Pros and Cons of Moving to Canada

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bad weather in torontoCanada has long been a welcoming country for expats wanting to forge a new life abroad. The government’s comparatively open immigration policy is widely publicised, and the country itself was initially built by immigrants; at one point, one in six Canadians was born outside of Canadian borders.
 
Similarly, skills shortages in many industries continue to emphasise the need to attract foreign workers to the nation, and, in order to continue with economic growth, even unskilled temporary migrant workers are becoming essential.
 
Thus, expats relocating to Canada can expect to find multicultural communities accustomed to interacting and integrating with those from abroad; a point that can make a big difference in initially becoming comfortable in your new environment.

The many advantages of living in Canada

 

 PRO: A strong employment market

 
Canada’s approach to immigration is nothing new - however, what has changed over the past two years is the state of the rest of the world.
 
The USA and the UK are experiencing their worst spells of unemployment for nearly 20 years. The current catastrophe engulfing Greece’s banks and subsequently other Euro nations, Spain and Portugal included, is making things even tougher for European workers.
 
The result of this has seen scores of people re-evaluating their positions, not only because of the great lifestyle a move to Canada will offer but because of necessity. While unemployment continues to grow elsewhere, Canada remains largely unaffected.
 
Thus, expats who have the skills and experience behind them will find that the economic climate in Canada can potentially be more welcoming than those nations hard hit by the global recession.
 

 PRO: Healthcare another drawcard

 
While there appears to be no shortage of jobs in Canada, the real draw for many American expats considering living in Canada is the affordable and high quality healthcare. Although this notion has been heavily criticised in the US media, reports from those that have lived in both countries speak glowingly about the cost and quality.
 
On his blog, Bill Mann of the Huffington Post writes:
 
“We’ve been incensed by the lies we've heard back here in the U.S. about Canada's supposedly broken system. It's not broken - and what's more, Canadians like and fiercely defend it.
 
Example: Our son was born at Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital. My wife got excellent care. The total bill for three days in a semi-private room? $21.”
 
The country and the government no doubt mean business when it comes to making it as appealing as possible for migrants living in Canada.
 

A few disadvantages

 

 CON: The weather

 
Because of the sprawling nature of Canada’s landscapes, the climate is incredibly varied. Despite nature’s awe-inspiring beauty, some expats may be put off by the freezing winters. You will spend a good few months tramping through heavy snows, shovelling driveways and driving on dangerous and icy roads, depending on where you reside.

The flatlands of the prairie regions often receive some of both the mildest and harshest weather in the country. The nature and form of this terrain means it absorbs the currents and strong winds of the Canadian Arctic. Both the west and east coast enjoy milder climates but also endure more rainfall.

 CON: High taxes

In order to maintain a high level of public service delivery and social welfare, taxes are high in Canada. The country’s world-class universal healthcare system ensures your treatments are paid for via these taxes. However, you do need to apply for this public health insurance. The insurance plans may differ from province to region, so it is best to do thorough research when submitting for cover. The waiting period may be up to three months. It is recommended that during this time, you have private healthcare insurance. 

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