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Contemplating moving to Canada

by baxtercat Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 7:06 AM

I have a question for Canadians. I am an american and have lived in the southern part of the U.S. all of my life. Nevertheless, I have always been bothered by this society. The degree of greed has been nauseating. The dollar is valued more than people. Some issues have recently surfaced such as the flu vaccine issue. There is a shortage and distributors immediately went up on the price by 1000% percent. They are being sued and probably won't get away with the gouging but the fact that we are so heartless to try to take advantage of the problem is numbing. Similarly, our government is making sure they have all of the vaccines they need while old vulnerable citizens may have to do without. Anyway, to get to the point, we are tired of the U.S. and want our kids to be raised in a country where people have a heart and care about each other. I have been to Canada a few times and loved it, but I know that just a few short trips aren't something to base a move on. My question is this. Are people, companies, and government , in general, more caring toward the citizens or are Canadians just as greedy? Also, I have only been to Toronto and Halifax. I loved them both, although the cold weather would take some getting used to. Any recommendations as to the best place for an American to live in Canada? I thank you in advance for your information.

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27 Answers
  • DavidKeeling's Profile Photo

    Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by DavidKeeling Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 7:20 AM

    Canadians are...people from everywhere in the world who value each other. We live in societies for the common benefit of doing so. We survive and prosper because of the efforts of others, and we can never forget that. Apparently, you feel that Americans have forgotten this, and that is unfortunate. I truly hope that this is not the case overall, but an abnormality in the regions where you have lived. Having said that, Canada is, in spite of it's reputation, a warm country...not temperature wise.... but the people are in a general sense more open-minded and tolerent of each other than in some other countries. Depending on what you need to do to make a living, you could relocate to almost anywhere. Our immigration rules favour professionals, or those who own businesses and wish to expand to our country, or those who have the financial resources to support themselves indefinately. Cold? Sure, but it's easy to get used to. We dress for it. We plug in our cars in the winter months so they will start. We ski, make snowmen, and play outdoors in the most inhospitable conditions, just to prove that it can be done...and it's fun. I hope that things work out for you.

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  • madamx's Profile Photo

    Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by madamx Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 7:23 AM

    Hi: Yes, I was wondering about that flu vaccine thing. Why isn't offered to people of most need first, like people with chronic illness or the elderly or infants? The huge lineups on the news is scary. I work in healthcare, and some US citizens have been phoning my dept. about coming to Canada and paying18 CDN to get the flu shot, and they are most welcome to do that. The best place for you in Canada depends on what you're looking for. Do you like the outdoors and outdoor activities or exciting big city life? If you like the outdoors, Calgary is perfect for you; it's very family orientated and close to the Rockies, and still not too big, but it's growing. There are also a large percentage of US expats living here, so much so that Kerry sent his sister to try to get their vote. Vancouver offers big city life, family orientation, and the Coast mountains, but also offers big city problems. Toronto is another city that offers exciting big city life, but again, big city problems. It all depends on what you are looking for. Having traveled to the States several times, I can say generally people appear to be the same; some US citizens are friendly, some aren't. Some Canadians are friendly, some aren't. The health system needs a major overhaul like down in the States, as even many Canadians go down to the US to pay for procedures instead of waiting for months to have a standard knee or hip surgery, but things are slowly improving.

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  • Rixie's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by Rixie Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 8:18 AM

    madamx, the flu vaccine IS being offered to those at high risk. The long lines are mainly composed of elderly people. More vaccine is now available -- see this article from the San Francisco Chronicle: sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c... baxtercat, I'm sorry to hear that you've had a bad experience. But this is a vast country of 50 states and millions of people, and it's simply not accurate to say that everyone is the same everywhere in the US. Good luck in Canada.

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  • RBCal's Profile Photo

    Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by RBCal Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 9:00 AM

    If GWB is re-elected, I suspect there will be many US citizens who will consider moving to Canada or overseas.

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  • Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by baxtercat Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 11:39 AM

    Your comment about medical care was interesting. I have heard people sometimes have to wait for surgery, etc.. Why is that? I know the medicine is socialized there which I always thought was a good thing, but evidently it has its problems. Why the wait? Thanks

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  • Kaspian's Profile Photo

    Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by Kaspian Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 12:08 PM

    The main part of your question that says, " the best place for an American to live in Canada?" This brings one city to mind the most for me: Calgary. I think you should look into medium size cities/towns in the Calgary area. Rocky mountains, cowboys, and oil. Very American without being "too much" into the greed thing (there's definitely some there though). Canadians in general aren't as belligerent, demanding, and hard to please. This can look spineless sometimes, but it's really just apathy. The society does seem to be more caring and accepting towards the individual... and people don't put their own interests first all the time. Americans do have their great points, especially if you need to get something done while travelling. Put an American in charge and they'll bully their way through it. Even if it means yelling their head off and threatening multiple lawsuits :)

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  • DavidKeeling's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by DavidKeeling Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 12:10 PM

    As with any public institution, there are enormous costs. Medical care is incredibly expensive, and the complexities of delivering health care to tens of millions of people who generally don't look after themselves are vast, and extremely expensive. The system has written cheques on empty accounts for years, and the governmet departments who administer the resources have cut or frozen budgets. People have to wait for surgeries or beds, because the demand for services outstrips the ability of the system to pay for more, more, more.. Constantly under review, the budgets are being revised to cover the needs, and some advances are being made. The system works well most of the time, but the problems are highlighted constantly in the media. Most of the fear of going untreated in hospitals is unfounded.

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  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by XenoHumph Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 12:14 PM

    Part I Hello, I am French and I have lived in Montreal for 3 years. My husband is American and has lived in Edmonton for 4 years. As an American, my husband was shocked on how much some Canadians did not like Americans, especially in the "intellectual" types (university diplomed people). It makes me think of anti-Americanism by the French intellectuals. I know other Americans who live or have lived in Canada and they said the same thing. As soon as people would find out they were American, they would start 'oh, let me tell you, American,..." and then start blasting America for policies, environment, way of life... etc. My husband was first shocked , but then grew wary of it. Especially as he could find a counter argument for each of their accusations! Plus, the Canadian way of life is exactly the same as the American way of life! Of course, all Canadians are not narrow-minded, and I am not writing here to offend anyone. But there is a rampant, maybe "jalousy" or "despise" and sometimes "hate" for America. I have heard very often the "joke", how do you recognize a table of Americans in a restaurant versus anybody else, they are the ones that are noisy and talk loud and are not aware it bothers others, ah ah. I have always found that a bit caricatural to say the least.

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  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by XenoHumph Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 12:14 PM

    Part II That's said, I found Canadians very friendly. Their health system is way better than in the US. Their weather is terrible but some people like that type of thing. I would add another thing that I found strange. It seems hard for Canadians to define what a Canadian is (in terms of culture, way of living, sense of belonging to a community). US Americans have no problem to define what an American is, the French have no problem knowing what a French is, aso. Canadian suffer I think from a huge complex of inferiority towards the US and towards France (for Quebec). To answer your question, are Canadian as greedy as Americans? Well yeah, they are very similar (example, the way mining companies behave in Canada and abroad). Is the government better? I think so, it is a little more socialistic. But their politics is plagued by the Quebecian independentists who are alway whining even if Quebec has huge advantages over other provinces but asks always for more. Just my 2 cents. It is a fine country to live. Cheers

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  • pehsan's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by pehsan Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 1:08 PM

    Actually, it's true, us Canadians don't like the US very much, but mostly because of the gvt obviously, we don't hate the people. I personally think that any american that choses to live in Canada, for socio-political reasons, rather than in the US will be GREATLY welcomed and respected by us fellow canadians. People in Canada are very caring about each other, and very friendly, anywhere you go, but I think people in the US are just the same, but again I haven't lived there, you are a better judge. I think though, the big difference is our gvts, and we are very proud of our gvt because most of us agree with the decison it takes on an international level. Our gvt also values health care for each and every individual in our country, I think it's only human to think that way, BUT it is true that sometimes you have to wait ages to get treatment unless it's an emergency. I think BaxterCat that you guys look like really cool and caring parents that want the best for your kids, and I think you are a great example for your kids, and also for many parents!! Sly.

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  • pehsan's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by pehsan Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 1:14 PM

    ooops sorry, no I am not a girl, I am not pehsan, and I am not malaysian!! :) simply using my gf's account, forgot about that hehe... :) Sly.

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  • Kaspian's Profile Photo

    Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by Kaspian Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 1:20 PM

    I have actually thought a lot in the past about if I ever had kids that maybe we'd move to Mexico. Mexcian children are so well behaved in the places I've been. That way my kids aren't going to school with a bunch of materialistic spoiled brats (whose parents are worse!!) that are more interested in video games and buying Pokeman cards than playing outside. I could see getting out of the US because kids are even more bomblasted there than in Canada by trendy expensive crap that are all "fads" inventented by companies who are basically trying to sell junk and promoting people like Hilary Duff as "heroes". And when the governments start screwing up the health care, there's no longer much reason to stay in our countries. Ooops, I'm ranting, sorry... Sorry Hilary fans, didn't mean it.

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  • Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by baxtercat Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 1:59 PM

    Great replies from everyone. Thanks!!! Sly, thanks for the nice comments. I feel welcome already. By the way, you have a pretty girl friend. Take care everyone!.

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  • pehsan's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by pehsan Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 2:00 PM

    I agree with Kaspian about the spoil brats, I also think like that, and after living in many countries, all 5 continents, I realized that you will find that to be true in all rich countries. Not because of the country, but because of the people. There are rich people in poor countries too obvisouly, and I think there are even worse, maybe it's because the differences are bigger, but in general there will be less rich kids in school, unless you go to private school for rich kids!! :) I grew up in Africa, and I personally think that there couldn't have been a better place for me to grow up, I had a FANTASTIC childhood, things started to go downhill once we came back to Canada!! :) Even though it's a great country. Sly.

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  • madamx's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by madamx Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 6:13 PM

    Rixie, thanks for the link; I was upset about the shortage and wondering if the elderly, infants and chronically ill people were getting their shots first. Don't get me going on healthcare in Canada (I'm a nurse -- it is so bad that I have left the hosptial system and I feel sorry for my colleagues who are left there -- basically, staff are asked to do more and more for less and less)

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  • SamSalmon's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by SamSalmon Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 7:47 PM

    There are some excellent responses above. I'd like to ask you if you've really thought this through-as mentioned you won't always be welcomed here. Also the US American ideas around individual rights are completely foreign to use here-in that regard our societies are very different. You'll never be able to change who you are-Mexico, Canada or New Zealand you'll always be an outsider- until death-something to think about.

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  • bubba4783's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by bubba4783 Online Now Oct 22, 2004 at 9:56 PM

    Canada isn't perfect but it tends to come across as a somewhat more tolerant society. But we've been known to elect some ridiculously conservative american style politicians. And with the presence of a strong american media flooding through our tv's, radio's, computers, etc., we are getting more americanized all the time. The biggest problem with our health system isn't that it's socialized it's that we as a society are trying to live the American dream on an economy that doesn't have the same drive as the US, so our tax base has it's limitations in supporting health care to the level we would like. Many European countries have socialized medicine and no waiting lists but they also have populations that accept a higher level of taxation to better address the needs of even the weakest citizens. Canada tries to live up to that standard while having to maintain a competetive edge with the US. Not easy. For an area to live, you might like the interior of British Columbia, especially the Okanagan region. It's cold in the winter and hot through the summer. It's considered a desert so it's quite dry there, even in the winter there is not a lot of snow. It's also one of the fastest growing areas of BC, especially Kelowna which I believe is well over 100,000 people now and still growing.

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  • RACCOON1's Profile Photo

    Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by RACCOON1 Online Now Oct 23, 2004 at 7:41 AM

    Since you cannot speak french you can forget Quebec. After that it depends on your type of work and the standard of living you want . There are more choices in Toronto , Calgary or Vancouver. In the USA you have to deal with huricanes , tornados and heat . Cold weather is less an issue . Canadian institutions seem to try to do what is best for society. Or at least they try . This slight difference between the USA and Canada is probably related to the difference in the histories of the two countries. There is a difference. Canadian are perfectly capable of doing anything Americans do. There are just less Canadians ( 1/10 the population) , so the bad things are not as obvious . Bob

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  • pedersdottir's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by pedersdottir Online Now Oct 23, 2004 at 12:27 PM

    To Bubba's response above: I must respectfully disagree. Scandinavian countries have probably the highest taxes in the universe -- and waiting lists for certain medical procedures abound. Also, age plays a major factor in whether or not you will receive treatment. It's simply the 'socialist way' . After all, a 32 year old with a heart attack is likely to live a longer time (and therefore 'contribute to society' longer ) than a 72 year with the same condition. So guess who will have priority in the operating room for the bypass surgery? Canada, in that respect, is 'socialist lite'.

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  • bubba4783's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by bubba4783 Online Now Oct 23, 2004 at 1:26 PM

    I was just referring to a recent report that aired here where they examined the health systems in Germany, Austria, France, Netherlands and one or two other countries. I should have been more specific.

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  • coolpanda87's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by coolpanda87 Online Now Oct 23, 2004 at 1:33 PM

    As the other forumers have mentioned, Canada is not that different from the US. There is still price gouging & greed, but I guess people here allow government intervention more than Americans do. Compared to the US, Canada still is governed by the notion that individual rights must be balanced by peace & good government ... It may be something hard for Americans to accept, for it essentially supports big (or big enough) government. One emphasized difference between Canada & America is that Canada prides itself as a cultural mosaic while America prefers a melting pot. Though the difference is not really visible, I guess it helps Canadians add an extra dimension of respect for the people around them.

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  • coolpanda87's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by coolpanda87 Online Now Oct 23, 2004 at 1:37 PM

    Maybe the more liberal states will best suit what you are searching for... definitely Canada overall is very different when compared to Texas, but if you compare Canada with say, NYC, New England, or the West Coast (i.e. Seattle), it's not that much different. For example, Vancouver feels like a twin of Seattle.

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  • AndyMack's Profile Photo

    Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by AndyMack Online Now Oct 25, 2004 at 9:32 PM

    if you dont like the cold, move to the west coast.. it might rain on occasion but we have a mild climate, no -40.. move to vancouver island, beautiful.. if you have children to raise i recomend moving to victoria amazing place to live..

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  • Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by QueenLatina Online Now Oct 25, 2004 at 9:59 PM

    There is good and bad regardless weather you live in the States or Canada. I have travelled to the States on many occasions, and found the people to be very friendly, maybe I was just lucky. Quebec is a beautiful Province, but you would need to know how to speak French, the rest of Canada, you only need English. Toronto is a good area to live, I have been to Toronto many times, and truly love the city, it is a very cultural city. Good Luck to you, when you decide to move, hope you find what you are looking for. QueenLatina

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  • Kaspian's Profile Photo

    Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by Kaspian Online Now Oct 28, 2004 at 6:40 AM

    I actually saw a story on CBC News last night about Americans disgruntled with their government and health care system moving to Canada. More US citizens have moved to Canada in the last year than in the past 10 years combined. It mentioned that many of them were moving to Edmonton. Which is fairly close to Calgary. Ed.

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  • DavidKeeling's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by DavidKeeling Online Now Oct 28, 2004 at 6:44 AM

    Not surprising, as Edmonton is less expensive to live in. At the same time that Americans are moving here, our doctors are heading south by the hundreds. I hope that some of those coming north are able to fill the vacancies.

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  • madamx's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Contemplating moving to Canada

    by madamx Online Now Oct 28, 2004 at 7:00 AM

    I still think Calgary is a better choice ;o)

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