and feed their families and save for retirement or college for their kids…. There just isn’t enough money coming in to cover what needs to be paid out from month to month…nevermind “savings” or “extras”.

    When I graduated college as a mature student (went back after having kids) only THREE students in my class of over 30 students managed to get jobs straight out of school. All the other students ended up working part-time, low wage jobs…. All the money for tuition and the years of hitting the books didn’t pay off at all for the majority of them.

    The weather absolutely sucks…. Yeah… Let’s just face that fact.
    Who wants to drive an hour or two to work and then work for 8-10 hours and then drive home for another hour or two only to have to shovel a foot of snow off their driveway before you can even park in it for 6 months out of the year?? No one. That’s who.

    The health care…. Don’t even get me started.
    It’s a fortune. Dental care alone is enough to make your wallet weep bitter tears of agony (dental is NOT free and many companies you’d work for won’t give you benefits to help cover it unless you’re full-time or unionized. Aka: one of the lucky few who landed a good job).

    The schools…?
    I won’t go there. This comment is already getting rather long and describing the school system (and how it ties into the health care system to provide assistance to handicapped students) and how it’s utterly FAILING to prep our children for the actual “real world” is just disgusting.

    I could go on… And on… And on.

    In short: Sure! Come here for your vacation.
    Go skiing (Lord knows there’s usually plenty of snow) and enjoy the gorgeous red and orange and yellow trees in autumn and go hiking or kayaking or visit our beautiful freshwater beaches….. But DO NOT move here.

    This place is a political, social, and economical mess…. You have been warned.

    Oh…and in case anyone was wondering, I live in the GTA in Ontario.

  25. Kathy

    My husband and I came here 2009 as landed immigrants, we both have good paying jobs I should say, but we still made a decision of returning back home for good. We are actually just waiting for our daughter to finish her elementary here and that’s it. I am a nurse here and my husband is in healthcare too but never we considered buying a house here and lose ourselves from working non stop and pay sky high mortgage and property taxes and so on!

    Working in an independent retirement home here in Ontario is an eye opener for me. The seniors here no matter how much money they have are lonely, empty and isolated because family members are either busy working, doesn’t care and only visits to get some money from the parents. The medical service we have here is total garbage. People say we have excellent medical care here but believe me it is all BS. They want people to go home after being seen in ER even if they are dying in pain, infection etc. I don’t see myself, my husband and even my child to grow old here.

    Canada is so boring. No culture at all. People are passive aggressive. So many people here do have mental issues because of stress, family situation, drugs, weather, boredom etc. Nothing to talk about but hockey, weather and Trump as if Trudeau is heaven sent LOL

    People here are so blinded and obsessed in home ownership and material things even if they are drowning in so much debts. People are very pretentious, cold and superficial. It’s so funny how people are so proud of home ownership, renovations, buying new tv or cars etc during get together but complains of working 3 jobs and hardly even enjoy his home and family and afraid to take long vacations because of the sky high debts.

    I invested my hard earned money outside of Canada and live simply and comfortably where there lots of sunshine, happy people. Even my child who was born and raised here dislike the idea of living here forever because she can see how fake and superficial people are, weather sucks and you can really define the meaning of boredom here. They say they are friendly and polite but the truth of the matter is they talk behind your back.

  26. Ron

    I suppose an article like this will tend to attract people who are having a hard time of it in Canada, so the negative postings will keep building up. Presumably immigrants who are doing well won’t be looking for such articles and so the positive stories won’t appear here. I guess not everybody finds the Canadian experience a negative one.

    That said, I’m yet another recent immigrant who’s having a hard time in Canada. I moved here recently – following the completion of the excruciating and expensive immigration process – after 13 years in Taiwan. My wife’s Canadian and wanted to move closer to her family. I knew it was going to be an adjustment (I loved the tropical mountains of Taiwan … and we’ve moved to the barren flatlands of Manitoba), but I wasn’t really prepared for the horrible infrastructure deficiencies. The much-vaunted “free” healthcare system is just terrible … very little is actually covered, and can it really be called free when taxes are so astronomically high? I think Canadians just look to the US for their comparisons, ignoring all the other countries with much more functional healthcare programs. Wages are low and jobs difficult to find – many employers don’t seem to recognize overseas education or work experience and want you to go back to college, even for menial jobs – presumably to feed the lucrative vocational college industry. Drivers licenses have to be paid for every year, cellphone rates are insanely expensive with horrible coverage … Canadians probably just accept these things because they don’t know any different, but if you’re coming from overseas – or at least most countries that I know of – then these things are a very unwelcome shock.

    Anyway, yes, if you’re thinking of moving to Canada, do the research … jobs, wages, the most suitable province to live in (Canadian provinces can be as different from each other as a lot of countries in terms of tax, minimum wage, healthcare, licensing and insurance, etc etc). Me, I’m already here, but I’m thinking in terms of a one-year plan, and if things aren’t working out after that, or if I get down to my last couple thousand dollars … I’m out!

  27. Gurpiar Bassi

    I agree with every you have said.
    If I was going to write a review it would have been word for word what you said.

  28. amafhh

    Dear Yrene

    Thank you for the informative article. I’m a professional accountant from south Asia currently working in the middle east and enjoying a good quality of life. However, since the middle eastern countries do not grant citizenship easily nor are they socially and politically mature when compared to many western countries, It’s is one of my goals to obtain citizenship of Canada to try to preserve the future for my family. For this, I am ready to face the challenges and start a new life in Canada.

    Best wishes

  29. Paul

    Hi Yrene,

    I’m glad I stumbled upon this article. I was born here and always had this vague sense that something was off. It wasn’t until I backpacked and lived abroad in Europe a couple years ago that I saw how Canada really doesn’t live up to the hype. I agree with everything on this list, especially health care and how hard it is for young people like me to get ahead. This country really doesn’t seem to care about critical thinking, creativity or personal initiative and just wants a bunch of complacent, indebted tax-payers to farm. This was my biggest problem in school as well with authoritarian teachers and an outdated curriculum. I wish I could say this is just our political and business leaders but I notice this all the time from everyday Canadians with our endless small talk and anti-intellectual attitudes. It’s no wonder problems like drug, alcohol and video game addictions are so common with young people here.

    On that note I’d like to bring up another thing I’ve noticed about Canada: we’re probably the least innovative country in the developed world. As much as we bad-mouth the States no one can ever accuse them of being boring or unoriginal. Canada’s economy pretty much amounts to “over-bloated government,” “resource extraction for other countries” and “holding companies for other countries,” while our entrepreneurship and STEM industries are a joke compared to even smaller countries like Norway.

    The worst part is, if you even start to hint that life here isn’t so great to other Canadians the backlash is brutal, as if the notion we’re not some wonderful utopia is a big taboo. I don’t see us getting better anytime soon if this is the standard attitude. It’s no accident that I moved to Montreal when I got back (the problems are still present here but not quite as bad, though my lack of even passable French due to Canada’s crappy education system and spread-out geography is rough) and mainly hang out with internationals. Sad as it is, I’ve pretty much decided to move back to Europe as soon as I get a job offer. I wish I could stay and not contribute to the current brain-drain but enough is enough.

    • Yrene Dee

      Thanks, Paul for your honesty; to hear this from a born Canadian brings some hope into the picture. It’s sad but true and proofs how important it is for young people to travel and experience the world. It changes our whole attitude.

  30. Andy

    I moved to Quebec with arms wide open. But have been utterly disappointed. Some days immigration does not even answer the phone. The forms are riddled with missing check boxes and directions that do not match the form. And it turns out that Trudeau is my local representative…. so he was in India when I needed help. Montreal is a mess and the environment of Quebec has been raped by business. 40-60% of the CBC news is from America…so why are we calling this Canadian news? The cost of doing business here is unsustainable. There is very little return to the average citizen for the amount of taxes people pay. If you make $100K, you will be forced to buy health insurance and pay a 50% income tax. All while almost 40% of Quebecois wait for doctors. The companies that hold governmental contracts produce some of the poorest quality of work I have ever witnessed. I’m struggling to find anything appealing about this province. The cost of land is ridiculous. It makes the USA look affordable. Consumer prices are literally all over the map. You will never know what’s in your food because they use words like “flavour” and “colour.” Shop around or potentially pay $178 for a garden cart that costs $86 elsewhere. There is ZERO accountability at the provincial and federal government level. The loony is low because the cost of living here for what you get is sorely out of balance.

  31. Patrick

    Hi, happy to find your article. I have recently moved to Canada as a permanent resident. I have moved to the NCR and I am planning on living in Gatineau despite very little French but it’s a pretty Anglophone area. We previously lived in Toronto for 2 years but decided on Quebec due to cost of living and subsidized child care. I have moved ahead of my pregnant wife and 2 kids one of which was born here. After almost 3 weeks here I am really feeling we have made a mistake and feel the best option is to remain in Ireland. The saying grass is greener really is potentially true. Despite the terrible weather in Ireland it ain’t all that bad.

  32. Brian

    reading through the comments about Canada, and how so many think its not a place to live. I have to speak up, as I am born and raised a Canadian. Just to bring into focus, Canada covers a area of 9.985 million square kms, with a population of about 35 million. Yes there are many issues about taxes, education , health care and housing, to name a few. People in Canada want all services available as found in other developed countries, but how does it get paid for?
    Take a country like Russia, which covers an area of 17.1 million square kms, with a population of 144.3 million. Both countries are cold climate countries, and unlike Russia and other countries, Canada is a relatively young country.
    The earth cannot sustain its current population at the levels of development that are currently being enjoyed in parts of the world.
    I have seen many changes over my lifetime (63), and certainly not all are for the good. I think as a people, we need to learn to live within our means, and be happy with whatever we have. We are very lucky in Canada to have what we have, but we need to change our attitudes.
    I cannot speak for other parts of the world, as I have not been there. I am certainly not rich, but certainly not in want of anything. I have never had a income that could be considered reliable. Certainly I have struggled dealing with banks and loans. I am a carpenter/tradesman/artisan and have in my life owned 4 homes, none of which I used a mortgage to fiancé them. As I approach retirement, I will be using OAS and CPP as income. Not huge amounts, but it will be steadier income than I have had over my working life.
    I am preparing and downsizing, and making arrangements to live as debt free as possible. I consider myself lucky as I have a doctor, but only see him twice a year. I do not run in ever time I hurt a finger, or have a cold, I use the system only as needed.
    I’m sure people are going to read this and say, sure some old fart who has it all and has no clue. Yes I feel badly for the younger generation who are starting out, trying to raise a family and all that entails. A sketchy outlook for employment, and housing. But through it all Canada is still a pretty good place to live.

    • Yrene Dee

      Thank you, Brian, for your valuable input. I agree with you a lot. You’re right, the people’s attitude has to change. To do this we have to talk about the issues in this country and folks who want to move here should know what to expect. Like I said, it’s not always greener on the other side. I’m amazed by the response and how many people share their personal experiences and opinions. It makes us think and gets a conversation going about issues we usually don’t like to talk about. For me, this makes this article worthwhile.

  33. Brian

    I’m born and raised in BC, lived my life so far in BC. Now at 63, I am considering leaving BC, and moving to SW Saskatchewan. Housing prices in smaller farming towns are and can be very reasonable. Utility costs are lower than BC, as are other costs. BC as a whole has become very expensive and busy, as most people want to live here. Coastal BC is very temperate and inviting, and that’s the draw for a lot of people. I lived in north central BC for 28 years, which can be very cold and snowy, then moved further south into the Okanagan, like so many others. Costs here have also become high, and you see a lot of seniors working, just to be able to afford to live here.
    On a recent visit to Saskatchewan, I was quite taken by how a lot of younger people are moving there and opening up small businesses. I give a lot of credit to the younger generation for looking at different life styles and not getting so caught up in consumerism.
    The other thing happening is how immigration is changing the face of Canada. Canada is and was a land of immigrants. However what has to happen is attitudes have to change. Having a roof over your head, and food on the table is of course a want and need of everyone. But do we need monster homes, a brand new car, other expensive toys? No, family, friends and community are far more important.
    Come to Canada, but do your research first, know what you are coming to.

  34. Fatima

    Hello everyone,

    After facing rejection from Australia ( as not much options are available for HR professionals) i made up my mind to move to Canada, but Canada was never my first preference but i see Canada is a lot immigrant friendly and people from Pakistan are getting PR easily so thought to explore this avenue. But after reading this article i am again having second thoughts. My core reason to migrate from Pakistan is to live in a peaceful country with no discrimination and specially where single females can survive on their own. I am a divorcee working as a HR professional, over here i can not imagine a life on my own and victim of social pressures as being divorcee is not much acceptable fact. Considering this i want to move to a place where i can earn my own living being independent. I need your advice can Canada be better option for me though i really wanted to settle in Australia people are very friendly and welcoming 🙁

  35. Suheil

    Omg I thought I was the only one that shared these views! I’m a Canadian citizen (got it from my parents) who was born and raised in Kuwait. I always loved visiting Canada every summer cuz I always stuck out like a sore thumb in this desert country.

    However, when I decided to move to Toronto permanently after finishing my masters of science in strategic management from Edinburgh, Scotland, I was totally shocked! Everyone was hustling and everything was so expensive and money was the only thing anyone cares about.

    I could never find a job because my education and work experience weren’t Canadian. I was raised in an American system where international experience was a great asset. If I wanted to do some part time work or anything I had to study again to be certified! I immediately knew it was a scam to make these institutions more money.

    I was treated like dirt everywhere because I lived abroad. New immigrants who barely spoke English would treat me as an outsider and give me attitude. Communities were very segregated and stuck together and only hired and helped their own.

    I have a international experience and education, speak fluent Arabic (although English is my mother tongue), and have both cultures in me. I assumed I would be an asset for humanitarian agencies helping refugees, or intelligence services. But no….. they said my background and knowledge don’t matter.

    I won’t even get into the experience with the healthcare.

    I feel really let down by Canada because of the illusion I had in my head on what it was growing up. I felt more welcomed and accepted in America than I did in Canada. I honestly feel more American than I do Canadian.

    My parents will retire soon and were thinking of buying a house in Canada, but I am convincing them that Europe would be much better and cheaper in the long run. I will also be sharing this article with them! Thank u so much!

  36. Dev

    I am from India and been living in Canada for the last 20 years.I have to agree with each and every word on this page. Some of the things that are still hard to digest is the weather. Canadians are the most nation on earth. Yet they are very cold and hard to make friends with. I also find the people are very frugal compared to U.S. Perhaps its the economy and comparing Canada to U.S is not fair either. But I find Americans very warm and easy to be friend with. Things are very very expensive here. The system is designed in way that no matter what you do, end of the day you will hardly be left with enough to ‘survive’. It took me 10 years to understand all this by that time my kids were in elementary schools and moving towards high school. So its really hard to make a move anywhere else at that stage. My first child is graduating and the other is now about to start college. Finally now is the time, I can start thinking of ways to move and live somewhere else. If the taxes, expensive living does not kill you then surely the weather will.

  37. May

    As a 30 year old white/Metis Canadian woman (born and raised) I cannot reiterate how difficult it is to live here if you don’t come from money. I am highly educated, worked for 2 of the top employers in Canada, and I still find myself in a student loan debt that I cannot crawl out of– a debt that leaves me unable to buy a home, save for the future, invest in my health…

    The drastically changing culture is causing quite an unsettling atmosphere as well.
    I taught English to newcomers in a professional college up until last year when I refused to work 16+ hrs a day for 3 hrs payment (overtime was “expected” in the contract so that made it okay).
    I had so many startling experiences as a teacher… having my life threatened (he came in with a gun) because a wife was secretly attending school against the wishes of her inlaws. Being spat on because I was a “homosexual sympathizer”. Being offered bribes by countless cultures to increase their test scores so they could gain permanent residence. After 6 years of teaching, I was heartbroken– this wasn’t the Canada I grew up in and these weren’t people I felt safe welcoming into my community.
    I’m sure most of you on this forum are well-meaning, but I would challenge you to consider how you would feel if in your lifetime your culture was drastically altered. I grew up 20 some years ago with whole classes invited to birthday parties at each other’s homes, where kids would go outside and join their neighbours to play, and everyone would share food and speak the same language… this absolutely not the case where I’m from now. There is way too much segregation.
    My sister took a university math course recently and was the ONLY English speaking individual in a class of 30 Indian students, and because the language abilities of the students were so low, they decided to teach the class in Punjabi and offered a tutor to my sister. Please tell me in what other country you would pay $500 for a mandatory class you can’t have taught in either official language? THAT is Canada. Each racial group working independently to one up the other.

    Canadians. We’re tired. We’re broke. We’re feeling pushed out of our own country. We’ll politely smile at you and make light conversation, but a majority of us don’t want you here.

  38. Rudy

    I stopped reading your article when you warned about GMOs being unhealthy and warning people to “forage” and eat organic instead. It is clear you know little to nothing. At least when it comes to healthy eating, get your information from what I can assume are either internet memes, pseudoscience quack sites like “natural news” and most likely have little to know understanding of the scientific method. You pretty much lost any credibility at that point. You have much in common with Trump. You both ignore scientific facts and make up your own info.

    • Yrene Dee

      Thank you, Rudy, for leaving a comment. I’m sorry to hear that my opinion on things upset you and you decided to give the rest of the article a miss. Good that we still live in a free world! To be compared with Justin Trudeau would have been more to my liking, at least for his good looks.

  39. Paul

    Agree with the article, thanks for writing it.
    For me, Canada has been really hard. Work to life ratio is terrible. Basically, you wake up to go to work 6 days a week when u get home u make dinner tidy up and go to bed. That leaves you with one day. Sunday is vacuuming, mopping and doing laundry. Probably cut the grass or do some chores you couldn’t do during the week. At best you have a few hours to relax. If you have kids this only day of rest is gone. If you own a house u never have a second to yourself. If you’re trying to upgrade your education and better yourself you are totally screwed. Basically, life in jail would probably be better; at least you have time for yourself and you don’t work just to provide shelter and food. Sure you can buy a car which is mainly used to go to work. The health system will kill you. In BC it’s all about numbers; 120 dollars per swipe of your card at the doctors and hospitals bills are huge.

    Canada just like the rest of North America is a system of slavery. You work for shelter and food. You won’t have a good life from working. Any rich person has got there due to families wealth or due to contacts he or she has gotten from private schools and universities. You become the crowd you hang around. Same birds of the feather flock together.

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