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Migrating to Canada: The Pros and Cons of Canada

Did you hear from the news that Canada is on the top list as the Best Places to live in the world? WOW! Isn’t it amazing?

In my 6 months stay here in Canada, had chance to  mingle with people around here, who have been staying in the country for at least 25 t0 30 years, some are even just a few seconds! Well, the last part is not true, let us say, some stayed for a month then went back home, to the Philippines.

There are many factors why others can stay and others chose to give up. Everything is subjective, it depends on every individual.

If you are planning to migrate, I hope this helps in your decision making.

Advantages:

$$$$$$

I can say that this is the main reason why people stay here or abroad. OFW workers enjoy bigger salaries comparing to what they get back home. Exemption to those who has chunk of money during payday in Philippines then here is a minimum wage earner. You would know later when we talk about the CONS. But still, majority earns more and save more. You can also buy what you need (or want) at the same time, and yet still have something to spare to your loves ones to be sent back home, through remittance or by “balikbayan box” which we can save or complete the package over time.

Health care system

FREE…FREE…FREE. You don’t need to worry much when you’re sick, be it a cold or cough or any medical issues. (We are talking about medical coverage by the government) but of course, being sick is not good and frustrating. One of the frustrating part is, you need to wait longer for the doctor to see or to your appointment date, it depends on what ailment you have. There are a lot of walk in clinics, consultation is free, just show your Health card, in our case Manitoba Health card. Though you need to pay for the medications, as a starter, you can also have a free sample from the doctor (as selling of samples are prohibited). Whereas in Philippines, samples are being sold in the clinics or even from the small drugstores. Private insurance here is very common, and it covers almost everything for the family, medical, dental, vision and prescription medications. So if the provincial plan does not cover a certain amount, a second level of coverage will kick in, that is your private insurance.

Free Education program and quality

It is a must that you send your kids to school from elementary to high school, after high school, it is your personal choice if you will continue to college or university. And it is for free, no tuition fee, but standard of education is high, proven by low rate of unemployment, even high school graduates can start their career at retail industries or food and beverage. We have met few people without any professional degrees but have been with their job for some time and no one earns below minimum wage assigned by the provincial government.

Though University or College has fees, this can be applied for student loan where you start paying when you have job in the future after graduation.

Lots of jobs or options

If you are not choosy and is willing to earn, there are so many jobs up for grabs. There are a lot of government funded programs where you can upgrade your skills or who can help you find a job match.

Low crime rate

Peaceful living, at least way safer than Philippines imagining it is city life living here in Canada. Just imagine yourself in the city of Manila, you do not feel safe and secured when you are outside, or sometimes even inside your own home.

More kiddos means more benefits

Depending on your income and age of your child, every family is entitled to Child tax benefits to help you raise your kids up to the age of 18. Every family receives GST compensation every quarter and member of the household who are 19 years old and above.

You can find more information at www.cra-arc.gc.ca


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PhotoCredit: JosephRandolfEvelar Photography

Disadvantages:

Away from families and Relatives

Being away from your family is the number 1 on the list, spending holidays without the big family, no more fiestas. Though there are small Filipino communities and organizations, having to celebrate big occasions is different without your family.

Winter Winter Winter

Winter is the longest season here, it is very difficult to adjust especially we used to live in the tropical and warm country. Imagine yourselves tucked underneath a thick comforter when the aircon is set to 15 to 20 degrees, while here , negative 15 to negative 25 is very common. For new immigrants, it is a very big adjustment, so we need to climatize ourselves to get use to the cold weather. Because of this temperature, you won’t be seeing sexy legs and revealing necklines during this season, which men definitely miss except for me (I worked in a country where revealing clothes is just a norm)

Kim Henares Rules

Taxes here are far worse than Kim Henares. Be it your income, clothing and even foods, so when you have exact money (or funds inside your ATM Debit) make sure you add another 13% so you would know if your funds is enough, rather than ending up washing dishes.

But, I know where my taxes go, I can see where it goes, looking forward to having kids so I can enjoy more on my taxes.

Not professionally related jobs

Do not expect too much from your job, most of the entry level jobs here will hurt your ego, there are few or most of the migrants here are white collared job in Philippines or abroad and when they arrived here, their survival jobs can be cashiers, janitors, gasoline boy. But no pain no gain, we have heard a lot of true testimonials who started from labor jobs but now drive their own elegant cars and clean their own houses and backyard or manage their own business.

Spokening Dollar (English Speaking fellows)

Nosebleed, that is how they call it. we heard stories when Filipinos talk to fellow Filipinos but pretends as if they forgot how to speak their National language or even their native language. As if they were raised or born abroad, or born in Canada, and then you realized, they’ve been here few months ago or just a couple of years. Though for kids, you still can hear some who speaks Tagalog (most of them just arrived or has been raised in Philippines) , most of them speaks English so well. We can’t blame them, because most of their time are beings spent with multicultural people, and trained to speak in English so well. But there are still families who value Filipino language, and instill to their kids, that they are still native Filipinos, no matter what the color of their passports are.

High Vehicle insurance

Unlike in Philippines, insurance here in Canada is standard across the province or even across the country insure it by TPL. If in Philippines you can just have a TPL insurance, here, depends on the age of your car, the make, premiums vary, and depends on your Driver’s safety rating, which you can earn with years of driving experience. You do not have a choice here but to pay high premiums for your car insurance. Your insurance per year can cost you almost a price of a second hand car.

Canada is not cheap place to live

I worked in Singapore for many years and it has been considered as the “Most expensive country to live” but if I would to compare in terms of expenses like food and housing, there is not much difference. There are few things that I realized are more expensive here like bus fare, standard fare, whether you are travelling a short or long distance, bus fare is $2.55 compared to Singapore which is $0.73 ($0.60)….article about this will be out soon. In short, Canada is also a high cost of living, so you need to work, work and work.

CONCLUSION:

Conclusion that there’s no conclusion. After reading this, have you decided which do you prefer? Well, for me even before writing this, I have decided that I’ll go to MARS, Just kidding. As I’ve said at the end of the day, depends on every individual.

Please don’t forget to like and share!

If you have questions, we got answers! Join the Facebook group to get access to the lively discussions about everything you need to know as you migrate/settle in Canada. Everyone’s welcome to join!

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