Worst things about living in Canada

So here are some of the worst things about living in Canada (in no particular order). Citizens will of course relate and lament, but this may also be of interest to outsiders.

1.) Sales taxes. Each province has a GST (Goods and Services Tax) applied by the federal government. All provinces (except Alberta) charge PST (Provincial Sales Tax) on top of that. (Some places have the HST which is a combination of both taxes blended into a single tax). It varies by place but for almost all places expect to pay 13% to 15% tax on your purchases and services. 

2.) Housing Prices. The average house price is now nearly $500,000 after declines. There is no escaping it. House prices in the northern territories are expensive because of the isolation, weather, and cost of supplies – meaning even living in the middle of nowhere doesn’t cut prices. The prairie prices are roughly 300-400k for housing and we’re talking small cities. Vancouver housing prices are at a million dollars and the same in Toronto. Maritimes are cheapest at a quarter million but that’s because we’re talking about tiny locations with no population or work.

3.) Winter. A good portion of the country (northern territories) is in the arctic. The rest of the country gets winter weather each year, varying to some degrees by province and location. Most places average -15 to -30 Celsius during the winter … there is no escaping it. The only places that don’t get guaranteed winter snow and cold are the Greater Vancouver area and Vancouver Island – although this varies by year as well (but temperatures are bearable). 

4.) Student Prostitution. The government doesn’t track statistics on this, but we do know from minimal data provided by one company alone that at least 1 in 10 post-secondary students in Canada is prostituting or attempting to prostitute for money to pay bills. 

5.) Bilingualism. Canada is a bilingual country: the two national languages are English and French. Roughly 1 in 5 Canadians speak French but almost all of them are contained in two provinces (the main being Quebec). Outside these, the average French speaker is between 1% to 4% of the province’s population. Quebec is Canada’s second most populated province (after Ontario) and outside this self-proclaimed “independent nation” nobody speaks the language.

French is plastered on signs, cereal boxes and everywhere else to the cost of nearly two and a half billion per year (when last studied.) Most government jobs require people to be bilingual, and in some sections of the country finding work without French fluency is nearly impossible. 

There are no free lessons or classes provided by the federal government (unless you are a new refugee who speaks neither language). There is no official website or curriculum to help Canadians learn. Students will receive a few hours of lessons in school, but nowhere near enough to become fluent – especially without any locals speaking French.

6.) Child Poverty. Roughly 1 in 5 children in Canada live in poverty, although it varies by location. In some places the amount is 1 in 3 children, and goes up to 50% of Indigenous children and nearly 70% on reserves. 

7.) Prescriptions. The cost of prescription medication is not covered under Canada’s universal health care. Unless you are being given medication in the hospital or are Aboriginal (with a status card), your coverage costs will have to be covered by your employer, disability benefits, or you will have to pay full price independently. In some regions there are varying insurance coverage plans you can purchase if you qualify. (Ontario is rolling out a pharmacare program for seniors starting this summer.) 1 in 10 Canadians can’t afford their prescriptions, a number that will only rise.

8.) Food Insecurity. At least 1 in 8 Canadians is food insecure, a statistic compiled despite four provinces refusing to measure food insecurity. Food prices are expensive and only going up: to feed an average Canadian family (of four) costs almost $1000 a month in food. Food insecurity and prices in the north are often insane and reliability is so bad that only Amazon Prime can be expected to deliver with competence. 

9.) Sex Offenders. The National Sex Offenders Registry database is not public in Canada and can’t be accessed by anyone other than law enforcement. Adding sex offenders to the database wasn’t even mandatory until 2011, and is not a lifetime registry. The Registry is such a joke it was called a “national embarrassment” by the Canadian Encyclopedia. 

Sentencing is usually a joke and mandatory minimum sentences are being struck down left and right for being “unconstitutional” and unfair to the perps. The Canadian government has the names of over 5,000 perps who abused Native children in residential schools but sits on the list doing nothing. 

10.) Location. Canada is located to the north of the United States. Aside from the USA, there is nothing nearby – it is surrounded by ocean and far away from Europe or South America. There is nowhere to go except the U.S., which is often difficult when the currency is valued so much lower – at times only 70 cents to the USD. 

It takes just under a week to drive from one end of the country to the other. Depending on stopping points and starting location, it can take several days to a week to drive from Canada to Mexico. It’s generally cheaper to fly to U.S. destinations or even England than to fly across Canada. 

11.) Racism. Don’t be fooled … Canada is as racist as anywhere else. Whether it’s racism against Aboriginals or Blacks, Anti-Semitism against Jews or discrimination against immigrants, it’s all here too.

12.) Canadian content. Canadian media and film are basically a joke. Because Canada has no culture and sucks at the arts the CTRC has mandated that the media force Canadian content on citizens. For radio: 25 – 35% of its music each week has to be CAN content, depending on the genre. Television also has a 50 – 60% quota depending on the channel, shows and time of day. If the quality were good it would sustain itself, because it is not it’s an obligation.

13.) Inferior Netflix. For years Canada had a much smaller catalogue than the American version; now it’s almost matched in terms of quantity but definitely not quality. (Only three years ago its title selection was on par with Brazil and Cuba!) This might get even worse if Canada forces Can-Con onto Netflix as well.

14.) This video is not available in your country (region). Yep, you can’t even watch FREE shit online from Canada!

15.) Cell phone plans. Canadians have consistently paid more for lousier service for over a decade now, at one point coming in even lower than developing nations. Canadians continue to pay some of the highest costs in the world (ex: 138% more than the UK, or 156% more than France). Excuses were made about the “small population” and “large geographic area” but studies found Australia was way cheaper as well, despite the same issues. Digital media experts have called the new “low-cost plans” a joke.

16.) No culture. There is no unifying culture in Canada. It’s a dull, bland place full of dull, bland people. Even the premier admitted Canada has “no core identity”. Nobody knows what ‘Canadian’ means other than “not American” and unable to live anywhere warm. Now they’re bragging about being a post-national state. The lack of identity leads to a national inferiority complex which is staggering and accounts for much of the anti-Americanism (jealousy).

17.) No warmth. No, winter doesn’t just suck … so does fall and spring for a lot of Canada. In the prairies it’s wind, blackflies, mud, mosquitos and misery. In B.C it’s constant down pours of rain and grey gloom. (And snow in the rest of the country.) The “warmest” places are Vancouver (where house prices average over a million, condos are $600k), or Vancouver Island (where houses average a million and condos $500k-$700k). You could try the Okanagan (houses at nearly a million), or crappy places in Ontario like Windsor (homes nearly half a million) or Niagara (the same).

By “warmth” I mean you get a handful of months of sun and decent weather. You can pay half a million in Ontario for a few months of warmth, or a million in B.C. for a few months of warmth and rain instead of snow. Compare this to Maui, Hawaii where the average house price is going for $800k and other regions of Hawaii for $200k – $700k.

18.) Emergencies. What if the national power grids were hacked or failed? How does 3/4 of the country stay warm in -10 C to -40 C weather with no electricity or heating? What if the United States was at war with China or Russia? They’d encroach on northern territory and it’d be a war zone. What if there was a global threat or shut down? Canada’s combined active and reserve personnel totals just over 100,000. What if global borders were closed for a decade? You’d have to stay STUCK in Canada permanently!

[This list is ongoing and will be added to periodically when I have time.]

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