T Nation

Life in Canada?

How is it different from there opposed to living in the U.S.? I heard the tax rate is substantially higher, but then again theres free Medicare.

Also, does everyone speak English?

[quote]B.b. in stress! wrote:

Also, does everyone speak English?[/quote]

Non!

It’s true, we have a province full’o Francais but the majority of them speak English as well. As for the rest…well, we have likely the same number of immigrants that you do that have moved here and lived here for a long time and refuse to learn English. Perhaps refuse is the wrong word, but I have a problem accepting someone that after even 10 years cannot hold a basic conversation in either official language…

To answer the original question as best as I can though, I love living up here. I have lived in Calgary since 1984, was born in Montreal in 1980 so I’m pretty much a Calgary boy through and through. It gets a little expensive to live here to be sure, but to be able to walk into any hospital and not worry about having insurance is kinda cool (although having secondary HC ins is still a bonus bc there are a lot of things not covered by health care).

Disadvantages: We don’t get super bowl commercials.

C

We all live in Igloos, we pay 99% of our sealskins to taxes and we all say ‘eh’ and drink beer. And Jimmy and Sally from Winnipeg are really nice people. And we all wear touqes.

[quote]B.b. in stress! wrote:
How is it different from there opposed to living in the U.S.? I heard the tax rate is substantially higher, but then again theres free Medicare.

Also, does everyone speak English?[/quote]

Yes, the tax rate is higher and free medicare is shit. I would much prefer to see it opened up to the market but if you ever say that here you will find yourself attacked by about 10 others(this is no exaggeration, medicare is worshiped here). It is probably one of the only things aside from “I don’t like hockey” that will get you in a quick verbal beatdown by everyone in earshot.

I live in Vancouver and regularly go down to Seattle to watch baseball and visit friends and I believe that Canadian and American culture are practically identical(although most would like to think otherwise). I can obviously only speak for the Northern Pacific as i’m sure Texans and Quebecers would have a fair amount of differences… Basically im trying to say that the “average” American and Canadian are probably much more similar than many think.

Yes everyone speaks English(except Quebec). The demographic is probably largely the same although one thing I do notice is that Vancouver has almost no blacks. It’s amazing the difference a 90 min drive can make. When I go to Seattle I notice immediately(no, I’m not racist, it’s just that you notice things like this when you almost never see blacks). I think In my school there is maybe 2 black kids out of 2000 and this is not some school in a rich upscale neighborhood I would say its a pretty good representation of the average lowermainland school. We do though(in B.C) have a very large Asian and East-Indian population.

[quote]tmay11 wrote:
B.b. in stress! wrote:
How is it different from there opposed to living in the U.S.? I heard the tax rate is substantially higher, but then again theres free Medicare.

Also, does everyone speak English?

Yes, the tax rate is higher and free medicare is shit. I would much prefer to see it opened up to the market but if you ever say that here you will find yourself attacked by about 10 others(this is no exaggeration, medicare is worshiped here). It is probably one of the only things aside from “I don’t like hockey” that will get you in a quick verbal beatdown by everyone in earshot.

[I’m not gonna give you a verbal beatdown but I’d say your assertion is very misguided. Have you ever noticed that “friends of medicare” is operated (or at least sponsored by) one of the major national unions? The fact is that we have to keep our national health care and an American style system would be a disaster, same as it is in the States. The public has been so grossly misinformed about “third-way” health care that they automatically associate it with American Health Care because of the negative and misleading campaigning done by lobby groups like FoM. Keep the public system but allow the third way.]

I live in Vancouver and regularly go down to Seattle to watch baseball and visit friends and I believe that Canadian and American culture are practically identical(although most would like to think otherwise). I can obviously only speak for the Northern Pacific as i’m sure Texans and Quebecers would have a fair amount of differences… Basically im trying to say that the “average” American and Canadian are probably much more similar than many think.

Yes everyone speaks English(except Quebec). The demographic is probably largely the same although one thing I do notice is that Vancouver has almost no blacks. It’s amazing the difference a 90 min drive can make. When I go to Seattle I notice immediately(no, I’m not racist, it’s just that you notice things like this when you almost never see blacks). I think In my school there is maybe 2 black kids out of 2000 and this is not some school in a rich upscale neighborhood I would say its a pretty good representation of the average lowermainland school. We do though(in B.C) have a very large Asian and East-Indian population.

[/quote]

[quote]Creidem wrote:
I’m not gonna give you a verbal beatdown but I’d say your assertion is very misguided. Have you ever noticed that “friends of medicare” is operated (or at least sponsored by) one of the major national unions? The fact is that we have to keep our national health care and an American style system would be a disaster, same as it is in the States. The public has been so grossly misinformed about “third-way” health care that they automatically associate it with American Health Care because of the negative and misleading campaigning done by lobby groups like FoM. Keep the public system but allow the third way.[/quote]

Third way works in Europe and I wish that someone in power would have the balls to put it into place. There’s so much rhetoric surrounding the issue, it’s almost like in the old days where people would yell “communist” every time someone tried to make a change to the status quo.

I haven’t lived anywhere else, but so far the perks for me have been:

  • free medical care
  • really really good tuition for a well-recognized university degree
  • lots of skiing/snowboarding areas
  • 15 y/o import rule for vehicles. theres a lot of right hand drive vehicles rolling around. I’m looking into importing a 300zx twin turbo :wink:
  • poutine, I don’t think you can get this in the states.
  • there’s not really any ghettos or areas comparable to places like the bronx, south central, compton, etc.
  • really safe
  • pretty liberal atmosphere.

also, just some weird things I noticed:

  • there’s like no black people anywhere (I love black people though, don’t want to sound racist). honestly it’s strange.

[quote]TKL.ca wrote:
I haven’t lived anywhere else, but so far the perks for me have been:

  • free medical care
  • really really good tuition for a well-recognized university degree
  • lots of skiing/snowboarding areas
  • 15 y/o import rule for vehicles. theres a lot of right hand drive vehicles rolling around. I’m looking into importing a 300zx twin turbo :wink:
  • poutine, I don’t think you can get this in the states.
  • there’s not really any ghettos or areas comparable to places like the bronx, south central, compton, etc.
  • really safe
  • pretty liberal atmosphere.

also, just some weird things I noticed:

  • there’s like no black people anywhere (I love black people though, don’t want to sound racist). honestly it’s strange.

[/quote]

its kinda strange but most exercise/ nutrition experts i here of come from canada. Berardi, the guy who wrote this week’s article “a mile to ripped”, CT, etc.

also, do u think its somewhere someone would like to move to who’s kinda on a budget? or would it b best to move there when u get enough money?

Actually, if you look carefully a variation of the third way is operating very succesfully, they are prevented from expanding simply because then the “Friends of Medicare” nutcases will lump them into their next rallying cry.

Private clinics operating with public money have been running in Cowtown for a while now and in Quebec and Ontario for even longer (Jack Layton had a surgery at one of these once upon a time).

They offer the best of both worlds, they don’t cost any more money for the gov, they don’t allow line jumping and they provide the innovation provided by the private sector. People who own these clinics do very well and provide an essential public service.

The reason (or one of the main ones) this gets attacked so vehemently is that these “private” clinics do not employ union labour, specifically unionized nurses. Don’t get me wrong, I love nurses, everytime I’m hospitalized I’m so nice and respectful to the nurses (who have a goddam hard job) that they want to adopt me…

I’m just not a big fan of their union. I don’t think they do a good job of protecting their members or contributing to the public wellbeing.

That being said, I doubt we’ll see “pay-for-front-line” service widespread up here for a loooonnnggg time, no gov will have the balls. Although there are many optometry clinics that operate this way already I doubt the scope of practise will widen.

I’d be interested to hear from any American docs on here what they think of the system comparisons…

C

[quote]AgentOrange wrote:
Creidem wrote:
I’m not gonna give you a verbal beatdown but I’d say your assertion is very misguided. Have you ever noticed that “friends of medicare” is operated (or at least sponsored by) one of the major national unions? The fact is that we have to keep our national health care and an American style system would be a disaster, same as it is in the States. The public has been so grossly misinformed about “third-way” health care that they automatically associate it with American Health Care because of the negative and misleading campaigning done by lobby groups like FoM. Keep the public system but allow the third way.

Third way works in Europe and I wish that someone in power would have the balls to put it into place. There’s so much rhetoric surrounding the issue, it’s almost like in the old days where people would yell “communist” every time someone tried to make a change to the status quo.[/quote]

Free medicare in Canada? Um, you guys/gals do in live the CANADA, yes? Where MSP (medical service plan) costs you at least $55 a month per person???

I don’t know about you but $700 a year for a shite basic medical plan with atrocious waiting lists if you’re seriously injured seems to be a bit faulty.
Now you may say $700 a year ain’t bad. At least it’s subsidized by the government right? Wrong…it’s just our extra taxes paying it. I think our max tax rate is 43%. US is a bit less from what I’ve read.

You better hope to hell your company has an extended health plan if you ever expect to afford a basic dental visit.

My bro’s got teeth falling out of his head and can’t afford to go to the dentist yet he has government medical insurance (our lovely health care system).

Enough of that.

I love Canada. Was born in Edmonton, moved to Vancouver in 2000. I think Eastern Canada is much like North Eastern parts of the US. BC is much like most of the west coast of the US and Alberta is like Texas (complete with hicks, oil and attitude).

I think our culture while on the surface is very similar we do have more racial mixing. They call us the “melting pot” for a reason. But, no, not everyone speaks English. I’ve rarely met anyone who speaks French that isn’t from Eastern Canada. Everyone in my neighborhood speaks Punjabi. I can harldy communicate with my landlords. And communication in ChinaTown is cumbersum as well.
We have racial squabbling but it’s mostly over drugs and gangs.
And it’s true…where are all the black people in Vancouver? When I moved here, I was so shocked. In Edmonton, there’s many. It was awesome, we had cultural fests, a hip hop scene and the whole bit.
I swear the first few months in Vancouver my gal and I started counting the few black people we saw. 3 months - only 50. And we were using public transit all the time! Freakin weird.

Cool story, black dude I went to junior high with in Edmonton, I just happened to move right next door to here in Vancouver. It rocked! Small world.

Our education is good here, people can generally be trusted. Cost of living is on the increase and the split between rich and poor is similar to the US (or getting there).
We don’t pretend to play supercop of the world like our US counterparts. Not to say that we’re not hipocrits (we are; just not egomaniacs). But maybe that’s just because we can’t afford to waste the money on it. Who knows.
Our product selection here is 1/2 what the US has. That sucks.
Health Canada is far stricter than the FDA so there’s plenty of supps we’ve never been able to have here. That sucks.

If you want to relocate from the US to Canada?

  • Have a job here first (cost of living is prohibitive to just up and moving and chill off a bank for more than 6 months)
  • Live in a subburb, not the big city. It’s generally cheaper with the same selection and usually easy to get to “the big city”.
  • Buy moccassins the instant you cross the border; we don’t wear shoes in our country

Cheerios

[quote]TKL.ca wrote:
I haven’t lived anywhere else, but so far the perks for me have been:

  • free medical care
  • really really good tuition for a well-recognized university degree
  • lots of skiing/snowboarding areas
  • 15 y/o import rule for vehicles. theres a lot of right hand drive vehicles rolling around. I’m looking into importing a 300zx twin turbo :wink:
  • poutine, I don’t think you can get this in the states.
  • there’s not really any ghettos or areas comparable to places like the bronx, south central, compton, etc.
  • really safe
  • pretty liberal atmosphere.

also, just some weird things I noticed:

  • there’s like no black people anywhere (I love black people though, don’t want to sound racist). honestly it’s strange.

[/quote]

I always wondered how race relations in Canada were, and still wonder a bit.

I grew up in upstate New York which was about a 40 minute drive from the Canadian border, but had only gone twice.

In America things have been social-economically segregated along racial lines, hence why many more minorities tend to live in urban areas et cetera. So there are many places that may be exclusively black or exclusively white and so on, for example Maine and New Hampshire are northern tier states and are about 98% European-American, compared to the South which has a closer even number but still thing seem closed by phenotype lines.

With Canada it was just about immigration other than the Native Americans it was mostly just European immigration. Now it seems that recent black immigrants to Canada are from the Caribbean mainly. I notice that Canadians seem to be a bit more respectful and easy going/mild mannered but that is a wide generalization and I don’t mean to offend.

Is Mixed Martial Arts growing in Canada?

Are there any cultural differences going from Province to Province? I know Quebec stands away from the rest a bit.

[quote]tmay11 wrote:
B.b. in stress! wrote:
How is it different from there opposed to living in the U.S.? I heard the tax rate is substantially higher, but then again theres free Medicare.

Also, does everyone speak English?

Yes, the tax rate is higher and free medicare is shit. I would much prefer to see it opened up to the market but if you ever say that here you will find yourself attacked by about 10 others(this is no exaggeration, medicare is worshiped here). It is probably one of the only things aside from “I don’t like hockey” that will get you in a quick verbal beatdown by everyone in earshot.
[/quote]

I have heard this sentiment echoed by every employed Canadian I personally know (not over the internet) and it is a lot of people.

The younger guys I used to know of course thought it was great because they were un or underemployed, played rugby and liked to bum around and have fun. Less worries.

The older people tend to complain because the system can be much slower and less responsive than the US system. (The US system is broken too and needs an overhaul.)

I used to travel extensively in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, etc and agree completely.

I am American but I used to live within 30 minutes of the border. I love Canada. Great beer, great women, great country.

I’ve been explaining Canada to Americans for a while now, and this is usually how it goes (after weeks of mutual sarcasm and mockery, of course):

-Culture is largely controlled by the media, which is mostly American. This means that CAN is nearly identical to the US, although its citizens have a much greater awareness of the outside world.

-Ontario is nearly identical to the Northeast US. If it doesn’t happen in Boston (polar bears, igloos etc.) then it doesn’t happen in Toronto.

-In Canada, multiculturalism and political correctness are valued over any sense of national identity.

As a result, racism is essentially non existent, but aside from hockey and beer (both of which are punchlines), what IS Canada?

-Health care is convenient but costs through the ass and can be slow, because so many Docs want to move to the US.

BTW-I’m not getting into a political discussion about this, it’s just what I’ve found.

Since we don’t have electricity, I’ve been waiting ages to get a coal powered TV to go along with my coal powered computer.

The bonus is I can power my appliances while heating my igloo. Not that there seems to be much of a winter yet this year.

Having said that, I’m sure I’ve jinxed us all.

With reference to medical care - it isn’t free. There is a monthly charge and taxes are higher to pay for the “free healthcare.”

There is a basic law of economics everyone should master: TANSTAAFL – There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.

jpb

Seems like there is a fair difference between Quebec and the rest of Canada. And I don’t mean to get into politics and cultural bickering, but things here are not at all like what you describe.

First, we do have a stronger cultural identity than most Canadians. We’re not Americans, but neither are French, or even European. We’re a bit of everything, but not just a melting pot, we’re our own. In fact, Americans I’ve spoken to though we have a European side, while European think we’re Americans.

I think this is served by having our own medias, instead of CNN. Speaking another language is very helpful in this regard.

One of the biggest common ground we have with the rest of Canada is hockey, I think. Other than that, not much in common although most people I’ve met are nothing but friendly and open, aside from the little jerks who come for a drink from Ottawa to Hull (lower legal drinking age)

Like it’s been said, I think the language and culture are barriers that are too often left as is… and from both side of the fence.

Health care would really be worth it if it was open to private, it would clear up some people and allow the others to have access to care faster.

Other than that, yes racism is very low-key, but than again you don’t get more multi-cultural than Montreal.

And yes, yes, yes politically correctness is pushed way too far, IMO

[quote]David Barr wrote:
I’ve been explaining Canada to Americans for a while now, and this is usually how it goes (after weeks of mutual sarcasm and mockery, of course):

-Culture is largely controlled by the media, which is mostly American. This means that CAN is nearly identical to the US, although its citizens have a much greater awareness of the outside world.

-Ontario is nearly identical to the Northeast US. If it doesn’t happen in Boston (polar bears, igloos etc.) then it doesn’t happen in Toronto.

-In Canada, multiculturalism and political correctness are valued over any sense of national identity.

As a result, racism is essentially non existent, but aside from hockey and beer (both of which are punchlines), what IS Canada?

-Health care is convenient but costs through the ass and can be slow, because so many Docs want to move to the US.

BTW-I’m not getting into a political discussion about this, it’s just what I’ve found.[/quote]

This makes me cringe, but you can move to Alberta, Canada almost instantly and start working in the oil patch or jobs that were vacated due to people leaving them FOR the oil patch.

You will get paid pretty good money working for a lot of the larger companies like schlumberger, halliburton, suncor, encana, syncrude, etc. Just watch out though, vacancy is at an all time low.

For me right now I could be out starting as a tradesman and making like 50-60k/year, but instead I’m in university right now for a 5 year degree/co-op program. The oil isn’t gonna last so that’s why I’m forgoing the boom jobs. (Keep in mind I’m only 19)

I dont know about life in Canada, but as far as the people go, i ran into a group of Canadian College, same age as me, we hit the bars, met some ladies, talked training, the only difference i saw at all was that i played football all my life, and they played hockey, besides that they might as well have been the exact same guys that were my best friends in high school.

I’ll never understand how there can be rivalry between the two of us, but maybe im missing something.

–WS4