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Canada Moves to Keep Skilled Workers 1067

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the she-followed-me-home-can-I-keep-her dept.
ashitaka writes "Just in time for all those who have vowed to leave the United States in response to government policies and mainstream cultural malaise, the Canadian government is announcing a C$700 million initiative to help skilled workers stay in Canada and become citizens. If you had the choice, would you really uproot to a new country especially one where the lifestyle isn't that much different than your own?"
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Canada Moves to Keep Skilled Workers

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  • Lifestyle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:24PM (#14120921)
    If you had the choice, would you really uproot to a new country especially one where the lifestyle isn't that much different than your own?

    It seems to me that a lifestyle that includes warm weather would be reason enough.

    • Warm weather (Score:5, Informative)

      by phorm (591458) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:51PM (#14121066) Journal
      Pick a season then. In the summer it's about 25-30c (77-86f), in the winter I've been as low as -40c/f, but generally we're in the -10 to -20 (14 to -4) range or milder. Right now it's about 4c (39.2f)
    • Re:Lifestyle (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ryanjensen (741218) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:57PM (#14121097) Homepage Journal
      Some parts of Ontario are on the same latitude as northern California ... in fact they have several wineries in that area.
    • by AndroidCat (229562) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @08:02PM (#14121131) Homepage
      one where the lifestyle isn't that much different than your own?

      Except for that part where we peel our faces off and reveal ourselves to our god. Wait, forget I said that. Everything is fine.

    • Canada vs. USA (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Simonetta (207550)
      The question of living in Canada vs USA depends a lot on your skill set (job qualifications), home language, tolerance of bad weather, politics, and intoxicational preference.

      Let's say you have a good job skill set and can get a job more or less either north or south of the 49th parallel. If you speak French as a native language, you'll most likely feel more comfortable in Quebec. If you speak Spanish as a home language, Miami, Los Angeles, or New York would be more confortable. This issue
      • Turns out, income taxes for median incomes (roughly CAD$52k in the US per household, roughly CAD$56k in Canada per household) are more or less equivalent dependant on province vs. state. You'd be better off anywhere in Canada than, say, Texas. If you make 60k or less, you'll probably pay less tax in Canada. If you make 60k or more, you'll pay more. Particularly if you're a landowner... Canada doesn't give big tax breaks for land ownership, which is unfortunate... but you can get a significant portion of div
        • by renehollan (138013) <rhollan@noSpaM.clearwire.net> on Saturday November 26, 2005 @08:54PM (#14121389) Homepage Journal
          I'll have to followup later, but, having been born in Canada, and lived in Texas, I can assure you that it is much cheaper in Texas, tax-wise. Property is dirt cheap, though property taxes and insurance can be high (the property taxes generally pay for great schools, at least they did in Allen). There is not state income tax.

          At just about any income level, a family with a single income, filing jointly, and owning their home will be much better off just about anywhere in the U.S. compared to Canada: there is no deduction for morgtage interest for non-investment property in Canada, and couples with a single income can't file jointly (and the spousal credit is mediocre, about CA$7-8k at the *lowest* marginal tax rate taken off your gross tax burden).

          I once figured out that for marrieds, taxes in the U.S., in a no-income tax state, are generally lower once income goes above $US15k.

          It's the main reason we left Canada for the U.S. -- we could not afford to live in Canada anymore with the high taxes, and mediocre health care (free, perhaps, but non-existent for the most part).

          • "there is no deduction for morgtage interest for non-investment property in Canada"

            The Republican necons in our Congress are trying to remove the mortgage interest deduction as we speak. Now how does the US look if that's gone?
          • I once figured out that for marrieds, taxes in the U.S., in a no-income tax state, are generally lower once income goes above $US15k.

            You did, of course, not being a disingenious shill, include the $200-600 (depending on employment type/other factors) a month health insurance per-person in the household in the US equation, right? Right?

          • by Jetson (176002) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @03:24AM (#14122842) Homepage
            there is no deduction for morgtage interest for non-investment property in Canada

            There's also no taxes owing for capital gains when you sell that non-investment property. My house in Vancouver, BC has gone up in value by more than $125,000 in the last 3 years. Given a choice between a 17% deduction on the interest portion of my mortgage versus $125,000 in tax-free cash I think I'll take the latter....

            • You get a tax free sale once per 2 years of your personal residence in the U.S. My house has doubled in 5 years, could double again, and double again and I still wouldn't owe any taxes when I sold it.

              The mortgage deduction really doesn't kick in unless your mortgage is about $100k (so say a $120k house with 24k down)and up because of the "standard" deduction.

              The mortgage deduction is really a subsidy for rich people who are buying million dollar houses and getting 2 grand a month off their taxes. The "fai
          • Funny you should say that health care is non-existent in Canada. Because Canadians pay less per capita for health care then the people in the US. Americans pay 14% of GDP and don't cover everyone. Just the rich and those with corporate health plans can afford it. While in Canada we pay 12% GDP and everyone is covered on our health plan. Regardless of who you are and what you do for a living.

            Non-Existent is an exageration. Thats what the ultra right wing fasists will have you believe so that they can consid
      • Re:Canada vs. USA (Score:3, Informative)

        by udowish (804631)
        "In general, everything that you buy in a store is cheaper in the USA. Canada has insane sales taxes on top of high prices. This is the big issue for most people deciding USA vs. Canada. Big income taxes too. However the money collected in taxes mostly gets back to the Canadian people in some form, whereas in the US taxes paid go mostly to giant corporations with fat government contracts." BS, the only thing lavishly higher is booze and smokes in my experience almost everything else is CHEAPER in Canada
      • Re:Canada vs. USA (Score:5, Insightful)

        by killjoe (766577) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @09:30PM (#14121544)
        Also if you are gay or a muslim you are much more likely to be accepted in Canada then the US.
      • Re:Canada vs. USA (Score:3, Informative)

        by saitoh (589746)
        I'll add a fundimental difference of defining objectives/principles in a sociological sense to consider:

        US: "Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness"
        Canada: "Peace, order, and good government"

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace,_order_and_good _government [wikipedia.org]
      • Re:Canada vs. USA (Score:3, Informative)

        by farrellj (563)
        I spent 2 and a half years in North Carolina, having been recruited from Canada. I had accepted because finding a tech job is very, very hard there...and still is.

        Although I found housing to be cheaper, and many consumer goods...food was the same price, which meant everything was 20-30% more expensive. The tax rate was chaper, but there were more types of taxes. for example, I had to paid a tax to the city for the car, which I had never done in Canada, and the cost of health care insurance was huge. Drugs w
    • Re:Lifestyle (Score:3, Interesting)

      by killjoe (766577)
      If you want warmer weather both Australia and New Zealand have skilled immigrant classifications. I haven't looked into it but Belize is also a warm english speaking country where you might be able to relocate to. IN the pacific there is also saipan, guam (yuck) and fiji. There are also many countries where english is widely spoken even if it's not the primary language. The nice thing about canada is that it's easy to visit the US if you miss your friends and family.
  • by MLopat (848735) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:26PM (#14120938) Homepage
    Having done alot of travel to the US, both for business and pleasure, let me assure you Canada's lifestyle is far different. We live in a much more secure, comfortable and friendly environment than most places in the United States. We have very little crime (Toronto, our largest city, has about 70 murders a year), we have the best health care system in the world, we have tonnes of green land, and are well respected by most of the World.
    • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:28PM (#14120944)
      we have tonnes of green land

      Every time I've been to Canada the land has been white.

    • by DanteLysin (829006) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:33PM (#14120968)
      The US is a large country. The "lifestyle of the US" does differ from region to region. To travel to "most places in the US" and get a good appreciation of each would take years. I'm sure Canada is similar.

      I moved from 1 state to another and life is very different for me. Turns out I like where I live now, I don't ever want to move back. And if I travel to different parts of my state, life is quite different.

    • by Stone316 (629009) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:34PM (#14120972) Journal
      and I don't mean catching a cold or pulling a muscle in your back and having to take a trip to the family doctor. I mean 'sick' and require the attention of specialists.... You can get your dog in for an MRI same day but you'll be waiting months for yours. I believe the average wait for a specialist is about 3 months now... I know I had to wait 6 months (at least, can't remember) to see a specialist last year.

      Well respected? Maybe but I keep sensing that other countries find us about as annoying as a nat flying around your head.

      Saying that, I love this country and would never move.

      • by wizwormathome (760340) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:54PM (#14121083) Journal
        You can get your dog in for an MRI same day but you'll be waiting months for yours.

        For those who are curious, the above is not an exaggeration [onthefencefilms.com], as shown by this film.

        As partially summarized by a Canadian blogger [blogs.com], "When you have finished watching this film several images will remain with you for some time to come. A woman who spent two years waiting for knee surgery and innocently asks the American filmmakers whether the waiting lists are as long there as they are here. The moment when she begins to grasp that a health care waiting list is a concept alien to most sick Americans, though sadly not health care compelled bankruptcy, is something that cannot be explained. More stories follow of addiction to pain killers brought on by wait times, of the suffering families go through, of men and women calmly contemplating death for ailments which medical science long ago conquered, but which government control has placed out of reach."

        • by jd (1658) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <kapimi>> on Saturday November 26, 2005 @09:35PM (#14121565) Homepage Journal
          It is true that nationalized healthcare systems, such as the NHS of Britain, and the Canadian system, are slow. That could be fixed by adding more doctors. It's a solvable problem. In the US, insurance costs are through the roof (you could probably rival Bill Gates on wealth just by not getting sick), medicare is rife with fraud by hospitals and not all insurance is even accepted at all hospitals, so you can get turfed out even in life-or-death situations.


          (Actually, in America, you might get turfed out in critical situations anyway. Many hospitals don't have an emergency room, as they cost more than they make and US hospitals are there for profit not care. Those ER rooms that do exist are hopelessly overcrowded, overworked and are considered by the CDC to be extremely high risk areas in the event of an outbreak of a contageous disease. If bird flu ever goes critical, it will likely do so in a US emergency room.)


          The American situation, unlike the British and Canadian counterparts, is not fixable. Because hospitals in the US are profit ventures, not health-care centers, they have no interest in doing anything that will cost more than it will earn. Proper emergency care is expensive and earns little, as most accident and crime victims are uninsured and/or flat broke. They have no interest in lowering prices, because the bulk of "paying" customers have health insurance and so never see the real price tag and therefore have no reason to care what it is.


          Insurance companies in the US are also money-grubbers and they know how to rake the money in. By charging the companies a "reduced rate" for bulk purchases, they can absolutely guarantee that customers never see the real cost to their paychecks. The victim - errr, employee - only sees a given deduction for their deduction. What they don't see is what the company is really paying and therefore what the company is really calculating payscales on. In the end, you pay the full cost but you only see a fraction of it on the pay stub.


          By these accounting tricks and other fraud, the US employees are bilked billions of dollars and somehow consider themselves better off because they don't have the wait. Trust me, if you threw billions of dollars out the window in England, you'd get prompt healthcare too. Well, just as soon as anyone realized that was real money and not something from a Monopoly game.


          (For that matter, there's always BUPA, if you insist on the insurance thing in more civilized lands.)

          • by PPGMD (679725)
            With exceptions of specialist hospitals, such as ones that only treat children, any hospital worth it's salt has an ER, at least in this state. If Canada or the UK threw the amount of money needed to take the wait times down to reasonable levels (no person should have to deal with the pain for more then a week), they would see such a sharp incline in spending that it would make the government accounts choke.

            Medicare fraud sucks, but it's something to deal with, but it's there for those that need the care,

          • by pavera (320634)
            I don't know how many hospitals you've been to in the US, but I've never been to one that actually called itself a "Hospital" that didn't have an ER (I've lived in 5 cities in 4 states...)... Now sometimes you'll see a "medical center" that doesn't have an er.. but anyway...

            The US is fixing the "No one sees the price tag" problem, its called HSA's. Hundreds of companies are moving to them, I own a small business its how my employees get coverage, we save tons of money on premiums, and we save tons of money
        • You know, its not illegal to cross the border to the south and get your health care there. You have both options in Canada, wait and get it for free or pay for a US specialist.
        • though sadly not health care compelled bankruptcy

          No longer true. In the US it has been replaced by health care compelled indentured servitude. The bankruptcy laws have been tightened up so that now it is almost impossible for an individual to write off debts. Despite the fact that approx. 70% of bankruptcy in the US was due to health care bills. In addition, you are forced into counsummer credit counseling, often for profit organizations. Sometimes these counseling services are fraudulent driving the vicitm
      • by Valar (167606) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @08:05PM (#14121143)
        It takes time to see specialists here in America too. Three months would be rare, but it happens. A lot of it just has to do with the supply and demand for people with specialized medical knowledge. Canada is a little bit worse off because lower wages for doctors->lower # of people willing to be doctors.
      • Mod parent up. There is a reason weathly Europeans and Canadians often have private doctors (despite the "free" healthcare system) - and flying to Boston is not unheard of for exceptionaly dangerous procedures. While we can argue the merits of applying Capatilism to the health care system - skilled US workers (which would include everyone reading this site in the US) have the best health care. Period.
  • ho (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mr_tommy (619972) * <tgraham AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:27PM (#14120940) Journal
    Psst... I think the similarity is part of the atraction....
  • Oh, Canada! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hiro Antagonist (310179) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:30PM (#14120952) Journal
    Given that I travel up to B.C. about twice a year, and that I'm going to be looking for employment up north after I graduate (two years down the road), I say 'Hell, yes!'

    No worries about healthcare, low crime, fantastic local beers, hockey in the winter, Tim Hortons...er, what am I not supposed to like, again?
    • Re:Oh, Canada! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CarlinWithers (861335)
      Consider Alberta as a place to look for work. Our two major cities (Edmonton and Calgary) are the fastest growing in Canada. There's lots of IT employment available if you have the skills, heck there's lots of most kinds of employment. We currently have a shortage of skilled workers, and a jobless rate of less than 5%. It's not quite as beautiful or warm as BC, but it's still nice. I'm a Calgarian myself. When I compare the quality of life in Calgary to most other places, the results are enough to moti
    • Re:Oh, Canada! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by paranode (671698)
      Hey I have all of that in the rural United States only we are not deluded that a several-month waiting list to see a doctor is the 'best healthcare'.
      • Re:Oh, Canada! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Hiro Antagonist (310179) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @09:47PM (#14121644) Journal
        You know, I keep hearing about this, but none of my Canadian friends have ever mentioned it; I mean, I'm not saying it doesn't ever happen, but I don't think it's the big problem that a bunch of Americans make it out to be. Hell, last time my friend Sarah got sick with a nasty cold (!), the local hospital offered to send out an AMBULANCE to pick her up.

        On the flip side, if you're a student in the US, you can shell out $100 a month for CRAP healthcare -- as in, if the Student Heath Center is open and you don't go there first, you can pay your own bills, and unless it's an emergency (life-threatening), you had better not even think of going to see a doctor, because the student insurance won't cover it. Oh, and it won't cover anything out-of-network, so I owe my dentist $150 because the student insurance I forked out about won't cover cleanings with my regular dentist.

        At least I have healthcare; half of the people I go to school with don't, because $100 a month is more than they can afford.

        Now that I'm working 'full time' again, things are better (back to real healthcare), but having experienced 'cheap healthcare' for a year, I'd rather see us Americans with a better system.

        I hate to say it, but I think the Japanese have something going with the way they run things -- even without being on the 'National Insurance', I was able to go to a Japanese clinic and have my cough diagnosed as a really nasty case of pneumonia -- and was out the door after a total of an hour, with a small bag filled with about five different kinds of medication, and all for about $200 (IIRC). I shudder to think of what two sets of chest X-rays and about two weeks of meds would have cost in the U.S. without insurance.
  • Empty promise (Score:5, Informative)

    by uncleO (769165) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:31PM (#14120956)

    For those unaware of Canadian politics, the government faces a non-confidence vote Monday or Tuesday. It is expected to fall and call a December election.

    For campaign reasons, the government has announced a flurry of new spending over the last week, most of which is expected to never materialise, whether the governing party wins again or not.

    • Very true, mod parent up. This is right up there with the cancellation of the gun registry and GST...

      Of course where is the gun registry office? [hint: How do you keep unemployable easterners happy...]

      That said, I'd rather live in Canada than the USA. Mostly because it's so cold the terrorists are few and far between. Who the fuck would bomb an office in -20C weather? :-)

      Tom
  • Nice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by smartin (942) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:34PM (#14120978)
    As a Canadian living and working in the States, I wish the Canadian government would have done more to keep skilled citizens rather than attracting skilled immigrants. Unfortunately it is really just too easy to max out in the Canadian market place and the only option is to move south.
    • Re:Nice (Score:4, Interesting)

      by PygmySurfer (442860) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @08:29PM (#14121263)
      That was my thoughts exactly upon reading the article. Why is it I had to come work in the US, rather than finding a job in my own country? I make more than twice as much in US dollars than I was making in Canadian dollars. Where's the incentive to stay?
  • Quick question.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Neuracnu Coyote (11764) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:36PM (#14120991) Homepage Journal
    If American citizens are frustrated and annoyed with their government's behavior, can someone please explain how expatriating will do anything but make the problem worse?

    If they have any interest in achieving their goal, shouldn't they be sending a loud message to the rest of the world, inviting like-minded individuals to come live there instead? Or perhaps convince their neighbors to read a newspaper?

    Oh, wait. That would involve effort. Never mind - I forgot who I was talking about.
    • The Real Question (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CyberLife (63954) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:54PM (#14121084)
      What's your feeling about people immigrating TO the United States? If one applies your position equally to all countries of the world, nobody should ever leave their native land. Are you advocating that? This country is largely populated by immigrants and those descended from immigrants. I don't know the details of your family background, but chances are they were immigrants at some point. Should they have stayed in their home country? Should you have instead been born and grown up there instead of here?
    • by miyako (632510) <miyakoNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday November 26, 2005 @08:51PM (#14121376) Homepage Journal
      I've long been considering moving out of the US for Canada or someplace in Europe. My thinking on the issue has generally been that a group of people has the right to generally run themselves the way they want. If I don't like it then, instead of trying to change things more to my liking (and to the chagrin of many others), I may be better served by moving to a location that is more inline with my own views.
      In my case, I would like to move to an area that is much more socially liberal than the US, and has more social services. Personally, I don't mind paying more in taxes if the government is going to use those taxes to help the people of the country.
      Basically, you say, "if you don't like X, why not try to change it, and invite other people to come and help", whereas I say "If most people in the area like X, but I don't, would I not be better served by going to a place where people share my ideas instead inviting fruther fragmentation into the area I am at, and trying to strong arm my own views onto others?"
    • by killjoe (766577) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @09:41PM (#14121601)
      It's more about not staying where you are not wanted. Bush sr said that atheists are not real americans and should be allowed to vote for example. The exact quote was " I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."

      This is the president of the USA telling atheist citizens that they don't belong in the country. Other members of this administration have made similar remarks about atheists, collage professors, environmentalists, femminists, homosexuals and other people they hate.

      Why stay in a country that you are not wanted in? Why not move to a place where people don't hate you?
  • It's a cop-out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sam_handelman (519767) <skh2003NO@SPAMcolumbia.edu> on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:37PM (#14120999) Homepage Journal
    As an American I am in a better position to fix the problems than anyone. If I move to Canada (and even if I become a Canadian subject, or whatever) I have given up on influencing the course of events because I don't want to deal with some sort of guilt over my failure to do so recently?

    We don't know how much worse things might have been, either. We say, and it's true, that the domestic opposition didn't prevent the administration from invading Iraq. Well, that was a failure. There is literally no way of knowing what else they might have done if given free reign - Miers on the SCOTUS is only the start of it.

    In case you haven't been paying attention - the two last US elections have been very close, and their outcomes (especially in 2000) have had a tremendous impact on the rest of human history. In spite of those election results, public opinion here in the US still plays a big role in determining what the administration can and cannot get away with. If you're really concerned with human civilization, and not with melodrama, you move to a purple state, not to Canada.
    • Re:It's a cop-out (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tomstdenis (446163)
      MOD UP.

      For once someone gets it. If we ever meet in person I'll buy you a beer [or whatever ya drink].

      As a Canadian [and fellow North Americaner] all I have to say is it's good to see someone gets it. Too many foreigners flee their country for safety reasons then just pursue the culture that bred it here [often with the problems just following behind them].

      Moving China to Toronto, Vancouver and a few other cities won't fix the problems they have in China.

      That said, if you guys don't open up the poles to a
    • Re:It's a cop-out (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PaulBu (473180)
      In case you haven't been paying attention - the two last US elections have been very close, and their outcomes (especially in 2000) have had a tremendous impact on the rest of human history

      Hmm, some people say that current US administration is arrogant in their attempt to change "human history", but it is really funny to see the same attitude from their opponents!

      Is it possible to have somewhat "balanced" (if not "fair") discussion here?

      Paul B.
    • Re:It's a cop-out (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "In case you haven't been paying attention - the two last US elections have been very close, and their outcomes (especially in 2000) have had a tremendous impact on the rest of human history.

      You sound like a decent enough person but for god's sake put down the koolaid. Even the most cursory examination of recent history provides a dozen examples of coutries which have suffered far greater catastrophe and they too will leave as much impact as the fall of Pitcairn's society. The WTC towers didn't mean spit o

      • Re:It's a cop-out (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Sj0 (472011) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @11:03PM (#14122023) Homepage Journal
        The current negative savings rates in the US, propped up by incredible debt levels made worse by low interest rates and the housing bubble (allowing people who can't really afford it to have millions in cheap debt), could possibly spell the beginning of an economic holocaust the likes of which the US has never seen.

        Large scale societal dynamics are the things which shape history, not so much the politics of the day. Politics in a vacuum looks very impressive, but you look closer, and you'll often find that it is a mirror which reflects what's actually happening in the world.
    • Re:It's a cop-out (Score:3, Informative)

      by GooseKirk (60689)
      You're right, it is a cop-out... and I do feel bad that I'm not there, fighting the good fight, trying to make things better.

      On the other hand, I feel better about myself, just not being there. I feel better that I never have to see Fox News ever again. I feel better knowing that even as Dubya spirals the country into the ground and half the people cheer as they go down, I don't have to ride along with them. Hell, I don't even have to pay attention.

      Sorry for the cop-out... but I know I'm much happier. Life'
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:40PM (#14121016)
    Just as I am researching what it takes to immigrate to Canada, job opportunities, quality of life, housing prices, etc.

    I come from Europe and, no offense to our American friends, find Canada a much more appealing choice than the USA - exactly because I perceive Canada and Canadian mentality to be much closer to a European mindset.

    I admit this may just be a whim, but coming from a country where everybody under 40 years of age is suffering from financial rape from the older generation, Canada sure does look appealing.

  • by nxtr (813179) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:41PM (#14121024)
    >>Canada Moves to Keep Skilled Workers

    No one can move an entire country, not even Superman!
  • by KJE (640748) <ken@kje.ca> on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:44PM (#14121033) Homepage
    From TFA:
    "Ottawa will spend $700 million over the coming years in a two-pronged initiative to make it easier for skilled immigrants to stay in the country while at the same tackling a big backlog of people waiting to get into Canada."

    Also:
    "Immigration Minister Joe Volpe will join the flurry of pre-election promises with his announcement today."

    The minority government in Canada is about to fall, this is just one of the many, many promises the Liberal Party is making before they lose a no confidence vote next week, think of all these spending promises as the beginning of their campaign and react accordingly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:46PM (#14121040)
    I've already uprooted and left the US for another country.
    Japan in this case.
    I just couldn't get past America re-electing the failed
    ideologues in the White House. Pity the people have seen the err of
    their ways all too late. (ref: Bush's declining approval rating)

    Barring stumbling into marriage over here, I can't see myself
    staying forever though. A place like Canada is *extremely* attractive
    to me on a number of levels - it's similarity to America being just one.

    Having spent a bit of time in Toronto and Vancouver, they're both places
    I can easily see myself living in. They're not New York or Tokyo, mind
    you... but they do seem to be everything America believes itself to be -
    with Jesus wonderfully absent.

    The only problem I can see being an issue is that I don't particularly
    care for hockey... Is that a deal-breaker on naturalization?
  • by Jorkapp (684095) <[jorkapp] [at] [hotmail.com]> on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:50PM (#14121056)
    I can see this initiative as targeting the citizenry of the United States. It makes perfect sense to target them, and here's why:

    US citizens already speak english, work with dollars and cents, drive cars on the right, etc. At the core, they're basically the same (less some cultural differences) as Canadians. Less government money spent on teaching them english or how to drive.

    Right now the Canadian dollar is at $0.85USD. The minimum wage in Ontario is at $7.45CDN/hour for an adult (slightly less for people who serve food/beverages and are subject to gratuities), which is more than $6.25USD/hour. Bear in mind too, that minimum wage is typically only paid to entry level jobs, and most other jobs pay more. I've heard horror stories of US Wal-Mart workers making maybe $5/hour - come up here and get a pay raise!

    Come on up boys, We've got plenty of room!
    • I can see this initiative as targeting the citizenry of the United States.

      I do not agree. Firstly, the Canadian govt spends sweet fa on teaching immigrants anything. In fact it typically insists that they spend their own money getting "qualified" for something they can already do back in their home country. This might make it quicker for an American working in Canada under current NAFTA rules to just get residency, but Americans who move here seldom have any trouble becoming residents (other than the u
  • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Saturday November 26, 2005 @08:09PM (#14121159) Homepage Journal
    The Canadian government wants to rob the citizens of $700,000,000 and give it to programmers. Why not just arm yourself, go to your neighbor's house in the U.S., and take their money?

    It is the same thing. Don't believe the hype, read deeper.
  • by nblender (741424) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @08:24PM (#14121231)
    I'm a Canadian. You Merkans would hate it here. This place sucks. Don't come here. We regularly eat children and stab puppies for sport. It's cold and everyone has a dog-sled. This is a horrible purgatory. I beg of you, please don't come here.
  • by tv war (727119) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @08:41PM (#14121321)
    America is just as socialist as Canada or any European country.

    Only difference is that most of the American style "socialism" is more towards the military and defense sector (ie. Halliburton, Bechtel, etc ...). In Canada and most European countries, the socialism is more towards things like a health care system, welfare state, etc ...

    America has all kinds of socialistic institutions like:

    The Federal Reserve Bank,
    Fannie Mae,
    Freddie Mac,
    Social Security,
    The US Postal Service,
    Pension Benefit Guarnaty Corporation,
    Medicare,
    Medicaid,
    Amtrak,
    etc ...
  • Ya don't say! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bitspotter (455598) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @08:54PM (#14121386) Journal

    I left Arizona for Vancouver BC in Jan 2003. I've been telecommuting with the little web services outfit (still in AZ) ever since. I married a local last June, and she's sponsoring me for Perm Residency soon.

    It was a great relief. My first coherent thought after 9/11 was "This is how tyrants are made". I seem to have been right.

    I have absolutely no regrets. Answer your question?
  • by StandardCell (589682) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @10:07PM (#14121741)
    As a Canadian who has worked for years both in Canada and the United States, and having taken the plunge 18 months ago to come back to Canada to work, I can say that it has been an unpleasant experience.

    Healthcare up here is abysmal. Trying to find a family doctor is nearly impossible, and there are long wait times for elective procedures and medical imaging. One of our family friends died of a heart attack after waiting nearly a year for bypass surgery. I'm paying more for health care up here than I ever did in the US due to my premiums.

    Education is a joke up here too. Ontario, for example, passes ALL children unless they basically hand in nothing or choose to do nothing throughout the year. My neighbor's son got straight "R" grades ("F" is no longer politically correct), yet somehow passed to Grade 5 last year. That'll keep happening until he graduates high school, even though this kid still can't read a basic "See Jane Run" type book.

    Daily life is ok, but there are some things you have to be aware of. Although the overall murder rate is lower in Canada, per-capita rates of rape and property crime are all higher than in the United States. I feel less safe here than I did in the San Francisco Bay area and much less safe than in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. Try rolling through Toronto and see what it's like these days. Forget about the unbelievably bitter cold, excessive snow if you live in Eastern Canada, and generally longer winters. Weather counts for a lot.

    Then there's the financial aspect of it. Sure, people don't get bankrupted here, but if you're not chronically or seriously ill you are better off in the US. I've paid more for health care here since my employer doesn't cover my premiums (yes, we pay premiums, $60/month/person). Auto insurance is 50% more expensive than what I paid for in California, plus I can't remove tickets from my record with traffic school. House prices are insane; I can't buy a fully-detached house with two car garage for under $400k, and I can't deduct my mortgage interest or property taxes from my federal taxes. I get paid less in equivalent dollars than any job in the US, and all of my Canadian friends who have worked both places want to go back south unless they have significant family obligations north of the 49th. I pay more in taxes, especially at the till (15% sales tax on a car is insane!). The government's overly-liberal immigration policies make unemployment consistently 2% higher at a minimum than in the United States so I'm always looking over my shoulder thinking when my time might be next.

    Finally, there's the government. Lots of /.ers think that Canada is some magical place of freedom. It's not. Freedom of speech is curtailed as we have laws against "hate speech" that the US would consider violations of the First Amendment. Freedom of the press is a joke, since several times reporters were spied on, wiretapped or just simply had their personal files confiscated without a warrant by corrupt police who feel that due process is an inconvenience. Our Senate isn't elected nor provides regional representation, but is an expensive rubber stamp with no real power. Heck, we didn't even have our full independence from the United Kingdom until April 19, 1982! We have sexist and racist government departments that purposely exclude white males from positions supposedly in the name of diversity. There are 36,000 deportation orders on illegal immigrants that can't be executed because the government doesn't know where they are. They let the families of Somali warlords and Sikh terrorists stay in this country. And, in general, the majority of people here have been lulled into utter stupidity by the clever social engineering of Pierre Trudeau's liberal party over the last 35 years that has their party about to be voted back into power that has stolen billions of dollars from taxpayers (Adscam, HRDC et al). Not to mention that Canada is the only major industrialized nation in the world to
    • Trying to find a family doctor is nearly impossible,

      Maybe in your district. This month in Toronto I found one in about 20 minutes using the Physicians directory. (Despite the dribble of objections from the middle class who have captured the notion that privatisation solves everything, some level of public health service is necessary in a socially just state. That's one big point in Canada's favour...)

      (What does "excessive snow" actually mean? How is snow "excessive"? It's snow, for goodness' sake. If you

  • by Barbarian (9467) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @11:59PM (#14122251)
    ..when do I get my entitlement?

  • by ami-in-hamburg (917802) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @04:41AM (#14123025)
    I moved from Arizona to Hamburg, Germany just over a year ago. The best move I've ever made. I make a little more money than the US national average for a Unix Admin but the cost of living here is much lower than Phoenix or my other recent home San Diego, CA.

    The health care system here is also socialized but with an option for private health care (either exclusive or in addition to) your basic health care.

    Naturally there is the language problem. You can live here if you don't speak German but it would be very very difficult. For me, that's not a problem though.

    The immigration laws are extremely strict for most nationalities but not nearly as bad for Americans. They do kindof use a Catch22 system though. You can't get residence permission without employment and a registered address here. You can't rent an apartment or get a job without residence permission though. There are loopholes but it's tough.

    Of course, if anyone in your family tree, has or had, even the slightest percentage of German blood you can get citizenship pretty easily.

    If you're married to a German, you don't have to change your citizenship to live here. Of course you can if you want to but it's not required which is my case.

    Crime is extremely low everywhere and the weather is similar to the Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York region.

    The IT market is somewhat thin, similar to the US, but there are plenty of jobs out there.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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