PhotoCredit: Migs Bardelas Photography
I was recently asked if Manitoba is a good place to immigrate?
In almost all of my posts in this website, I never fail to mention that my family and I are just immigrants of Canada, and with 10 provinces, 3 territories and more than a hundred cities to choose from it is not surprising that some people that we know or we just met will ask why we choose to migrate in Manitoba among other places in Canada.
When we decided to move to Canada, the decision to choose to live in Winnipeg, Manitoba was easy for us because my cousin who is our Manitoba supporter resides in Winnipeg. I know climate is one of the factors that need to be considered as well. Coming from a tropical country like Philippines, it is not easy to move to a place where it gets cold below freezing especially when you choose to move to “Winter-peg”… Honestly speaking, our first winter was a shock, but nevertheless, the coming winter is our 6th and we survived! So far, so good.
My family and I recently travelled to another prairie province for a vacation. My husband happened to have a relative in one of the cities that we visited and I can see with the look in his eyes that if ever there will be an opportunity for us to move, there is a big possibility that he will say yes. He was so amazed with what he saw (especially the stores that they have in their malls.)
I am not claiming that I will forever be living in Manitoba, there maybe circumstances in the future that may bring me to a decision to move, but, if he (my spouse) will ask me to move to another city now – my answer will be a NO.
Let me tell you more about Manitoba and why I choose to be a Manitoban –
Manitoba is one of the provinces in Canada that attracts the biggest number of immigrants. The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) became the welcoming doorway to a lot of immigrants who entered Canada as permanent resident. And a big percentage of provincial nominees are from the Philippines. The 2011 National Household Survey for people in Canada listed 454,340 Filipinos who are identified as immigrants. And Filipinos make up nearly 4% of the population of Manitoba. And I guess, Filipinos like me are lured to come to Manitoba because there is already a big presence of our community in this province.
I will be honest to admit that my husband has been more persistent lately in telling me to consider moving to another place, in Calgary or Edmonton for instance. But then, my best excuse for not pursuing that plan is the cost of living. I know, Manitoba’s provincial sales tax is high and Manitobans are paying more income tax than other provinces. But, if you will think about it, the taxes that we pay is just a part of the “cost-of-living” issue. If we’ll consider comparing other costs like homes, auto insurance, electricity and cost of education, Manitoba compares favorably with other western provinces because Manitoba has one of the lowest prices in Canada.
Another best reason of course is my ability to help my siblings or my relatives or even my friends to be where I am now. As I mentioned, MPNP is one of the ways that most immigrants choose to take in order to enter Canada as permanent residents.
We should also consider, that the quality of life goes beyond earnings, debt and taxes. And though Manitoba may be one of the coldest places in Canada, winter is not happening all year round, there is still spring, summer and fall, which other places in Canada don’t get to enjoy… Aside from this, I believe that Manitoba has a family-friendly neighborhood that is why, I feel that the slogan, “Friendly Manitoba” really fits this province. I have witnessed and personally experienced a lot of good stories how people in Manitoba showed importance of interacting with others and being nice to one another. Be it in a restaurant, in the supermarket, in the road or even in your neighborhood, you will always find someone who will smile at you or say “hi” or “Good Morning” to you, even if you’ve just seen them for the first time.
These are my personal reasons why if you’ll ask me (now) I am choosing to be a Manitoban, and I am happy to be one. Yes, there are a lot of factors that one should consider in moving into a new place, in choosing to immigrate to Canada. If you are reading this post right now, because you are considering Canada to be a place to immigrate, invest some time to do a research. If you don’t have strong familial ties or someone who can support you to the place you want to go or if you have worries about the cold weather, consider other factors that may help you to come up with the best decision. Of course do not forget to take a look at the local job markets, as well as the cost of living expenses. We all have different views about living life comfortably, therefore, we all have different priorities in choosing a place to live.
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