Canada is place to be ???

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Subject: Canada is place to be ???
  Think Canada´s the place to be? Think again
By Jennifer Meeks
Special to The Times

It has been said that Seattle mirrors Canada in its tolerant attitudes, but there is a dark side to this utopia across the border.

My husband and I left Canada six years ago to start a new life in the United States. Tens of thousands of university-educated, middle-class Canadians leave Canada for the U.S. every year. The Canadian government even has a name for us ? "The Brain Drain."

Why do we leave?

Taxes ? Ever wonder why you see so many rusty cars up north? It´s not just because they salt the roads in the wintertime. People can´t afford new ones.

Fifty percent of the Canadian paycheck goes to taxes. And, in Ontario, for example, there´s a 15-percent tax at the cash register. Think about paying that every time you buy a car, a fridge or clothes. The Canadian middle class has almost been taxed out of existence.

Official bilingualism ? This is what most of the taxes pay for.

Learning and speaking another language may seem like fun to most Americans. Forget about that textbook Parisian you learned in high school. My husband speaks French fluently but not by Canadian government standards. He´d be passed over in employment by someone who speaks a government-approved level of French.

Canada is officially bilingual and that means everything must be in French and English. Everything. It´s the law.

If you or your company do not comply with regulations then the official language "police" will be at your door. If you want to pursue a career in retail, the police, the post office, government, business and even the military, you must be bilingual.

The U.S. has its issues with African Americans and Canada has its issues with French Canadians. Affirmative action in the name of official bilingualism has resulted in a great deal of conflict.

Employment ? If you are English-speaking in Canada, it´s difficult to find a job.

Salaries are much lower than in the U.S. When we moved to the U.S., my husband almost tripled his salary.

Our standard of living is beyond what we could have ever achieved in a lifetime living in Canada. Our relatives can´t believe how well average, middle-class Americans live. Our son, who has a learning disability, is getting the best education ever in an American public school.

Meanwhile, it is the norm for Canadian schools to have at least 40 kids per class ? that is, if the teachers are not on strike.

Speaking of strikes. There are a lot of unhappy workers in Canada. I remember one summer when the bus drivers, postal workers, movie projectionists and government workers were all on strike. Even the doctors have "worked to rule" ? offering minimum health care to their patients to force the government to comply with their demands.

Health care ? Speaking of doctors, every Canadian has experienced or knows of a family member who has a nightmare health-care story. It may be free but that doesn´t mean it´s good.

Hospitals are miserable. There are long waiting lists for the most basic treatments and operations. When we went to an American hospital, it was like entering a five-star hotel. I hear Americans complain about the cost of medical bills but I would rather my child be alive and have a bill to pay than to be dead at no charge.

In Canada, there is one system of health care for everyone ? except the elite or government bureaucrats, who go to the U.S. and pay for decent health care.

Political oppression ? Imagine an American president and one political party in power for over 10 years. That´s what´s happened in Canada. Prime Minister Jean Chr?tien´s regime has been in control for more than a decade and the average Canadian is fed up and glad to see him go. Even then, it was his decision to allow an election. Hopefully, Canada will be able to make amends and repair its relationship with the U.S.

Living in Canada made me feel like a barn animal in George Orwell´s "Animal Farm." My only worry is that someday the United States will resemble Canada. Sort of like one giant Seattle. That would be my nightmare.

P.S. One difference between Canadians and Seattlelites is coffee. A Canadian would never choose Starbucks over Tim Horton´s. That´s one of the few things the Canadian government can´t control.


Jennifer Meeks is a Canadian living in Seattle while she and her husband are waiting for their green cards. Her husband works in marketing for a sports memorabilia company.



Copyright ? 2003 The Seattle Times Company



http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2001812740_meeks12.html

[18-12-2003,00:34]
Anonymous
I don't know now.... (in reply to: Canada is place to be ???)
Very interesting point of view!
[18-12-2003,07:02]
Sam
Canada is place to be and it will Remain!!! (in reply to: Canada is place to be ???)
People always migrate one way or another, if this choice was good for you it doesn´t mean it is good for other Canadians.

You see, it is not always about the money (well, maybe in your case), it is about the living, helping others, poverty in USA is higher than in Canada. Did you know that? Of course you didn´t becuase you probably live somewhere in California or Florida. Why don´t you sneak in Michigan or other northern parts of USA?
What about helping other people, not only starting war with almost any other country in the world.
Think, USA is place to be???
Think twice!!!

[18-12-2003,10:31]
Roger
What a load of crap! (in reply to: Canada is place to be ???)
Tsk Tsk!

It´s no wonder the person who posted this was reluctant to leave their actual name, as the information is just plain wrong!

I´m not going to waste a lot time debating these statements with actual facts, as I am sure "Anonymous" is the type of person who will simply spout further untruths, without ever checking his/her facts. Sufficient to say that, having spoke with many who live on both sides of the border, with the exception of the very rich, Canada´s residents live as well (or better) than America´s, and that almost everything this opinion suggests about official bi-lingualism is absolutely wrong (there is NO language police; nobody I know in retail speaks French; there are more police officers who speak Hindi, Manderin or Cantonese than French; I have two brothers who work for provincial and federal government in senior positions, and neither of them speak French - nor do I, and I used to work for Canada Customs).

Perhaps "Anonymous" is actually George W. Bush, looking to keep his young soldiers nearby, so that they may be available to give their lives for "democracy"... (yes, I know, this statement is as ridiculous as everything in the original thread, but I couldn´t resist).


Sincerely,
Dennis Caul
e-canada
immigration advisory service
www.e-ca.ca

[18-12-2003,11:13]
Dennis Caul
Load. (in reply to: Canada is place to be ???)
THis post is really crap. What kind of arguments are those. Yeah, true for loosers (when I must say) who for wrong reason went to United States.
[19-12-2003,15:51]
Scott Dante
Place to live (in reply to: Canada is place to be ???)
Interesting, I would say.
[20-12-2003,22:48]
Victoria
Don't think so (in reply to: Canada is place to be ???)
This is not even persuing.
[22-12-2003,20:39]
Sunny Romanda
I think Canada is one of the best places to live (in reply to: Canada is place to be ???)
I certainly don´t know Canada, neither I do US, but I´d prefer the former, seems to me is a quieter and nicer place to live in.
For people like me, who live in poor countries, it´s ridiculous to speak about the "problems" of Canada. Of course they woudn´t be perfect, but are far away of most of humanity.
I´m trying to get a job offer in order to work temporalily in Canada.I´d appreciate any help to reach that goal.
I admire that country. If any canadian wants to write me, I am going to be very pleased.
Greetings.

[30-12-2003,04:57]
Daniel Rivera
hahaha (in reply to: Canada is place to be ???)
Hi everybody,

I´m from California and I´m dreaming to go to Canada. Why?
No future here!
Coruption,
War,
TV i screamin´ all day about war, terror, treat................uhhhhh grrrrrr
Those guys are sick!

Canada here I´m!

[22-01-2004,13:23]
simpliciuss
Canada is a great place to be! (in reply to: Canada is place to be ???)
This post really bothered me, and a week after first reading it, I had to come back and defend my country. There are a lot of people visiting this site to find information about Canada, and some are still trying to decide whether or not to move to Canada. Others have already made that decision, and might feel discouraged or worried by this posters opinions.

I just have to say that the points made in the original post are either untrue or grossly exaggerated.

- "If you are English-speaking in Canada, it?s difficult to find a job"

Not true at all. Bilingualism is quite important in Quebec, otherwise I´ve never even been asked about my knowledge of French in a job interview.

- "Meanwhile, it is the norm for Canadian schools to have at least 40 kids per class"

Not true. Classes have a maximum of about 30, which is arguably still too many children, but 40 is ridiculous. I worked in education for 5 years, my parents are both teachers...

- "I hear Americans complain about the cost of medical bills but I would rather my child be alive and have a bill to pay than to be dead at no charge"

It´s unfair to say that these are the only two options. Yes, there is a waiting time for medical services in Canada, and the system isn´t ideal, but it´s available to EVERYONE. Maybe those who can afford private medical care in the U.S. are satisfied, but what about the millions who can´t afford coverage? They are the ones being turned away from hospitals despite their urgent medical needs.

- " Prime Minister Jean Chr?tien?s regime has been in control for more than a decade and the average Canadian is fed up and glad to see him go. Even then, it was his decision to allow an election. Hopefully, Canada will be able to make amends and repair its relationship with the U.S. "

Well, first a technicality- it was not Chretien´s decision to allow an election, it was Martin´s, who is now the prime minister. Also, Chretien´s government has been VOTED into power for the last 10 years. Nobody forced us to vote for them, and there were other choices. But most importantly, VERY many Canadians don´t WANT to repair its relationship with the U.S. We don´t support Bush´s policies, and don´t want Canada to just become the newest state of the U.S.

- "P.S. One difference between Canadians and Seattlelites is coffee. A Canadian would never choose Starbucks over Tim Horton?s. That?s one of the few things the Canadian government can?t control"

How can we generalize like that? Given the number of Starbucks in Canada versus the number of Tim Hortons, I would say this statement is laughable, and besides, who cares??


There is no country in the world that is paradise. Canada has it´s good points and it´s bad, but overall I believe it´s a great place to live. There are lots of opportunities if you work hard, and if something goes wrong there are people and systems there to help you.

So for all of you dreaming of immigrating to Canada, be realistic about your expectations, but you can also be optimistic. Good luck!





[17-06-2004,06:30]
Julie
what ever you say (in reply to: Canada is place to be ???)
What ever you say CANADA is CANADA the land of tolerance
[21-07-2004,02:19]
karo
what ever you say (in reply to: Canada is place to be ???)
Whatever you say CANADA is CANADA
[21-07-2004,02:20]
karo