Alberta (wild bros country)

Alberta is a province in western Canada with a population of just under 4.5 million people. Its two major cities are Calgary and Edmonton, these are followed by a sprinkling of minor and small cities.

Capital city

I’ll get around to Calgary soon enough, but if we take a look at the second largest city and capital Edmonton what do we find? A city with lots of stabbings, crime, rapes and sexual violations against children.

For years Edmonton was known as ‘Stabmonton’. Its stabbing rate for homicides ranged anywhere from 25 – 50% leading to its own news subsection. Additionally sexual assault cases continued rising, beating out other major cities per capita, with the second highest rate by 2018. (And of course rising by 44% in just a few months during the recent pandemic.)

As of 2020 it has the highest per capita sexual assault rate of all the major cities at 98.61 per 100k, well ahead of second contender Vancouver at 85.06

A 2020 study found that almost half of Albertans experience sexual abuse! 34% of kids, then up to 45% as adults.

Aside from Calgary (1.5 Million Pop) and Edmonton (1.4 Million metro pop) – what else is there in Alberta? After the two “big” cities there are a bunch of small shit cities sprinkled around … most of them around the 60,000 pop mark.

Shitville

Let’s take Grand Prairie: it has a population of 63k and was the most dangerous city in Canada in 2018 and 2016.

How about Wetaskiwin? (Pop: 13k) It was the most dangerous place in Canada in 2019; dropping to 6th in 2020. (At least that’s an improvement over its third place listing in 2018.) It was fourth for homicide in 2020.

How about Red Deer? (Pop: 100k) It was the second most dangerous place in Canada in 2019 and third place in 2016. How about Lethbridge? (Pop: 101k) Naturally it was the third most dangerous place in 2019. How about Cold Lake? (Pop: 15k) It was sixth place that year too and rounding out the top 10 for homicide.

OK you get it. There are a bunch of small, shit cities in Alberta with violence and crime, listed as most dangerous according to the Crime Severity Index. I could go back into their rankings over the past 5-10 years as they move up and down but I’m sure the point is made.

We already know that outside the few major cities this country is full of violent shit holes that make up the small cities. Nothing new here but that’s exactly the point. You’re getting nothing new in Alberta: there are the same problems you find in small cities in Ontario, B.C., and the prairies.

Population

After Ontario and B.C. (evenly matched), Alberta has the next highest percentage of immigrants at 21%. It also has the third largest visible minority percentage at 23%. But does this tell the whole story?

The Edmonton-area comprises 32% of Alberta’s population; Calgary-area has 34%. These two major metropolitan areas (“Calgary-Edmonton Corridor”) house over 60% of Alberta’s residents.

Ten percent of Edmonton-area residents are not Canadian citizens; 23% are immigrants, mainly economic: largest number from Philippines, India, Europe, Africa. 11% of Calgary-area residents are not Canadian citizens; while 29% are immigrants: mainly from Asia (Philippines, India, China), followed by Europe and Africa. It can be safely assumed the majority of minorities/immigrants live in the two main cities if they aren’t working specific oil and gas related jobs elsewhere. The small towns and little cities are more likely white and Canadian-born.

Overall: 70% of Albertans are of European heritage; 6.5% are Indigenous and the rest are visible-minority. More than half of Albertans are Christian and it’s known as a ‘conservative’ province.

[*Data from Statistics Canada 2016 profile]

Are you following?

Bored yet? I am. Okay let me try to shorten this up: Alberta is a small province housing around 12% of Canada’s population. It has two ‘major’ cities – being dumps with less than 2 million each. Outside of those there are a bunch of tiny shit cities and towns that sprung up around oil and gas jobs and are full of rednecks with tendencies towards violence. There are a lot of immigrants but they’re in the ‘big cities’ and the rest are white and conservative everywhere else.

Edmonton is a dismal dump with shit weather (averaging about -15 C for at least 3 months of the year) and no claims to fame other than a big ass mall, stabbings and being rapey.

Calgary is flat, ugly, alternately super hot or cold and has nothing pretty nearby. Its claims to fame are faux-cowboy honky tonk crap, and the “Stampede” (annual rodeo/festival).

Whenever Canadians talk about Alberta they laugh it off as the ‘Texas of Canada‘, and by that they mean: wannabe cowboy culture, conservatism, and oil (probably how the whole association began).

Economy

Historically Alberta has been known for its primary economic sector (oil and gas). Extraction industries provided a lot of well-paying jobs for decades and brought the province a good deal of wealth and economic migration. Even now it accounts for 16% of its GDP. Then there’s construction at 10%, and finance and real estate.

Whenever clean energy is put into use Alberta is going to have big issues: almost a fifth of its GDP will be gone (or significantly diminished) and the other sectors relying on the money and population growth connected to that will contract.

People often associate Alberta with farming and ranching but over 80% of its residents live in an urban setting and only 3.3% of the workforce is employed in agriculture-food industries. It is the largest cattle producing province however and does most of the nation’s beef-processing.

So what’s good?

Banff and Jasper are two national parks located on the western edge of the province by the Rocky Mountains – they are truly beautiful and worth checking out. A road trip in some of the more scenic areas of the province could be fun.

I guess I’ll end it here. I’m not sure why anyone would move there unless they have an extremely well paid job lined up. It’s not a place with great weather, or full of tradition and soul. It’s slightly better than the prairies and cheaper than B.C. (Maybe that can be their new slogan!)

Final verdict: not the best, not the worst … just not much at all.

O Canada!

Tips on Blogging (about Canaduh)

1. Don’t use Blogger/Google

To make a Blogger account you’ll need to sign up for Google. To use your account you will need a password, an alternate email address, and a phone number (for two-step verification). If you choose you can download a list of Recovery Code numbers to input should you get locked out.

Most security-conscious people will enable two-step verification, but unfortunately that doesn’t help. I’ve twice been locked out of two different accounts. If you forget your password (or are otherwise locked out) you will lose permanent access even if you have 2 out of the 3 recovery points. Despite having a phone number and recovery codes (and password) I was unable to log in.

Locking writers out of their accounts is extremely easy: all someone has to do is try and log in to your account numerous times in a short period. Security will automatically lock your account, and you’ll likely be permanently locked out if you’ve lost access to your secondary email or changed your phone number.

Also, if you want to close your account later on you will need to send Google a copy of your passport with your full name. Obviously this can be problematic if you’re writing under a pen name. I would suggest using a friend’s generic name (if your friend gives permission) but this will also put your friend at risk from obsessed fruitcakes who have made it their mission to dox or harass you upon finding out personal contact info. It’s better to avoid the headaches altogether.

I have also had my personal Gmail/Google account hacked, which is apparently not hard to do. Once you’ve been hacked, no amount of password changes or security measures seem to be sufficient to block the hacker from regular access.

2. Copy + Paste

When I started writing I copied down comments from other forums and websites. It may have seemed redundant at the time (while the comments were still up) but proved useful later on – most of the original comments are now gone. Canadians often flag, complain, or find other ways to have negative opinions and reviews taken down (sometimes the website itself ceases to exist).

Quoting/copying comments and discussions helps to preserve them in the event they go missing; remember to add a link to the original source.

3. No advertising

You can allow ads on your site which pay per view, click or purchase. The revenue from these are minimal unless your site is generating tens of thousands or millions of unique views per month.

The most popular are Google Ads which are now available for use anywhere outside of Google. The payout is low, although higher than other comparable sources. If you are locked out of your account you will lose access to your funds even as Google continues to charge advertisers for what your now-defunct site is showing.

No one cares about Canada. You could be the wittiest writer alive, but anything Canada-related is sure to have low viewing figures just based on the total indifference to the country’s existence. A blog about toe fungus would be a better bet – as it affects more people and is more relevant to the global community.

The main viewership will be people who dislike Canada (a low number from a low population to begin with), and the curious or those who stumble upon your writing by chance – not a great revenue source.

Your best bet is to add a donation button so that readers or sympathizers can donate to your cause (but with low viewership comes a trickle of donations, if that).

4. Link to Sources

Many Canadians are ignorant or brainwashed, while most other people know nothing about Canada. In order to prove your points are valid – remember to link to official government websites and sources, media articles and other easily accessible data. Even still, expect Canadians to fume, threaten and insult as they haven’t bothered to read the blog post in full or click on any links to confirm.

5. Anonymity

Of course most rational people will choose to write under a pen name and remain anonymous. Some Canadians really go full-on crazy: obsessing about your writing, finding ways to dox you, or constantly harassing and threatening.

Most sites will require an email and phone number (two-step verification).

You can get a separate phone number through many Apps. There are several free ones you can download on your mobile phone, and choose a number from any region in the country; there is no registration process or personal information stored. Many of these accept text messages as well – used for verification purposes and password retrieval.

A new email address is easy and free from countless providers. I recommend using a provider that allows for many username-alias creations which all go to the same inbox. Sign up with a secondary username not used for any other purpose; pick something uncommon you can delete and recreate later if necessary for password retrieval. Example:

Regular email: joe.beaver@email.com

Secondary name: cakersbendoverwithoutlube@email.com

And lastly, if you’re feeling paranoid you can always use a VPN – many are even free now.

6. Choose your Purpose

My only recommendation: catharsis.

Your blog won’t make you money, because aside from Canadians who would bother to read about Canada on a regular basis?

It shouldn’t be aimed at Canadians as that serves no purpose. They truly believe they live in the “best” country; that they’re superior to others, and your complaints or critiques are unfair, unfounded and should be ignored. No matter how polite or logical your points – don’t expect any self reflection, admissions or desire to change the status quo. (If Canadians or Canada were worth the trouble or had introspection at all, the blog probably wouldn’t exist in the first place.)

Trying to warn others from coming is a noble cause but ultimately fruitless. People will believe what they want and deceive themselves because the alternative is too unpleasant. All you can do is speak the truth and wait for them to learn for themselves. Like having a friend who refuses to acknowledge his partner is a compulsive cheater and liar, this ‘marriage’ will go ahead and only firsthand experience can drive the points home.

Lastly, the second reason to write: catharsis for others. Your writing may seem like a waste at times, but the effort is not in vain. Many people have told me about how my writing has helped them; sometimes knowing you’re not alone in your observations and frustrations can be hugely helpful to others.

Mostly just do it for yourself: to retain your sanity until you can escape this nation of people sleepwalking through life.

A Guide to Surviving Ottawa


1. Disordered Personalities

I firmly believe Ottawa has a high percentage of disordered people. Due to medical privacy laws and a lack of clinical diagnoses there is no objective way to measure the population, which is a shame since this is surely indicative of the quality of life in any city.

Acquaint yourself by reading the following starter books:

The Sociopath Next Door

Dangerous Personalities

The Mask of Sanity

In Sheep’s Clothing

The key to dealing with these personality types is understanding them, spotting the warning signs, and avoidance.

You need to learn about narcissists, sociopaths and “gaslighting“. Then you can learn how to minimize risk and damage to you and your family.

Basic key advice:

Don’t tell new “friends” or acquaintances any personal history or issues. Keep conversations generic and surface level. If someone probes for information continually bring the conversation back to him/her.

Don’t show any weakness. Think of it like prison or the streets: signs of weakness (lack of confidence or conviction, caving in to pressure) attract predators and bullies – hold firm.

Carefully vet people. Be polite and casual with others while taking your time getting to know them. Watch their behavior, observe, and don’t assume decency is in them because it’s in you.


2. Winter Gear

This may seem obvious but my message is for lower income/working class people. If you’re on a budget there’s a tendency to purchase inferior clothing and boots to save money presently, but this temptation will cause you misery in the long run. Do what is necessary: save, use your credit card, purchase used items online, cut down on non-essentials, etc.

Winter is miserable at -20 C to -30 C. Enduring years of this for months on end means quality winter wear is a priority! (As much as you may promise yourself your relocation or stay is “temporary” – one year can easily turn into five despite best efforts.)

When I finally got a Canada Goose jacket I was amazed at how easy it was to go for 30 minute walks outside with little discomfort. It is WORTH IT! I was cheap and stubborn for many winters and caused myself extra suffering. Be smarter!


3. Toxic Work

A decade ago the ‘public sector’ accounted for 20% of employed Canadians, including almost 1 in 3 federal employees working in Ottawa-Gatineau. As of 2017, the number of federal government employees working in the NCR (National Capital Region) was 145,000.

In 2016, the NCR population was 1,323,783 – meaning federal employees comprised nearly 11% of the workforce. That’s 1 out of every 10 people walking around who works for the Feds. Now you begin to understand …

It’s extremely difficult to fire a government worker. In most cases, problematic employees are shifted to different departments or transferred to new locations. With such protection comes a lack of accountability, an inability to remove bad apples and an overall lowering of standards.

In most situations, individuals with personality disorders won’t fare well: they end up reprimanded, fired or ostracized. Mixing disordered persons into cushy jobs they can’t lose is a recipe for disaster; throw in the other issues for a nice stew of toxicity. Because of the good salary, benefits and pension, people stay even if they’re miserable – thus the miserable populace and working conditions.

As you find yourself in this Kafkaesque nightmare you may ask:

Can people really be this incompetent?

Can people really be this vicious and petty?

How does this place continue to run?

How does the country function with the NCR as its core?

What kind of nightmare am I living in?

Let me give you some advice: look inward and learn to cope. This situation has been brewing for decades and you cannot reinvent the wheel. No amount of hard work, positive attitude or ingenuity can change the culture of a city or your workplace. One blade of grass can’t stand against the tsunami of dysfunction…

Continue to work hard. Continue to treat others politely and professionally. Continue to disengage from workplace dramas and gossip. Keep your head down and plot your escape with care. And if you are planning on working there until retirement … invest in a good therapist and try not to develop a cocaine addiction.

Yes this all mostly applies to the private sector and general work environment too.


4. Dating

My advice would be to avoid it if you’re only staying a short time. If you’re brave enough to try then I urge caution.

The website ‘Ashley Madison’ was hacked and user data revealed as many as 1 in 5 Ottawans were users. Media then went into overdrive complaining, explaining, and making excuses for why this wasn’t so.

Regardless of the exact numbers or what you believe – Ottawa is filled with cheaters, liars, affairs, and women selling themselves on the side (with or without their partner’s knowledge).

The prostitution rates are higher per capita than in Toronto, Montreal or elsewhere. They’re also higher than the provincial and federal averages. (The city tried to say that there’s “more vigilant police work ” in Ottawa to account for the difference!) Ottawa is also one of three main hubs for sex trafficking Aboriginal women.

Anecdotally, I witnessed plenty of cheating, affairs, prostitution; people laughing about giving others STDs; people shrugging off getting STDs; middle class women turning to sex work, on and on. Just a gross place!

Be very careful who you date: get to know them and hope for the best while preparing for the worst.


5. Happy Place

Misery and Ottawa go hand-in-hand for any sane or well-traveled person; it can all get a little overwhelming. You need to find a couple spots you can go to when it’s all too much. My favorite places to find peace:

The Aviation Museum, National Art Gallery, Conroy Pit (dog walking).

The long and tedious winters will require innovation: try making a list of top classic books to read or movies to watch. Try learning a new language with a course or online program; try your hand at a new hobby like painting or woodworking.

I discovered a love of foreign cinema and Hitchcock. (I also drank a lot. I won’t lie, Jack Daniels helped tremendously.)


6. Media-based income.

Leaving Ottawa requires a good deal of money without a work transfer. One Gatineau resident used to complain about the region and vent online. He suggested it cost roughly $10,000 to make a proper move. He was mocked online (and later doxed by someone with too much time on his hands) but he was correct. I found it cost roughly that amount for airfare, new furniture, deposits, immediate rent and so on. (It may be easier for single people.)

While you’re wasting away in Ottawa you may as well be productive.

I suggest a media based method to make a passive income: blogging, podcasts, Youtube videos, selling digital art or intellectual property, having a drop-based shipping company (USA) and similar ideas which can be done on the web.

Try to avoid physical manufacturing or shipping (which is expensive from Ottawa/Canada) and will be redundant in the event of a global pandemic, conflict, or other crisis.

Stick to something which can be done online (with little cost) and can make money 24 hours a day by virtue of views, clicks, or sales by internet. You can gradually build up your content – a lengthy process – and it’s something to do in winter.

Having an extra revenue stream will help with the move or resettling, especially if you go somewhere more expensive like Toronto or Vancouver. This advice is especially pertinent for the working poor.


You will make it out eventually … persistence is key! If I can do it with the hurdles I faced, anyone can. Don’t give up!

During my time in Ottawa I had two stalkers; was sexually harassed; had a pervert neighbor drill peep holes in the exterior wall; was threatened numerous times; was scammed and ripped off by bosses and individuals; had terrible landlords; was gaslighted; met disturbed individuals, met an assortment of weirdoes; had my work credentials discounted, worked mundane, belittling jobs; was beaten up by a group of losers; was randomly offered a machine gun; survived severe depression; developed an anxiety condition on account of all the freaks … I could go on but you get the picture.

My last advice: if you’re working class don’t bother going to Toronto or Vancouver, your standard of living will go down. Ottawa has some benefits: working for the Feds (through networking, not talent), social nets for the poor, close to Montreal, close to New York and Vermont, etc.

Try to enjoy the small good things that are there and focus on your future. Things can seem bleak but don’t be discouraged.

Do you regret moving to Canada?

Comments from immigrants about their regrets in moving to Canada. My comments at the end.

***

It’s been 4 months that I have moved to Canada as a Permanent Resident – the coveted tag that almost every other Punjabi is after these days. And, believe me – life here is not a bed of roses as everyone pictures from far.

And, there are plenty of reasons for the same:

The cold weather!!! – As soon as you land, you feel the chill in the air (I felt it even when it was the ‘so called SUMMER” for Canadians – the month of May). I had to wear a jacket on the first weekend while going out with my friends.


The laid back lifestyle – Trust me when I say that we people are far more active in our home countries than people in Canada. You see people with a far more laid back lifestyle and attitude in this part of the world.


Job struggle – I pity those people who come to Canada and believe they can earn big bucks; especially those who leave their well-paying white-collar jobs in their country. Job struggle is immense here. Recruiting processes crawl at snail-speed. Forget about reaching to the recruiting phase, most of the employers will reject you because you don’t have the ‘Canadian work exprience’. It’s like a polite way of saying ‘screw your hard work and experience that you did in a multinational in your home country. Canadian work is above and beyond that!’


Too many INDIANS – I am an Indian and I love my home country, but seriously if I had to get the feeling of living in the middle of India why would I move to Canada? There are so many Indians (especially Punjabis in the GTA and BC – the most livable parts of the country) that not even for a single day you will feel you are out of India.

PSS – No hard feelings, it is a personal choice. But, trust me it is not worth it to leave your friends, family, and life!!!

Thank you, everyone, for such an overwhelming response to my answer. I did not expect it at all.

For all those who think that I hold something against Canada or people from my own country (so-called DESIS), well I don’t have anything against it. I simply mean to say that it is personal choice for everyone. I like the country, I like the calmness that it brings, and I love cleanliness. However, there are somethings which did not appeal to me, just like for many of you quite a number of things from back home do not appeal. It’s just my personal opinion and point of view. For all of those saying I should move back, well I will when the right time comes but it is not now. Canada is a beautiful country, but not for everyone, and not everything is laid here on a bed of roses, it has its own struggles that every country has.

PS – the winters have just begun, I am already feeling the chill.

Peace 🙂

Note: When I wrote this answer initially, I received a lot of hate comments that after a few months I will start praising Canada etc. etc., and I will never move back. To all those comments, I’ve moved back to India. And, I’m happy to be part of this Cosmic Chaos we love

***

I will try to answer this from my own personal perspective, and from the trends I have seen in Canada after I moved to Toronto:

Pros:

  1. People are nice, but not all, further explained in cons.
  2. Society is more tolerant of immigrants.
  3. Gun laws are stringent, and gun violence is almost non existent.
  4. Immigration is easy.
  5. You will not feel alone, there are people from all ethnicities.
  6. Racism exists but is not to the levels that it will suffocate you.
  7. Medical costs are low, you still need insurance for dental, vision, and prescription coverage though.
  8. Water is cheap, electricity is cheaper than most places I have lived in.
  9. Air quality is very good, very less pollution.
  10. It is a very beautiful country. I love going on long drives.


Cons:

  1. Job experience from anywhere outside Canada is not considered. You will start fresh and will need to climb the ladder again.
  2. If you don’t have references, forget about landing a decent job.
  3. Everything is expensive in quick comparison to US.
  4. Cars are expensive. Car insurance is super expensive.
  5. Housing is out of reach in Toronto and Vancouver, where 90% (ok more like 70%) jobs are.
  6. Medicare is painful when it comes to emergencies. Imagine waiting nine hours in emergency with a broken bone while doctors tend to a teenager who got bad throat due to excessive smoking but can fake pain better than you can. No, they don’t prioritize in most cases. And if you want to see a specialist, better be prepared to wait for months for an appointment.
  7. Racism exists, not as bad as US, and some people are frustrated with influx of immigrants.
  8. There is a big gap in immigration policies and the mindset of employers.
  9. Weather is extreme enough to kill you in minutes in most of Canada.
  10. You cannot save. Taxes takes almost half of what you earn.
  11. Sales tax is extremely high. It was 15% in Ontario, which has been reduced to 13% now. This is what you pay when you buy anything, or any service.
  12. Public transportation is extremely expensive. Travel is expensive, both domestic and international.
  13. Some people I have encountered were extremely rude, they actually topped the charts of rudeness compared to some other encounters in US, Europe, and South East Asia.
  14. Gas prices are one of the most expensive in the world. A litre in Vancouver costs about $1.60.
  15. Very bad roads, they’ll kill your suspension and tires if you are not careful. This is due to bad weather.
  16. Food is expensive, eating out is expensive.
  17. Liquor is twice as expensive as in US, don’t forget to grab a bottle from duty free.
  18. Most important, salaries are on an average 30% less than what they are in US, that combined with high taxes leads to no or very less wiggle room for savings.

So overall, it was a disappointing move. But that doesn’t mean that Canada is a bad country. It is a good country but comes with it’s own challenges like anywhere else. Depends on what you want.

***

I do.

I do not regret moving away from home and experiencing a new life.

But I do regret choosing Canada over Europe (I did have the choice).

Here are a few things I am sure the responses, especially the ones from those who have ‘just’ moved here and likely wrote the comments in their ‘high’ of traveling do not cover.

1 – The cold is deadly – and no one wants to admit it.

2 – It is cold not only outside, Canadians like to burn extra fuel on airconditioning and to freeze their indoor areas too, both in summer and winter (and yes there are only two seasons in Canada). There is not one day all year around when you can do your errands without having to carry a jacket or, ever thinking of wearing a skirt like I like to do – because the moment you step inside buildings it’s FREEZING (unless you are exercising). Although, I must say people do not dress to the weather, and if you have an issue with the cold, you will be always objectified ‘omg! You’re wearing too much! Are you cold?’

Look, winters are 8 months long here (Edit: when I say winter, I mean so long I need to wear knits, jackets, tooks and boots, if you go out with shorts in 10 degrees good for you, anything below 12 is winter to me and most people from mild climates). For at least 3 months, it’s below -15 (Edit: if anyone doubts this, they can track the weather and average temperature in various provinces, make sure you look at the ‘real feel’ value too. Unless you are in Windsor Ontario or BC, this is what it is, if not worse). You need a car. You need a really good home with proper heating, and still your social life is brought to a minimum during those months. Now, let’s see what happens when you are a broke student who lives in the burbs and cannot even dream of having a car. I live downtown and it’s a 15 min walk to my school (nice eh?) when it’s -40, I do mind having to walk 15 mins.

3 – It is super expensive. Rent goes up ridiculously every year. You could look it up if you wished, but I am half-certain that Canadians pay the highest price for phone and internet services in the developed world. Other expenses are high too, compared to many countries – and it’s not like you get a top-quality life for the expensive things you spend money on. I am talking about a single person who cooks their own meals, does not even drink and, does not spare money on anything other than necessities.

4 – Public transportation SUCKS BALLS. I know most people around the world like to talk about how punctual buses are in Canada because if they do not pick people up in a timely manner people could freeze. That’s an utter lie. And on top of that, the reach of each city’s transportation system is very weak. Unless you live in the downtown area (which makes it easier just to walk or bike rather than having to wait for irregular buses for unknown periods of time) chances are you will have to spend 2+ hours on transportation every day just to get to where you work or you go to school. Most of the cities do not have metro (subway) and again when they do, the beauty of it is only when you are in close distances to the core downtown. Otherwise, the metro will never get you to the inner cities, and you will have to switch to subsidiary buses that… again will get you to wait… and wait… and wait.

Intercity transport is also awful, a monopoly and, expensive. I do not know if there are any countries left around the world with such a disconnected transport system – especially given how far apart everything is in North America.

Never mind internal flight prices. I don’t want to even start writing about Air Canada.

5 – Relationships are overrated, and talking about the ‘physiological need for sex’ is the centerpiece of reasoning for inquiring one. The dating scene is an absolute bogus mess, which comes down to women chasing men, hopes of sharing the rent, or otherwise being pointed at as ‘not getting enough sex’ and ‘not having a man’ (sometimes I wonder if it is the 1800s and the age of getting wedded is 16). People move in in a matter of days of knowing each other and move out in a matter of a couple of months. By the late 20s, anyone you meet has been through divorce(s) or separation(s), likely has kids, usually still ‘hangs out’ with their exes(you are likely to learn about the grisly truth only after you have invested yourself emotionally in an unworthy narcissist too hard). Everyone you meet is bitter and cunning, only looking for another partner to suit their economic imbalances. People put up with cheating partners very often, and internalizing these standards, at least when you are super lonely, comes next. You’ll be surprised.

(I generally would not suggest a single person who is interested in dating to come here. If I ever do recommend Canada it’s to couples. If you have kids you will get to raise them in safe, ugly neighborhoods where they never play on the streets – I don’t know why? It’s safe, it’s super flat and begs for two gates and a soccer ball or hockey puck- and you will have to dump thousands and thousands of dollars on their daycare). I will not get into the cost of primary education. Not here.

6 – Unless you are an engineer or have an MBA or, if you are a real estate or car sales agent (or wish to become) forget about doing anything ambitious. You could have all the qualification in the world and work in Walmart and enjoy your 4 K salary with benefits (many people are happy with that and do put aside their goals and settle with having enough pay to get by as an ultimate). And if you refuse to work for years on years in a job for which you are overqualified, you are pointed at as a sloth who doesn’t want to work. Your success is measured by salary, pension, and mortgage, not if you are happy with your job (it’s actually the norm to hate your work). Ironically no one wants to talk about numbers when it comes to money. There is a presumption everyone’s wellbeing and financial condition is safeguarded by some godly ransom that they digged up from the graves of their ancestors.

7 – Dishonesty. The way [most] people do not tell you what they mean and confuse you with their actions and words is astonishing here. Barely anyone is straightforward, and humor is a lost word in Canadian English. Everyone seems to have a stick up their arse (and you will become like that too). People only open up after getting absurdly drunk – mainly for a few seconds before they lose the ability to collect their conscious.

(Edit: there is a general assumption that people in countries with Arctic climate and low-density populations have bigger bubbles around their selves, are more difficult to connect and are easily out of touch with their emotions. I cannot speak for Scandinavia for example, but, have heard foreigners from dense societies feel the same about them. Take this tho; emotional has negative connotations in Canadian English. So you know who you are).

8 – It’s boring (save for the hardcore advocates of outdoors sports – even though the temperatures are usually below standard for those too, I have heard skiiers from Scandinavia come here and are shocked how locals go out on days they would absolutely refuse to exercise outdoors). Other than the few main cities I’m sure you know which ones are and, their downtown areas only, the rest of the towns and the burbs and the cities are a copy and paste version of one another – ugly 70s style cement buildings, from an era where architects stopped being creative and erecting venues was likely left to road builders! City structure is inaccessible without a car and, is alienating.

Having fun comes down to bar hopping with teens (or grown-ups who like to act like they are still teens; super excited about being able to drink), in un-fashionable clothing, hearing some off-tune country music and watching girls throw up and drop like flies – because alcohol is the holy grail no one wants to be left behind in consuming it as much as possible (and guess what? it is also more expensive than anywhere I have been, U.S. Europe, South America). You cannot enjoy your drink, or socialize all without it if you wished – it always seems to me that there is a race in ‘how much’ you can drink, so to say, you have a place in the society!!!

I am an artist, and I have studied human sciences. This type of environment does not cultivate creativity. The level of artwork, presentation and access to creative means is bare minimum because people care too much about having a routine and a salary – because back to the point, prices are no joke here, norneither are your bills, your credit card or the mortgage etc. And the best way to secure those is being as predictable and average as possible. Art is regulated by the government, which is great in the sense that artists can have access to massive fundings; so long that they follow the government’s agenda which changes at every turn of the parliament.

9 – The food including fresh produce, snacks, prepared meals and pub/restaurant dishes is bland and tasteless (I do not really know what it is, the way the American groceries that are exported to Canada are grown? GMOs? The amount of sugar and salt that is used in food versus all the other spices that should be but are NEVER used?)

Edit: I accidentally came upon a source about proteins that indicated in North America some animal proteins (that are not naturally found in the structure of plants) are used for the growth of fruits and vegetables. I have also heard that many standards in agriculture and farming are way different from elsewhere in the world, whether these contribute to the tastelessness of food is for debate but surely modifications that are done to our food remain largely a mystery.

‘Affordable ethnic’ cuisines are limited to Thai and Chinese food. For the rest you will often have to pay 3 times as much.

10 – Get ready for wrecking accommodation, roaches, bedbugs, and mice. There are many many old residential buildings made of wood. Naturally, susceptible to all kinds of vermin. The hygiene level is also below my standards (and I am not fussy whatsoever). People very often do not seem to clean enough. Not all, of course. But it does not surprise me anymore that 50% of the times when I walk into a new place and I notice the clump of dust in the corners and uncleaned kitchen and bathrooms.

Also, bad landlords, awful landlords and absolutely psychopathic ones who own houses and rent it out for extra income and make the life of the tenant hell, are plenty. Unless you are living in a condo building, which is at least 1.5 times rentals and twice as expensive as shared houses, situations can rise easily.

Nature is great though. Again if you have the luxury of accessing natural sites by car. Freezing your ass camping, or, if you would like to go hiking and skiing – mainly in inhuman temperatures. This is all given the fact that you do find the time off to ever do something extracurricular.

11 -Universal Health Care: it’s there, it’s good, so long that you are not actually sick or require an emergency. I cannot count the number of times I have heard people they were kept in the ER for hours with no primary care, no drugs nor testing because there were no specialized doctors available to look at them (this goes from food poisoning to having a broken bone to anything else). I am not talking about medical mistakes. I am talking about a severe shortage of doctors.

Doctors, I mean specialists, literally flock to this country in the hopes of practicing their medicine away from their home country where they have to compete with several others. It is almost impossible for them to get back on the track with new qualifications they require to work in Canada as it takes a decade to get through the tests and everything… and guess what? Life costs money and they end up being taxi drivers – or whatever, not doctors anymore!!! (The taxi driver doctor is such a stereotype you cannot even keep a blind eye). Now, those doctors CAN, in fact, make a good living driving taxis or working in Walmart or wherever, but what do you think happens to people in need of special care?

Well if they are rich they go to the States, Europe or the Middle East, in emergency situations sometimes the correct diagnosis does not take place on time and they end up being slaves to the pharmaceutical industry for their lifetime.

Plus note that the Universal Health Care does not cover the costs of most of the highly specialized medical treatments – unless you have extra coverage with your work.

So, despite being a relatively healthy person you can enjoy regular checks with your family doctor, anything beyond that if you are not employed at the right place and do not have a ton of money to pay for treatment in the U.S. can be scary.

Hmmm…what’s the cancer rate in Canada again?

12 – Unemployment Benefits; I am not going to say it is awful to have help when you become unemployed (but I guess most governments in the world have something along those lines). It is relatively easy to get the few hundred dollar checks and it can cover some basic costs. But the thing is, those who actually rely on this money either torn apart native people, and you know that their conditions go back generations (again I am not going to elaborate on what has happened to the indigenous peoples of Canada, you do your research) and their unemployment in a colonial system that is not compatible with their lost traditions, is not something that can be fixed with a few hundreds of dollars per month, but needs a historical healing. The other benefactors are lazy entitled [often local white] people who do not look for work, do not accept low wage work, and do choose to beg on the streets (because they can collect some more from kind people who help them) while they reside in social housing or dirty cheap team houses. Often drunken bad-mouthed homeless people who are plenty in the richest cities of the country – you only need to take a 5 minute walk in downtown Ottawa or Toronto, for example, to realize poverty is not something specific to ‘the developing countries’. But interestingly, there are no videos or pictures showing this type of thing to the enthusiastic immigrants as ‘Canada’. No, Canada is not only its homeless people. Neither it is its national hockey team. But there are these issues here, like anywhere else in the world and the spotless imagery many people have of this country is simply laughable.

A middle-class worker who does pay some rent for a decent place and happens to become unemployed cannot really manage monthly expenses with this check the government sends. It is just a little help. It does not hold one’s life together unless one decides to move in a basement with 4+ roommates during the time he or she is unemployed – which can mean months. I do not propose the provincial governments should raise this pay, I am just saying those who move to Canada to get these benefits are very much like those buggers who soak up the money sitting on the streets acting like they need help while the real trouble of unemployment (however small in percentage) is draining students and real workers.

And last but not least International Higher Education: There is a humongous number of people who come to Canada as international students every year (I wrote my Ph.D. thesis about this, so this is only a glimpse of the facts I have come upon while writing. Rest assured, I have presented my research to the department of immigration and citizenship and they approved I had my facts right, so there). All around the world, studying abroad is encouraged and celebrated, especially is one gets into a highly accredited institution in the top universities that are mainly located in anglophone countries. Many of those who come to Canada are essentially pursuing this as a pathway for accessing immigration to Canada. Little they know the number of foreign students is so overwhelmingly high, and the information regarding their success in getting permanent residency is very scattered; the reality is the government of Canada recognizes international education as one of its most important economic assets[1] (immediate expenditure of incoming international students earned about 12 billion dollars for Canada in 2016[2] ) but despite the available programs for immigration of students, the ultimate goal has never been to settle all of them[3] .

Each international student pays up to 3 times the tuition fee[4] the domestic student does (depending on the province) and funding (especially for foreign students) is becoming more scarce every year. Now while you might be experiencing all of the social aspects of life including the above-mentioned, before deciding to study in Canada you might want to check the job market from within – meaning people who have been through your field of study. Do not rely on the advertising university partners provide or the pretty pictures on university websites. Studying here is no joke and one is better to consider everything and more (including finding a good adviser who is not planning on being a dick to you for the entire course of your graduate degree) before committing to a program that requires great attention.

Also please note that an international student can not enjoy any of the government programs such as immigration services, health care, unemployment benefits etc. These only come to immigrants and citizens. Especially after an international student graduates, he or she is literally relying on a single paper called Post Graduate Work Permit. There is barely any budget dedicated to guiding this young and sophisticated bunch through the Canadian system.

EDIT: Now, don’t get me wrong. I do not absolutely hate my life (so please, be kind and save the philanthropic positivist advice, I’d prefer a proper mural or DJ gig lol – you see no matter how great I feel about myself, if I do not enjoy the social scene and do not wish to live the rest of my life HAPPILY in an isolated enclave, there is no way around it). This is not my diary or resume. And I have not included anything close to my day to day negative experience with matters such as underemployment, higher education fees, the art scene etc. These are my reasons that convince me, as per speaking to the general public, why I would have possibly chosen another destination – somewhere warmer with better urban architecture and a dense population – if I went back and decided to go abroad and explore the world at 24 (again, if you are here to represent Canadian patriarchy by hateful comments, you are simply on a wrong post, go read something that fulfills your agenda). Also, this is in the 2010s, Canada screens in almost only highly skilled technical work force and, I am in the arts and humanities. My experience would be incomparable to numerous people who moved here 30 years ago as general labour.

Canadians are very nice. They are welcoming and do not discriminate (often, as I have seen) against race or culture. There are very decent, respectable people I have met here. There are friendships I do cherish. But I do not think that I would have moved here for the sake of meeting these people. Especially for a person without their 1st degree family, life is very machine-like, disconnected here. You might not mind the prices if you are rich, and would likely be able to skip atrocious housing conditions. It doesn’t negate the fact that the industrial nature of everything resonates everywhere no matter what you do. People will not ever, never get actually close to you and at some point you give up trying to break the ice. And you will learn to do the same as them, and limit your relationships to thinking of them as professional networks which you will have to employ for career purposes. You will create your own bubble around yourself and you will either learn to enjoy it, or you will keep regretting your life choices.

P.S. These are my reasons for ‘regretting moving to Canada’. Things I have listed here have affected me personally. It is always easier to see things from a critical perspective once one has lived in different places. Nonetheless, these are my viewpoints as a foreigner; most of the times people who have lived all of their lives in their country of birth think their country is either the worst of the best. Yet, everything is relative.

***

I did and I left.

My background is somewhat different. I was born in the States, but my father is Canadian and my mother is from Europe, so I already had Canadian citizenship. My family moved to Canada when I was eight and I stayed until about a year after finishing university, then moved to the States after getting a job. A few years later, after working and going to grad school, some family issues came up and I had to move back. I wasn’t eager to leave, but I thought I would give it a shot and I was told that there would be plenty of jobs for me in my field, even though I did a ton of research and saw it would be tough. But I was fairly young at the time and I wanted to be closer to my family.

The move did not work out well at all and I soon regretted it. I had great difficulty getting any notice for jobs in my field. I knew I’d probably have to go down a few notches and prepared for it, but the only things I could find were call center and basic admin work. It was humiliating, especially after grad school and working some good jobs at some good organizations in NYC, a place from where my skills should have been transferable or recognized. In the few interviews I was able to get, I was told that I lacked “Canadian experience”, which has apparently become a cliche. At my last interview, the interviewer brought this up and I responded by telling him that I was way more qualified than he was to do his own job. I just didn’t care at that point and didn’t hold back. He agreed and said that I would have a tough time finding good work because lots of Canadian employers are biased against those who went straight to the States after college.

After that, I figured it was time to go and I moved back to NY.

Other reasons why I left:

I couldn’t stand the extreme cold.

My friends, whom I had grown up with, were all married and I was the only single person, so my social life sucked. It was tough to meet new people and I didn’t find the few people I did meet to be all that interesting.

Bad dating scene.

Even if I did end up getting a decent job, my career prospects would have been limited and there would be little chance for growth, so I wanted more diverse opportunities.

Taxes.

The anti-Americanism was a pain in the ass to hear. Canadians have a global reputation of being extremely tolerant and polite…except when it comes to Americans. A lot of it was just nonsensical and it’s a form of prejudice, full stop. It was annoying because I was born in the States and I hated hearing others slag on my place of birth. It’s also incredibly hypocritical to boast about tolerance (even defending intolerant acts by other, non-American cultures!) when practicing the opposite.

Political correctness overdrive. Now, I’m not in favor of insulting others, but the PC environment in Canada is stifling. I remember being told in school that we were to refer to “janitors” as “sanitation engineers”. What the fuck?! I can imagine it being worse now under Trudeau.

Lack of traveling options and I wanted to travel more. Canada is extremely expensive to travel from.

There are other reasons, but these come to mind right now.

Granted, I do think Canada is a good country and I don’t have any regrets about growing up there. For sure, it was a good place to grow up. It just didn’t work out for me as an adult.

***

Yes and I left after a year.

I’m European with engineering degree, top MBA and several years of international work experience.

In Europe, when I wanted to change job I got interviews with multinationals for jobs at what I consider my level (seniority and experience).

In Canada, recruiters told me directly that their clients wanted candidates with “Canadian experience” and that was the end of the calls. On the other hand, I had recruiters contancting me for low level jobs (telesales, help desk, etc.) saying that they saw my CV online and it was a great match.

It was quite depressing that in Europe I worked in consulting and multinationals but in Canada I was considered like a high school dropout.

I hear people saying that I should have toughed it out, take any menial job for some months, study an extra degree, etc. but why would I have to go through that when in many developed countries in the world my credentials are well regarded and I can get a proper job in short time and applying from abroad.

Bottom line, I had to spend a lot of money and time to move to Canada to be considered an unskilled worker, but other countries with the same quality of life will hire me directly from abroad and pay for my relocation expenses.

***

Yes! Think twice before taking this decision. Everyone says Canada has everything. But trust me, it’s not that simple to get that ‘everything’ here. First, it is indeed a long struggle to get a job (in your own field) which might take up to one year or even more and not to mention about the problems one gets without the “Canadian experience”. A lot of money goes into your daily expenditures. And even worse, sometimes people end up in landing survival jobs which pay you very less. And other than that, rents are way too much, even you live in a decent 1 room apartment. And I believe if you are having good jobs back home, don’t leave your jobs in a hurry. Plan for it wisely as India is also progressing at a good pace. Furthermore, you’ll be missing out your family, friends, social gatherings and all that that can never be compared with the money you make. If you’re earning decent there and are able to meet friends, family do not take take this step. Enjoy your life there. You’ll love your decision.

The grass always seems to be greener on the other side.

***

It was the right decision at the time when China was not a good place to be. Now that China has surpassed Canada in many aspects moving here is starting to feel like a big mistake. I’ve been in Canada for 20 plus years but not much as changed unlike other countries. Here are some major issues:

1.) The taxes are very high and become progressively higher as you make more money. So success basically yields diminishing returns and effectively punishes success and rewards failure. This lead to a huge brain drain problem where the most industrious Canadians move to the US where they are treated better.

2.) The universal healthcare is very inefficient. I’ve waited in the ER for 15 hours once. Getting a specialist could take months. Check-ups are not covered. You can’t even opt out of this system as they’ve made private health insurance illegal.

3.) No matter how much stellar work experience you have from other developed countries they won’t be recognized. I think they do this to protect local Canadians so they don’t have to compete with international talent. Very ironic as they set a very high bar for skilled immigration when they don’t even utilize those skills. There are doctors from Russia that end up as taxi drivers because their license and experience is null and void here. To me this is institutional racism.

4.) The culture is very much rooted in all the trappings of left-wing ideology. You are taught from a very young age to look at wealth and upward mobility with suspicion. There’s a general mentality of victimhood and entitlement. If you’re not successful it must be the fault of corporations or rich people. The gov’t is supposed to solve all your problems. I find this to be very demoralizing and depressing. I don’t think this is the message you should send to young people.

5.) There’s a drug problem on the streets. I’ve never seen so many meth heads anywhere else in the world. I’m not sure what caused this. Maybe the laws are too lenient towards drug dealing and usage? In major cities downtown you will find a lot of druggies panhandling for money. Mostly young people.

6.) The media is very biased. Almost everything reported on China and any other non OECD countries is 100% negative and nobody ever questions its validity. The exception is US, they are also viewed as evil. The people here see themselves as the good guys and the rest of the world is problematic or straight up unethical.

I think when we left China we thought we were escaping an oppressive regime to live in a democratic utopia. What we learned is that democracy may not be the best form of gov’t (even though they train you to believe it is) and western media does just as good of a job brainwashing their own people. The narrative Canada sells is not necessarily a reflection of reality. Perhaps freedom is just a concept.

Edit: I just want to add that I think the reason Canada sits on its high horse of ethics and points the fingers at others is because they only have one neighbor and it’s a friendly one. They have plenty of natural resources and low population. They never have to worry about starvation or invasion. It’s easy to be ethical when you don’t have to make the tough decisions to defend your territory and secure resources. It’s not fair for them to judge.

***

Don’t come to Canada with super high expectations or you will be disappointed quickly. If you have a great job with good benefits where you are, pls. stay there. A lot of high skilled immigrants I’ve met as an employment counsellor who helps to find jobs in Canada are demoralized as they can not find equal level jobs they left back home. Know this, your skills are not considered comparable. Period. You will start from the BOTTOM!

Discrimination exist covertly. Your accent, communication skills,your ability to convey knowledge/ experience in the Canadian context might differ from what You are accustomed to. You will have to be on top of your game. It might be about who you Know. Networking is sometimes key. Know your job description well. Interviews are not about knowing your skills. It’s also about that and more. Chance are you don’t don’t have appropriate answers. What they need, want to hear. Chances are you did not know what they want because you did not read, research and learn about the company and industry and job duties, you did not research the Canadian context of the job. It’s cumbersome if not prepared. Another idea per my experience, remove countries you’ve gained experience or worked in from resume to gain attention clear and void of what’s deemed foreign experience, not canadian experience.

I came here in 2007. I speak well. Even with a good amount of good American accent in Canada, unless nervous then it shows. I know my shit! In fact my name could never tell that I am black, African. I get the interviews but once they are my black face, all else changed. So beware folks! Unless your life is threatened in your country. If you have respect in your profession and a good job where you are, stay put. North America, Canada is no joke for those educated people, secure in your knowledge, you will have to start from the begining even with Phds. Medical doctors. Master’s from abroad… think carefully before you come! Consult an employment counsellor and even they can not predict your future. I have been there. Just saying!

***

Yes, Canada is a regretful countrt. There are some realities you should know before moving here;:

1.) Not many white collar jobs in Canada – Canada has lot of jobs to be filled but mainly blue collar ones like cleaners, plumbers, taxi drivers and so. Canadians don’t want to do it. They need immigrants for that.

2.) Free Health Care is a fake propaganda. You have to wait for months for tests and reports and follow ups take another sweet time. Surgeries wait time could be 1–2 years. Dental not covered.

3.) Health care is NOT actually FREE. Canada is a socialist country – high taxes and low income. Those taxes are used for the health care. I used to pay a tax of $13,000 per year in the US while on same income I am paying $22,000 per year in Canada. Imagine, I could buy the best insurance for those extra $9,000 taxes in the US where even comestics will be covered and treatment will be lightening fast.

4.) People are COLD – People will greet you but will never talk to you.

5.) Toronto has many problems – Expensive and crowded. There is a lot of competition for jobs because a lot of skilled workers are willing to do your job on darn cheap rates.

6.) Vancouver is worse – One of the world’s most expensive cities. You will have to live in basements. Not many jobs. North Van is littred with drug dealers and criminals.

7.) Calgary and Monteal – Calgary is empty and cold. Most of the jobs are oil and chemicals. Monteal is french dominated and racist.

You can Google all my points and will come to know that all are real.

If you wish to come to Canada, make sure to come with the right mindset and keep yourself prepared for some realities.

***

As an immigrant, I do not regret it. Because my options are limited. The US is impossible to get into but still with lots of social problems. Australia seems ideal but also impossible to get into in terms of immigration. New Zealand seems amazing but jobs are even more scarce and probably too isolated.

This country feels safe and the fact that the country is solid, rich in natural resources and hydro resource is a good selling point. It’s a good hedge against global warming and the upcoming water shortage. Also, there are no natural disaster.

Although, it does get cold and for far too long. Every winter I wonder why I haven’t moved to Australia. But anyway, I wouldn’t have made it for Australian immigration requirement.

Being a visible minority, it is much better than the US as a whole, although you could argue that pockets of the US are just as good.

I was living in Austin, TX before coming to Montreal and I do miss Austin, though. Now, that’s a special place.

Additional : Austin is way friendlier than Montreal is and stress-free.

Anecdote : The other day, I was in downtown Montreal and I was not being very attentive and I got in the way of a pedestrian on a sidewalk. I ran into her. I wanted to go inside a pharmacy. It was my bad. It was my fault because I should have waited for her to pass, but I was too focused on getting into the pharmacy that I didn’t see her and bumped into her. Before I had a chance to say “Sorry” that lady didn’t stop and decided to just push me away – not too hard but still – and swear in French “ tabarnak hostie calice” with a nasty look on her face. I got angry, too. I swore at her, too. “What the fuck is the matter with you?” as she charged on.

That kinda thing would never happen in Austin. First of all, no one is walking that fast. Second, no one is that confrontational. If anything, they would have just let me pass first or apologized that I ran into them.

This is just one experience, but there are countless times I’ve witnessed Montrealers giving attitude to each other in public. People are generally not as nice as Austinites, even between friends.

Maybe it’s a Quebecois thing. Quebecois are considered to be ruder than English-speaking Canadians. But coming from Austin, it is a shock and not a pleasant one.

***

YES and a lot

Its been 8 months since I moved to Canada. I moved here because my brother studied here before. My expectation is Canada would be fun.

First 3 months

I am just doing well. I usually stay in isolation in both my home country and Canada. I really got bored of the study here because it has low standard of education. I miss my study and my friends and teachers from my country because they were much more interactive and much more friendly. I like western food so it is pretty good.

Next 3 months

I got bored of the food. There is nothing fun to do. Everything is expensive. I feel homesick. I hate my dorm neighbors as they are some nasty dirty people who don’t take baths and pee correctly. After complaining, I was said to be ‘discriminating’ dirty people and clean people. Fuck you Liberals, its for everyone’s good. These people will get discriminated and isolated if nothing is done. And the smelly people did get isolated now. My life is hell because of my room is right in front of the toilet. Some rules doesn’t make any sense in the school either and things that are allowed are questionable.

the recent 2 months

The only thing that keep me alive from losing appetite is Tim Horton’s chili and Indian foods. I might try to get Mexican food later. I can finally go home this March. I feel relieved that I could cause Coronavirus wasn’t a major problem in my country.

Pros:

It is pretty peaceful and laid back place as a student

Everyone is pretty friendly.

I like being isolated

Cons:

As there are majority in the minority, most of them only group up with their own people. And a very different nationality might not make easy friends.

Boring, just awfully boring. I might have experienced Paris syndrome.

The food is getting dull day by day.

The toilets in dorms may be more disgusting than public toilets in my country.

The society tolerates smelly people but individuals don’t. And school authority doesn’t help them.

***

Sometimes yes! I do regret it.

When:

Financial reasons:

I see my paycheck and almost half is gone to tax

I see restaurants & shopping bill and 13% taken by sales tax, (worst indirectly forced to give 10–20% tip) actual food cost 100$ then + 15$ tip cost + $15 sales tax, total cost 130$. Ridiculous!

I see property tax bill

I see high rate of car insurance cutting from account

$120 license plate renewal just to drive car on road every year

I pay $5 dollar per month to keep my bank account

Almost no interest rate given on saving

it’s like giving away almost 60% of your salary just for income tax, sales tax, property tax & tips.

no saving at all after paying all tax, it’s hard to think young generation to buy house in Toronto

Other reasons:

I see government is working on getting back ISIS terrorist into Canada and justify it [Edit: All people in comment, just do a simple google search]

I see tax money are used to give funding for Catholic school and these schools have more facilities than regular public schools [Edit: I was misinformed for Islamic schools in Mississauga, I have remove that)

I see weather going down to extreme low, I was stuck in -33 last year with my Hybrid car’s alternator died and my car stop working. Getting stuck in winter is crazy. Winter here can kill you within minutes if you are not prepared for worst. Just think medium/major accident in -33 Celsius. Person would die of cold before the injury. Now I started doing work from home or leave when temperatures goes below -25.

I see few feet of snow

waiting for 20 hours in emergency in pain for appendix surgery

I see malls & shopping places closed on public holidays

I find few places open at mid night food

I am asked fake questions like, How are you? and asker don’t have any intention to hear the answer or never meant but asked just a habit. [Edit: fake culture developed around being so-called NICE, read this opinion of international student, easy to relate. 

I find people saying sorry or apologizing but not meant it

Above reason makes me think of I should get Canadian Citizenship and move to USA on TN visa.

While, below reasons stops me doing that,

safe country

gun control

almost everyone in Toronto area are immigrants, white/black/brown/asian

most Indian things are easy to find

lots of Indian restaurants

Celebrates all Indian festivals

Education is good compare to USA

healthcare is free, it’s beneficial for non-emergency visits to physicians

health insurance is far cheaper than USA

***

Long post alert.

There were edits made after few comments from my friends in Canada to add more details. This makes this extreme long post from long post.

This is not to discourage people from moving to Canada but to rather help them take right factors in consideration.

Yes, I regret moving to Canada. I moved from India’s most happening city ‘Hyderabad’ from one of the Big4 firms. That being said, neither am I a high flier nor someone who draws high/exorbitant salaries (upwards of 1 lakh per month).

Unlike many, I did not spend a fortune to come here or spend dizzying amounts of my savings. Yes, I did spend significant portion of my savings, it is not just that high when I compare it to my peers who moved here with their families and are still trying to get a job.

Did I not get a job here and is that the reason why I regret?

No– I did get a decent paying job in my area of expertise within 3 months. No qualms here. It is just good networking/ referrals/ family friends who helped me get a job.

Was I not able to accommodate to the culture/ are people not good enough?

People here are extremely friendly.

My friend who I knew from India who got a job here before I came to Canada was more worried about me that I was not getting a job.

My friend’s brother’s best friend’s wife helped me get the job. Let that sink in. I was that lucky to have such a great friend and such lovely people here. I cannot thank them enough. They are like my extended family now.

Why do I regret?

When I was researching if I have to move to Canada, I considered a few points to make the move.

Free healthcare:

I thought free healthcare, eh, how many countries in the world would do that?

My research was wrong.

As cool as it may sound, it is very slow. I had to wait for a week to get an appointment for an ultrasound scan for my wife because she is suffering from stomach ache. God knows what would happen if the cause is diagnosed after some damage already happened.

If I was in India it would have been done in a few hours. The cost even if I would have to bear it will be very small. Doctor visit in a walk-in-clinic+ Ultrasound+other tests+ medicines would have cost me at the most 3000 INR (60 CAD).

Just FYI: The cost of a colonoscopy in Asian Institute of Gastroenterology (the most famous hospital) where even Prime Minister of India had his surgery costed me INR 2000 (40 CAD).

I was covered by my company back home for 5 lakhs per annum. Not just me, my wife, my parents and my future kids. Now 5 lakhs is only $10k. However, in India, any major surgery can be completed within 2 or 3 lakhs in a upscale hospital. My uncle had a heart attack and the total cost of 2 stents to be implanted in his heart was 3 lakhs.

My parents now are not covered by insurance in India. I will have to buy them an insurance plan.

If someone is coming from India and one of his considerations is free healthcare, think again- You are coming from a country to which even citizens from developed nations (mostly USA) go for low cost healthcare services.

Education for kids

Many studies placed Canadian schooling as the 2nd or 3rd best in the world. I thought it would be a great opportunity for my future kids.

I was wrong in my assessment. I misread the report. The studies consider public schooling system in the country for the rating. Yes, the public schooling system in India is pathetic. Do I really want my kids to join a public school in India? No.I would have had them joined in a decent private school. The education if not on par would at least still be on par with Canadian public school.

If you are coming to Canada considering this as a factor and you make good money back in India, think again- Private schools are really good in India too.

Rents:

Who are we kidding? The rents are sky high. I knew that before coming here. However, I did not know that even to get a unit when someone is willing to pay the rent, it is never easy. I applied for 8 condo units and 5 apartment units, all of which rejected my application since there were more than 5 people who were bidding for the units and the house owner had a choice to pick from. The apartments buildings had a waiting list. I am talking about some decently maintained apartment units like the Morguard ones.

Now two of my friends got a place relatively fast forcing me to think again- if I am unlucky or considered moving during wrong time or if he is lucky.

I was trying to get answer to this question when another friend of mine mentioned me that searching for rent is like mini-job search here. You will need to put in as much effort as job search.

My search for job drained my energy. Right now, I am not ready for another round of energy drain.

I ultimately made peace with staying in a basement with my wife.

Canada has a housing crisis and most are not ready to admit it. Think again.

People:

This is very specific to me. However, just jotting it down because there might be someone like me. I am someone who would draw energy seeing people. Imagine the number of people at midnight in Hyderabad and the traffic.

Now, the so called most densely populated Greater Toronto Area (GTA) during the most busy hours, is like Hyderabad during midnight. Such low is the population here. Heck, I have to walk at least 10 minutes to find some person in person and not in car. I feel like I am lonely. I landed in June, during summer, even then in downtown Mississauga, I hardly found people.

While some might enjoy the solitude, I feel like I am lonely sitting somewhere on the edge of the world.

Weather- Sun and Cold:

While I was in India, I used to curse my stars that it is so hot in India. After I came here I hardly see sun during winter (which started sometime in October- for me). May be it is for good. I am now realizing what I missed. I miss the sun.

The weather is a nightmare. I knew it is going to be cold. However, I am not prepared for this level of cold. Knowing is completely different from experiencing it. No, I am not considering staying out for extended periods of time. I am talking of walking from my home till bus stop (which is 2 mins, waiting for bus and then walking from Square one till my office which takes 10–15 mins). During the cold snap, it is hell. The cold is not bad, the wind during the cold is.

A little more detail:

Download a weather app, see the temperature, now scroll down and look at the section where it mentions about ‘feels like’. That is how it actually feels like.

I am talking of wind blowing to your face, it feels like it is cutting your face with a knife. Your body generates more fluids. Nose generates water and eyes too. Now imagine your eye drops freezing when you close your eyes to get rid of eye drops because you do not want to take your hand out of pockets. (Mostly in Jan and Feb- not like that everytime)

It is cold as hell. You cannot even go for a walk outside during winter without properly getting dressed. In India I can just go out even during the coldest day here with a pair of slippers and in shorts and a t-shirt.( This is during fall- not winter)

Am I chickening out at the first sight of winter?

What do you think is the favorite pastime of even Native Canadians (exaggerating a bit)?

What do you think is the favorite topic of conversation for small talk (very essential softskill here)?

Answer: Cursing the winter

Food (Eating out)

I get it. Canada is a multi-cultural paradise for food. There is no cuisine in the world that you will not get here. That is freaking expensive. A normal dosa for 12–15 CAD, dinner for two in a restaurant 30–40 CAD. Now before you jump the gun and say I am converting everything to INR and hence I feel they are expensive. Even when you think about in only dollar terms, it is expensive. Just to give you some context, imagine a time (15–20 years ago) when someone used to earn 5000 rs as salary. Now, when you go back to that time, how much was a dosa or a idly? Imagine the same in CAD now.

If you want to cook, it is normally not expensive even by Canadian standards.

Retirement Benefits:

Retirement is costly here. Canadian govt provides some pension that will be barely enough for you. Even if you earn 50–60k per month in India and invest a decent amount somewhere like Mutual Fund and likes, you can get a far better retirement in India. I am not even considering the family support system that you will get if you are in India.

Well, never considered retiring here. This is for people who want to leave India for good.

Cellphone Plans:

One area where Canadians bury their heads in sand and pretend like no problem exists. Not comparing it with India.

Freaking expensive. Even after you consider the low population density and operating expenses.

Cost $50 for a person(only sim) and low cost provider like Fido/ Freedom.

Friends and Family:

Let us not even discuss, I might cry here in office.

Are there only disadvantages?

There are many positives too.

The international exposure you get at work is international in its true sense. There is at least one national from each continent in my team where I work.

The work you do matters. You will immediately find the difference b/w the work you do on outsourced project and the work you do when you are the business. Exposure increases multiple fold. In India, very few get such exposure, usually restricted to someone from top tier B Schools.

Work-life balance- 8 a.m to 4 p.m

Pollution is very minimal (let’s just say non-existent if you are coming from India). Let me illustrate, go to the outskirts of Pune for trekking (may be into a forest), the AQI here is better than that too.

People are uber friendly. When I lost my way when I went to get my OHIP card, sensing I might be confused, this girl came across from the other side of the road, and asked me if everything was alright and if she could help me. When I told her my location, she opened her Google maps app (I did not yet take a phone by then), and guided me to my location, shared her number and asked me to contact in case of any questions. That’s the sweetest thing someone has ever done to me.

Canada during summer is paradise. Oakville and Burlington’s lakeshore road took my breath away. If that is what happened to me with some random area in GTA, I cannot guess how it is if I visit some real natural locations across Canada. I am sure they will put even well renowned world tourist locations to their place.

Am I moving back because of all of this?

Not right now!

I made a decision to move to Canada and before I move back home, I would want to make enough money to buy a home (1 CAD is still 50 INR) in India.

Someone asked why Hyderabad is great?! Found this article on the internet ..Here it is:

10 Things Every ‘Other State Guys’ Staying In Hyderabad Will Relate To

This is written keeping in mind the people coming from different states (provinces) to Hyd to make a living.

Another article:

Hyderabad ranks 1st in quality of living index: Report

Also, another user commented that I am just whining:

For God’s sake, here is an article from insauga.com, one of the most referred websites of Mississauga for city’s news. This lengthy article talks of how dire the housing situation is in Mississauga and surrounding cities where there are any jobs available.

https://www.insauga.com/desperat…

***

My childhood was in Korea, and I moved often in the past before settling here in Canada. Here’s my take on Canada, for better or for worse.

Living in Canada? Not Great, not Terrible either.

It really depends what you want to do. There are plenty of immigrants wanting to move here (for better or for worse). Canada is undeniably better than many other countries relatively speaking for many immigrants. Since the question is looking at Canada negatively, there are some I’ve experienced personally that supports this.

Canada is “NOT” nice; it is a nation of collective apathy on social scale much like a hotel; it’s nice enough to attract many people and it’s comfortable, but it’s generic and indifferent. Some see this as a con while some see it as a beauty. Hence, it’s much harder (especially for immigrants) to really mingle and blend it with locals in general.

It is far more expensive to live here in general, though it has universal health care to offset the gap between here and the States. Wage may appear better than the states if you just look at the magnitude of the pay for low-mid range salary, but CAD is generally 30% worth less than USD. The living cost in general is higher. So you have lower-paying wage and higher living expense. Not terribly great combo for people who want to be ambitious about financial success. And it happens to be that many immigrants take risk and move away from their home country to be more successful… so this trend will be discouraging to many.

Winter is a bitch in heat. Not only that it’s cold, it’s also dry and making it worse for skin in general. Canada is more isolated my geography in general, so excessive snow has far more detrimental impact than many US regions with similar climate. Bear in mind, this isn’t applicable to BC which is closer to California and climate is much nicer there and its humidity not shielded by Rocky Mountains like Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba oof.

Job is more limited here compared to the States due to Canadian market being smaller and business operation being more expensive in general. I don’t think Canadians taxes are particularly higher than the States in general, but there are definitely less room for tax avoidance here than in the states for better or for worse.

Less choices. If you want to live like a norm, this place allows you to do that easily. If you try to live above the norm (not just financially but in general), you will have harder time doing so… not that it’s illegal but it will be more painstakingly hard to find options or will cost you more (probably combination of both).

If you like average-just above avg lifestyle and enjoy slow-paced and calm mentality, I’d say Canada is a great place relatively speaking. But many immigrants want to be better or aspire for more and this isn’t the most compatible theme imo.

Personally, I don’t mind living in Canada. But if I become a much better asset (skill, employment options, etc), I would seriously consider defecting to the States (I’d come back here for vacation or grab some nice contract jobs here and there), but I’d say for a typical immigrant who aspire for more choices and luxuries in life… States have more to offer on avg.

***

Yes and I came from a developping country where poverty level is much higher than Canada and there are lots of corruption where I came from. The things I feel about Canada is that it is a socialist country in disguise of a capitalist country. The medical systems where Canada is proud of is broken at best. There are simply not enough resources to cope with the influx of immigrants. There are a lot of sham marriage from immigrants who try to bring their own village to Canada and never want to assimilate to the host but convert Canada into their own ethnic enclaves. In Brampton where I live, there are rampant abuse of the generous government programs and welfare designed to protect the poor and destitutes. Many people faked accident to claim disability benefits, many people collect welfare while earning hundred of thousands in cash, hiring international students illegally at half minimum wages. The job market for professional is extremely small and there are thousands of overqualified candidates for every job openning due to the government let in freely hundred of thousands of economic skilled migrants from all over the world to compete with Canadians.

***

It was the dumbest decision in my life.

I moved to Canada 3 years ago as LGBTQ refugee, and i was fooled by the human rights bs.

I left behind a house, good financial status, running business and high social position.

I have spent almost all my savings just to provide myself decent living. After being a manager and owner with 70 employees working for me the only jobs i can get is minimum wage. For what? Just to be an openly gay person and get married and establish a good life but that wasn’t the case. The weather is depressing, money has no value here,constant rise in crime rates, drugs epidemic

Imagine the average home price in Toronto is 700000 dollars.

If i have the chance to go back home i would pack up my luggage right now but i can’t, otherwise i will get prosecuted for seeking protection of other country and my sexuality.

The 3rd world continues are developing and cost of living is relatively low. Anyone who has a decent income my advice is just stay where you are.

***

I sort of regret. yes.. I used to live in the US.. Went back to India and lived with my family… I thought I could try canada for sometime but this place sucks you out and drains you If you dont have a network of friends and family… I did get a good job without much effort in a year or so… But, it took a toll on me as I thought that American experience would be respected.. THERE IS TOO MUCH NEPOTISM AND CRONYISM IN CANADA THAT IT BEATS INDIA! it is expensive here.. Housing in GTA is appaling. I wanted to be free of attachments- like car but without that it is hard to manage except in core downtown.. medical care is an eye wash. without a good job, and the insurance that comes with it, nothing is covered. In the process, I have lost muscle mass – completely out of shape thanks to all the stress..(due to this terrible weather and not being able to adjust; initial settling down stress etc..) I lost tons of hair.. wrinkles 😦 over all not a good decision.

***

If I look back, moving to Canada was a natural choice when I was moving, and I can’t regret it. However at a stave when you want to call someplace home,that’s where you start thinking how good of a home it is for you.

Well, it is dull. If you don’t have small kids to take to different activities, and if you are not into hockey or biking, it would be difficult to find a decent hobby if you are used to more cultured environment. You can learn French if you like languages.

I definitely miss more intellectual people environment in the US, people who have ideas, personalities, who are happy, goal oriented, well-read, honest.

I know people lie here and there. But I’ve never met so many deliberately lying people, lying in order to cover for something and just out of meanness than in Canada.

I had a boss at work, and when we had a reorg he was trying to keep his position and was throwing everyone under the bus. Well, he did not get what he wanted, and eventually his new employees literally revolted against him too. But I never experienced so pure lying.

Similar in other areas. I needed legal advice, and I googled several lawyers, and then retained one, but kept in touch with all. So one of them offered some services too, knowing I already had someone. They are not supposed to do that, it is against their ethics code. But that lawyer, Mr. Curran, seemingly wanted to make a buck. He bashed my retained lawyer, his firm, his work. He was telling me he will do better. He was telling me how impressive he is and how he ran for Parliament when he was young. Then the tried to make me sign papers to terminate the retained attorney, When I refused, he then emailed that attorney with lies that if I came to him to hire him. There are jokes about dishonest lawyers, but that Mr. Curran was real face of dishonesty and deceit. I always thought that educated people have some class. Not in Ottawa, not in the case of that legal professional. It’s like – no ethics at all. That was shocking and disgusting.

I briefly taught at a local university, as I did in the US. US students were honest and proud of their knowledge. In Ottawa I would collect bunch of cheat sheets during exams, and there was an enormous number of doctor’s notes before midterms and finals.

I had a landlord who was a slight racist and was always bashing some ethnicities.

I actually thought that with free health care, not much pollution, protected environment, people should be happy, healthy and positive. But by far I’ve met too many sleazy and deceitful professionals and just individuals.

But Canada is still in North America, and there are a lot of nice vacation spots in Central America and Caribbean you can visit for a good price, that’s a plus. Health care is free, but then you do pay some health tax anyway, at least in Ontario, as I know. The climate is horrible though.

***

Yes, I wish I had never come. I feel like I have wasted 10 years of my life ! I have made many efforts to have a meaningful life but nothing good or worthwhile came out of it. I haven’t met any interesting men, just extremely superficial and not interested in building anything serious on a private level. Outside daily responsibilities, my life is so boring. I have a hard time meeting genuine people. Nothing really deep or meaningful is ever found. The transit system is expensive and obsolete. Food is outrageously expensive. Alcohol is ridiculously expensive too and could not be bought outside LCBO until recently when the rest of the world has that option for as long as I can remember. It’s cold most of the year so it’s difficult or impossible to play sports except skiing and ice-skating . For all those reasons I want to leave but don’t really know where to go? Maybe find a country in Europe…

***

Yes! It has just been 2 Months Here. Trust me, All those Instagram and Facebook stories of your friends chilling out in Canada are just a face to hide the real life struggles.

From Budget Constraints to Winter Depressions to Sadly watching your loved ones chilling in India , There’s lot of Struggles Everyday. Fortunately, I am here just for One Year and trust me even this One Year Seems to be Eternity!

If You Have a choice to stay back In your own country, Don’t Put yourselves into this Difficult situation!

***

Yes, I regret moving to Canada and that’s why I decided to go back to my country.

I moved to Halifax Nova Scotia and life in Canada is not as easy as everyone else says. My advice to everyone who wants to move to Canada is to go there for one month and see how is that country before taking the decision to move there. Finding a job there is not easy, even more if you are an engineer, a lawyer, or any other professional degree; so forget about that because in Canada you will have to take survival jobs, your degree is junk for them.

The process for the residency is terribly long and burocratic, so migrating to other countries is much easier.

Don’t believe in all the lies that people say about Canada (I committed that mistake so I know what I’m talking about), go there and see it for yourself. My advice is to think in the US before Canada.

***

I have a friend. He is an engineer and he moved to canada, Toronto.

When I met him a few years later, he told me of his struggles there.

The chief struggle was securing a job. Canadian companies only hired canadians and only if they really couldn’t did they hire a foreigner. He searched for months. He is an engineer in singapore and a top rated one and he told me he was on the verge of APPLYING AT THE NEIGHBOURHOOD 7-11 ON THE OFF CHANCE THEY HAD A COUNTER JOB before he got a job as an engineer.

So u can imagine how hard his struggle was.

***

Canada has many opportunities for wealth and advancement . But in a large city like Toronto it is almost impossible to get a professional job. But you can try some business which many people succeed at.

Calgary is better for new immigrants as there are less people , housing though also expensive , is less than Toronto.

My experience is that for my children they have had better opportunities but there really is only your immediate family. You will miss the social and family togetherness and support and be really lonely especially as your children grow up, get married and raise their own family.

It is difficult to say whether moving to Canada is best. If your situation in your home country is terrible then you have more reason to go to Canada.

***

YES! I have and still do. I am of Turkish descent and was born and raised in Germany. I have lived in Turkey for about 12 years of my life and moved to Canada as a skilled immigrant in 2010.

The most important question you have to ask yourself is: What do I want in life?

If your answers are: Financial freedom, great career/income, adequate housing, good weather – then CANADA is not your destination.

My experience of Canada is quite limited to Vancouver BC. And to some extent Toronto ON. As you might know, these are the two major immigrant clusters in Canada.

Finding a good job/career with a good income is almost impossible if you don’t have Canadian credentials (it’s even hard with Canadian credentials).

Housing is terrible. You will be stuck in a 1 bedroom apartment that is extremely overpriced and pay at least $1600/month for nothing. You will share a washer and dryer with all the other tenants in your building. Apartments neither have the room nor the facilities to hook up a washer and dryer in your own place. If you want to have ‘the luxury’ of being able to do laundry at home, your rent automatically goes above and beyond $2000 easily (still a 1 bedroom apt though)! I don’t even want to get started on BUYING a house or an apartment. That’s impossible! Please refer to http://vancouver.craigslist.ca and check out the apartments and rentals ads.

SOLUTION: Go to college/university and get a new in demand career!
ANSWER: GOOD LUCK! Now that you’ve immigrated here and are a resident, most in demand programs will put you on a waiting list for up to 3 years.

Let’s say you were lucky and got in – who is going to pay for tuition, fees, expenses, rent etc? Education is not free in Canada, and books are around $100–250 for each course. You must be available during the day because there are no night or evening universities here. Your BARE minimum monthly expenses as a single person here will be around $2600 (not including tuition fees and other school expenses etc). EditBCIT in Vancouver has part-time evening courses but unfortunately course availability is not guaranteed and they cost more or the classical waiting list issue.

HEALTH: Family doctors/general practitioners are readily available and you should be able to get an appointment in 48 hours. BUT if you need to see a specialist then things change. I once had to wait 3 months (not exaggerating!) to see a dermatologist. And when I saw him, he asked me to go and purchase the medicine and come back to have it injected by him again. And the next best appointment available was in 3 weeks. The same goes for cardiology, and it perhaps even worse.

WEATHER: Vancouver summers are amazing! 4–5 months of very comfortable and beautiful weather. But for the rest of the year: it’s raining all the time, it’s damp, it’s overcast, it’s cold. And this is the BEST weather you can get in Canada. Other provinces are -20 C.

FRIENDS/PEOPLE/NETWORKING: People are superficially friendly. Everyone will say hi, smile, ‘excuse me’s en mass. But when you really want to become friends with someone, they withdraw from you. ‘Real’ Canadians don’t like to be bothered – and most Canadians will regard a new friend as a bother. They’d be way happier to sit at home and watch Netflix and have a glass of wine, beer than meeting up with friends for some socializing. Dating is horrible too! I don’t even want to talk about it.

EDIT: Please read this article on alcohol consumption in Canada published by a Canadian newspaper: Canada ranks third in the world for drunkenness (and 20% know they need help): report

RESULT:
So, if you’re really coming from a bad place/country etc. Yes, Canada might be an option. It’s definitely better to be in Canada than in a war torn zone or such.

But if your goals are financial freedom, great career/income, adequate housing, good weather – then CANADA is not your destination.
I suggest the USA, Germany, Switzerland to some extent, Ireland (especially if you’re in IT/Software).

I hope this helps.

PS: This is a VERY long article which I find very significant on Canada & Immigration. Why is Canada taking immigrants when there are no opportunities? Answered by Thomas Edward Friedrich

***

Yes. It’s too cold or it’s too hot. The people are nice but boring. There is no history. I wish I’d stayed home in Europe. But I came because my then-husband wanted to and now I have kids and grandkids here so I stay. I would love to have just stayed home with family all around me like my sister did.

***

I lived in Canada for a short time. I went there (Montreal) for 2 reasons. 1) I was mistakenly led to think that Canada was kind of a ‘lay back America of the 50s – 60s.’ It ain’t. 2) Canadians are easy going, somewhat naive fun loving people that were hardy and wholesome. They ain’t ( maybe some are…just like some Americans are). I expected Canada to be a lot like America and it is to some degree…But there’s still something different about it that I found uncomfortable. Nice place to visit…but I moved back to the USA

***

Yes in many ways.

It is too cold.You can get sick easily and treatments are costly.

It is highly expensive.Most of your income is lost and there are no savings.You might take loans in future.

Taxes are high.You spend a lot of money on taxes.

No social life.Bonding is less and you dont have enough time for it.

Tough to get a well paying job.You have to keep on searching.

Canada is good for immigrants but you will struggle for a long time.This is true for any western country.What is shown in social media is not reality.So think twice before coming here.

***

Canada is simply…

too BIG
too EXPENSIVE
too COLD
too STRESSFUL
too LIFELESS
too BORING
too REMOTE
too DEPRESSING

The only good thing about Canada is that it toughens you up. You can then run for your life and get the hell out!!

***

Yes, I am regretting it now. Moved from US with a decent pay job offer. Things are quite different here, depending on where you are migrating from: high taxes, high cost of living – basically you earn in CAD but pay US equivalent prices ( i.e things are roughly 30% more expensive), long wait for basic medical services, brutal winters, gun violence is becoming common in some cities. It is better to spend your productive part of your life in US and then retire here…

***

I regret moving back to Canada. I should have just stayed in the UK but all my family is in Canada. The weather, the culture, the public transit, the people, the music the food as well as the traveling opportunities are all significantly better in the UK. Now I need to formulate a plan to move back there.

***

Someone was really butthurt back in the day and had a website called NotCanada that has since dissapeared. I was contemplating on emigrating from Finland, so I was looking at sites trying to assess if it was feasible, didn’t have that much money required back then so it never materialised, but I vividly remember reading this site and really thinking how bad it must be a person can put his energy in such rants.

Wayback machine didn’t have the url, but here’s ”Top 8 Reasons NOT to Immigrate to Canada” taken off that site that might give you an idea of the unhappiness…. *** Visit: www.NotCanada.com ***

***

Taken from

http://www.NotCanada.com

8. Discriminatory and Dishonest Immigration System.
Immigration to Canada is based on a point system, obtained with your education, qualifications and job experience. Points are good enough for immigration, but in Canada, they are not good enough to get a job in your field. Amazing, how the credentials that qualify you to come to Canada are the same credentials that don’t qualify you for your profession in Canada. The reason is, Canada only wants immigrants to do the labor jobs – pizza delivery, driving taxis, factory work etc.

7. Out Of Control Cost Of Living.
From rent, to utility bills, to shopping, to phone, internet and cable bills, to gas, to car insurance, to eating out, to basically anything you have to pay for or buy, the cost of living in Canada has become astronomical. Recent immigrants are astonished as to how expensive everything is. It is estimated that compared to most countries around the world, the cost of living in Canada is on average five times greater.

6. Health Care Crisis.
Practicing physicians in Canada are in a shortage, 1 in 4 Canadians cannot get a family doctor. Canadian doctors are leaving to move permanently to the United States. Statistics Canada and the Canadian Medical Association both have identified that for every 1 American doctor that moves to Canada, 19 (nineteen) Canadian doctors move to the United States! Doctors in Canada are overworked and underpaid, and there is a cap on their salaries.

5. Very High Taxes.
Yes, you have the GST, the PST, totaling 15%, on practically everything you purchase and many other taxes taken out of our weekly paycheck. You have to pay a whopping amount to the government, out of your hard earned salary, so that the government can turn around and give it to beer drinking, hockey watching welfare bums. Fair? It does not matter, it’s Canada.

4. Money Hungry Government.
Canadian Embassies around the world lie to foreigners, painting this picture that Canada is Utopia, because they want them to come to Canada. Why? Because foreigners bring money! So after being deceived, these foreigners come. They must bring with them at least $10,000. Canada has an immigration quota of 250,000 per year. So please do the math, 250,000 multiplied by $10,000 each equals a whopping 2.5 Billion dollars that Canada gains from immigrants every year.

3. No Culture.
Unlike almost every other country in the world, Canada has no culture. Actually American culture is what dominates Canada. When was the last time you had some ‘Canadian’ food? There are no Canadian traditions and there is no national identity. What does it even mean to call yourself a ‘Canadian’. . .nothing really. People living in Canada, still identify themselves with the country they ‘originally’ came from.

2. Worst Weather.
Yes, Canada has the worst weather conditions of any country in the world. Freezing cold temperatures, snow, ice, hail, winds, storms etc. From the Prairie provinces to the Maritimes, from the Territories to southern Ontario, the weather is so horrific and disgusting that many Canadians leave Canada simply because of this reason alone.

1. No Jobs.
Yes, coast to coast, there are no jobs. Immigrants are highly qualified (MD’s, PhD’s, Lawyers, Engineers etc.) but they are driving taxi cabs, delivering pizza’s or working in factories. Even people with bachelors degrees from Canadian Universities cannot find jobs after graduation. This is the tragedy associated with immigration to Canada. I feel sorry for those immigrants who are stuck in Canada for the rest of their lives. It is indeed a very sad and hopeless future.

***

Comments

My thoughts:

Experience is the main variable. People who managed to land a job, make an income sufficient to survive on, and haven’t faced severe hardships or crises are generally content. In this particular comment thread more people hadn’t regretted their move.

People who have been discriminated against, faced racism, or whose standard of living has been downgraded are more likely to be unhappy and regretful.

That being said, there are some key facts which come into play:

If you like stable, relatively safe, or are escaping bad governments and don’t mind renting for life and enduring long, bitter winters – you may be satisfied. This type of person is more likely to be an office worker or bureaucrat than a cop or paramedic for instance.

If you value excitement, culture, are ambitious and aspire to home ownership or an easier time getting by – you will hate it here. You may be willing to trade off a higher crime rate or more dense population for greater stimulation and varied life experiences. You will find Canada sterile, expensive and suffocating.

Things people liked best: social safety nets, democracy, pretty peaceful, outdoors.

Things people hated: taxes, cost of living, no culture, bad job market, winter.

To summarize for Canadians who have never lived anywhere else: it’s like preferring Ottawa (Canada) to Vancouver (elsewhere). It all depends on your personality, goals, and how you prioritize.

Recommended Reading

Here are some books I recommend reading (if you can be bothered to read about Canada) mentioned in this blog and elsewhere.


(My favorite on this list) Black Ice by Darril & George Fosty.

“In 1895, The Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes was formed in Halifax, Nova Scotia … The Colored League would emerge as a premier force in Canadian hockey and supply the resilience necessary to preserve a unique culture which exists to this day. Unfortunately their contributions were conveniently ignored, or simply stolen, as white teams and hockey officials, influenced by the black league, copied elements of the black style or sought to take self-credit for black hockey innovations. Black Ice is the first written record of the Colored Hockey League in the Maritimes.”

This book is about so much more than hockey: the Maritimes, slavery and Black history in Canada, and interesting, worthwhile people.


Keeping Canada British: The Ku Klux Klan in 1920’s Saskatchewan by James M. Pistula.

“The Ku Klux Klan had its origins in the American South. It was suppressed but rose again in the 1920s, spreading into Canada, especially Saskatchewan. This book offers a new interpretation for the appeal of the Klan in 1920s Saskatchewan. It argues that the Klan should not be portrayed merely as an irrational outburst of intolerance but as a populist aftershock of the Great War – and a slightly more extreme version of mainstream opinion that wanted to keep Canada British. Through its meticulous exploration of a controversial issue central to the history of Saskatchewan and the formation of national identity, this book shines light upon a dark corner of Canada’s past.”

It can be a bit of a dry read at times, and the bumbling characters of Saskatchewan aren’t too exciting, but it’s educational regarding Canadian racism and the Klan.


Canada’s Forgotten Slaves: Two Hundred Years of Bondage by Marcel Trudel and George Tombs.

“… By painstakingly combing through unpublished archival records of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Marcel Trudel gives a human face to the over 4,000 Aboriginal and Black slaves bought, sold and exploited in colonial Canada. He reveals the identities of the slave owners, who ranged from governors, seigneurs, and military officers to bishops, priests, nuns, judges, and merchants. Trudel describes the plight of slaves–the joys and sorrows of their daily existence. Trudel also recounts how some slaves struggled to gain their liberty. He documents Canadian politicians, historians and ecclesiastics who deliberately falsified the record, glorifying their own colonial-era heroes, in order to remove any trace of the thousands of Aboriginal and Black slaves held in bondage for two centuries in Canada.”

An eye-opening history of slavery in Canada and the best place to start on the subject.


Murder City: The Untold Story of Canada’s Serial Killer Capital, 1959-1984 by Michael Arntfield.

” … From the earliest documented case of homicidal copycatting in Canada, to the fact that at any given time up to six serial killers were operating at once in the deceivingly serene “Forest City,” London was once a place that on the surface presented a veneer of normality when beneath that surface dark things would whisper and stir. Through it all, a lone detective would go on to spend the rest of his life fighting against impossible odds to protect the city against a tidal wave of violence that few ever saw coming, and which to this day even fewer choose to remember… Murder City is an explosive book over fifty years in the making, and is the history of London, Ontario as never told before. Stranger than fiction, tragic, ironic, horrifying, yet also inspiring, this is the true story of one city under siege, and a book that marks a game changer for the true crime genre.”

There’s a lot of information here and it does jump around a bit. It’s a horrifying, disturbing look at serial killers and unsolved crime in Canada.


Loss of Faith: How The Air India Bombers Got Away With Murder by Kim Bolan.

“On June 23, 1985, Canada found itself on the international terrorism map when two bombs built in B.C. detonated within an hour of each other on opposite sides of the world, killing 329 men, women, and children… When charges were finally laid against three Sikh separatists, the families believed justice was almost theirs. But their faith was shaken when one suspect pleaded guilty to manslaughter and got a five-year sentence for more than three hundred deaths.”

A disturbing look at terrorism in Canada and the men who got away with mass murder. It’s difficult to read about the incompetence of Canadian law enforcement and its judicial system.


The Hanging of Angelique by Afua Cooper.

“Writer, historian and poet Afua Cooper tells the astonishing story of Marie-Joseph Angélique, a slave woman convicted of starting a fire that destroyed a large part of Montréal in April 1734 and condemned to die a brutal death. In a powerful retelling of Angélique’s story—now supported by archival illustrations—Cooper builds on 15 years of research to shed new light on a rebellious Portuguese-born black woman who refused to accept her indentured servitude. At the same time, Cooper completely demolishes the myth of a benign, slave-free Canada, revealing a damning 200- year-old record of legally and culturally endorsed slavery.”

This book is not just the story of one condemned slave, but a sweeping history of slavery and early Canada.


This list will be updated periodically.

Starves the Soul, Feeds the Ego

It was another blogger who coined the term “starves the soul, feeds the ego” in regards to Canada, or at least introduced me to it. There is no more apt description of Canadian life.

There is something incredibly hollow and shallow about its society and culture. The media feeds the constantly needy caker-complex, bathing the national ego in anecdotes about politeness, kindness, desirability and superiority. Raging with insecurity, the caker is fed a nonstop barrage of supercilious tales regarding its southern neighbor; no matter the ailment, smug condescension is the balm that soothes.

Imagine the personification of Canada: a frail, thin, frowning man sitting at a long feast table among a crowd; the more they eat the fatter they grow, and yet Canada sits there woefully malnourished; eating and eating while never feeling full. The more he eats, the thinner he grows and the less satiated he feels: starves the soul, feeds the ego.

Such is life in a cultural wasteland where honesty is never valued, the past remains hidden, progress is undermined and souls burning with passion are slowly extinguished as they languish, whither and smoke out.

In Canada appearances are everything and take precedent over integrity, change and growth.

To appear progressive and liberal, Canada placed a black woman (Viola Desmond) on the ten dollar bill in order to gain plaudits from the international community. And yet, this same country hid its past of slavery for hundreds of years, from generations of its citizens. To this day, the overwhelming majority of Canadians don’t know their country had slavery for over two centuries; the few who do learned from open information now available through the internet, not their government.

On the opposite side of the bill is an image of the Museum for Human Rights located in Manitoba. Beside it is a feather meant to represent the First Nations peoples. Here too lies massive irony and rot. The museum cost $351 million dollars and is located in a small province (pop: less than 1.5 million) with the worst statistics for Indigenous people (racism, crime, poverty, living conditions), where one-third of children are living in poverty; a figure which rises to over 75% of Aboriginal children on reserves.

This bill is but one obvious example of Canada’s rank hypocrisy and desire for global promotion and accolades over substantial action at home. Starves the soul, feeds the ego.

When a sore point is touched on Canadian policy (foreign or domestic) or a light shined on internal issues, the default reaction is to look to the United States as a red herring for inaction and ineptitude. But despite the many well known issues of America, I am in agreement with this commentator:

There is something seriously sick about Canada, something that permeates the air with its rotten tones of corruption, denial, and monstrosity. At least in America there is an active and robust social dynamic that keeps the fresh air flowing over the dead bodies and the hope of change, but in Canada? They’re still a monarchical colony who worship a queen …

Rot, corruption, denial and sickness: the culture shows no promise of changing any time soon, but will continue to put on airs for the international community.

Starves the soul, feeds the ego.

Remember When? … #airindiabombing

Remember When is a new series of posts where we take a look back at some of the funny, bizarre and downright disturbing incidents in Canada’s past.

Since cakers like to judge everyone else (particularly Americans) and point out their historic wrong-doings, it’s time to take a mirror to these incompetent hypocrites. Enjoy!


Loss of Faith: How The Air India Bombers Got Away With Murder

From Amazon:

“On June 23, 1985, Canada found itself on the international terrorism map when two bombs built in B.C. detonated within an hour of each other on opposite sides of the world, killing 329 men, women, and children.

Canadian Sikh separatists, upset at the Indian government for attacking their religion’s holiest shrine, the Golden Temple, were immediately suspected by the RCMP of perpetrating the worst act of aviation terrorism before Sept. 11, 2001. But while police agencies scrambled to infiltrate a close-knit immigrant community and collect evidence against the suspects, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service was destroying taped telephone calls between the same people the RCMP was investigating.

For years those at the centre of the terrorist plot tried to protect their dark secret. Two Sikh newspaper publishers who overheard an alleged confession by one of the bombers were assassinated. Other potential witnesses were threatened and intimidated. Journalists who wrote about the suspects were targeted by death threats and harassment. The suspects founded charities and participated in political parties, attending fundraising dinners for premiers and prime ministers. And the families of the victims fought to be recognized for their unimaginable loss as the result of an act of terrorism plotted in Canada. When charges were finally laid against three Sikh separatists, the families believed justice was almost theirs. But their faith was shaken when one suspect pleaded guilty to manslaughter and got a five-year sentence for more than three hundred deaths.

The Air-India trial judge spoke in his ruling of the “the senseless horror” of the bombings. He called the plot “a diabolical act of terrorism” with “roots in fanaticism at its basest and most inhumane level.” He then acquitted Sikh leaders Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri on all charges, leaving the victims’ families reeling and the biggest case in Canadian history officially unsolved.

Kim Bolan is an award-winning investigative reporter who has covered the Air-India bombing case since the day Flight 182 went down off the coast of Ireland. Her work on the Air-India story has taken her to Punjab five times over the last twenty years where she met with militant Sikh separatist leaders and victims of the violence. She also followed Air-India mastermind Talwinder Singh Parmar to Pakistan before his 1992 slaying and chased down other suspects in England and across Canada. But she faced the most danger at home in Vancouver where the stories she uncovered about the Air-India case led to a series of death threats against her.”


Terrorists? Bombings? Destroying evidence and tapes? Assassinations? Murderers rubbing shoulders with politicians? A five year sentence for killing hundreds of people? Wow, this is India – right? Nope this is good ol’ British Columbia, Canada!

(Welcome to B.C. … also known as Bring Cash or Be Corrupt.)


So why don’t Canadians ever discuss the Air India Bombing? Why do they know so little about it? Why doesn’t anyone care? Questions asked by a piece in The Tyee:

“All 329 people on board Air India Flight 182 on June 23, 1985, 33 years ago today, were killed, including 280 citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

They were lost to a bomb that exploded while their plane was in Irish airspace, en route from Canada to India. The bomb had been planted in Canada in an act of terror planned by extremists allegedly advocating for a separate Sikh state in the Punjab.

It was Canada’s worst mass murder, yet it is barely remembered in this country.

Today, Canadians commonly regard the bombing as an Indian tragedy, or at most an Indo-Canadian tragedy. They typically dwell on the terrorism, but rarely on the grief and hardship of fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, children, friends and neighbours left behind.

Why hasn’t this tragedy claimed a prominent place in Canadian history and public memory? Some now call it Canada’s 9/11, but until the attack in New York City some 16 years later, they didn’t call it much at all.

The Canadian families of the dead wonder year after year why no one but them seems to care, or why their grief is seen as less worthy than that of others who are more openly taken into the nation’s heart.

The answer is simple: Canada hides from the truth. No doubt racism is involved (they’re less “Canadian” being brown or immigrants) but much more than that – Canada never acknowledges its corruption, rot, or hypocrisy. To do so would involve honesty and then efforts to change … Canadians prefer to ignore, whitewash or deny. Ignoring facts is easy, action is difficult.


The controversy would rear its ugly head again with the election of Jagmeet Singh as NDP leader. He was asked questions about one of the suspects (considered a leader in the conspiracy but never found guilty due to insufficient evidence) and in typical Canadian style there were no straight answers, whining about “racism” and absolutely nothing constructive accomplished or discovered.

From The Georgia Straight:

“Not long after Jagmeet Singh was elected NDP leader, he sat down for an interview with the CBC’s Terry Milewski in early October….

Given Milewski’s history covering this story, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that he asked the new NDP leader if he would denounce Parmar—who’s been glorified as a Sikh martyr at the Dasmesh Darbar gurdwara in Surrey.

Singh, a baptized Sikh who wears a turban, replied that “we need to make sure that the investigation results in a conviction of someone who is actually responsible”.

And for a few days, there was a media and social-media firestorm over Milewski’s question, Singh’s answer, and the CBC journalist’s subsequent tweet…

Critics of Milewski said he would never ask this question of a white political leader. Singh himself called the question “offensive”, saying any Canadian would denounce anyone held responsible for terrorism.

Milewski’s defenders, on the other hand, said it was a legitimate question to ask of a man who wanted to become prime minister…


… Then there’s Jagmeet Singh, a trained criminal defence lawyer who says he would like to see convictions before commenting on who’s responsible. And as long as Singh maintains this position, he can expect to be roasted periodically by those who utterly reject that proposition and insist that it’s been proven that Parmar was the mastermind.

The Air India bombing occurred more than 30 years ago and at this stage, it appears unlikely that anyone else will be charged.

But it still has the potential to play a role in the 2019 federal election. This is particularly true if Singh’s point of view comes under criticism from his Liberal and Conservative opponents, senior Canadian journalists, former B.C. premier Dosanjh, and relatives of deceased passengers.

The Air India bombing still matters for a multitude of reasons, especially for the painful losses endured by so many Canadian families. Many of them were appalled by Josephson’s court ruling in the case involving Malik and Bagri and these relatives likely won’t stay silent about a potential prime minister who refuses to condemn Parmar.”


Singh changed his tune after the backlash, from the CBC:

After having expressed some doubts, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said today he accepts the Air India inquiry’s conclusion that Talwinder Singh Parmar was the mastermind behind the deadly mid-air bombing that killed hundreds of Canadians — and he thinks it’s inappropriate for some Sikhs to glorify Parmar by displaying his photo.

Despite his more recent statement, there will now always be some who wonder if he harbors terrorist sympathies since he couldn’t simply spit this out at the beginning. Telling sign or rookie mistake?


Post Script:

It’s got everything one would expect: a belief that terrorism couldn’t happen in ‘magical Canada’, and incompetence by CSIS and the RCMP. (In fairness to CSIS it was a new organization, nonetheless it’s doubtful results would have been different otherwise.)

As you reach the middle of the book it gets to be a slog reading about these odious thugs terrorizing the community, murdering people, and scamming the government out of millions of dollars. Towards the end it’s also difficult to read about them getting away with mass murder.

This has all the hallmarks of a classic Canadian story: racism, incompetence, corruption, and of course no change or improvement after thirty years. Did anyone expect anything less?

Foreword (quoting George Elliot Clarke)

I wanted to share this Foreword to the book The Hanging of Angelique, written by George Elliot Clarke. I only recently discovered this book, and the summary in the beginning perfectly captures everything I’ve been saying, only with more eloquence than my rantings.

I find Canada worse than the United States in the same way I find a corrupt police officer worse than a criminal: it is the complete betrayal of trust based on false imagery and misrepresentation; the total base hypocrisy which is abominable and beyond contempt.

So, to quote:

“As I WRITE THIS FOREWORD, Mme. Michaelle Jean, born in Haiti in 1957 and a resident of Montreal, Quebec, since 1968, is being sworn in as Her Excellency, the governor general of Canada, the nation’s twenty-seventh head of state. Mme. Jean is, culturally, Haitian-Quebecoise-French; historically, she is like the vast majority of Black people in the western hemisphere– a descendant of African slaves. While performing her viceregal duties, this savvy intellectual– a socially oriented broadcast journalist by trade, a student of Haitian and Quebecois history, and a speaker of five languages– may reflect on the irony that she is queen in all but name of a society, Canada, that was established just as Haiti was, on the economic basis of African servitude. Not surprisingly, European-Canadian commentators on Mme. Jean’s ascension have noted that she is a “descendant of Hatian slaves” and some have applauded Canada’s blindness concerning “race” and “gender”– that is to say, it’s supposed liberality– in selecting a Black woman for the post of head of state and commander-in-chief of the Canadian Armed Forces.

But forgotten (in fact, repressed) amid all the analyses of Mme. Jean’s elevation is Canada’s own practice of slavery, Aboriginal and African, its emancipation of slaves only by imperial fiat (from London), and its continued conjoining of labour needs and “race” in its immigration practices. Forgotten too, are the two salient anniversaries that 2005 represents for African Canadians: the arrival of the first African person in Canada, namely, Mathieu de Coste, in 1605; and the relaxation of anti-Black immigration laws with the 1955 promulgation of the West Indian Domestic Scheme.

The avoidance of Canada’s sorry history of slavery and racism is natural. It is how Canadians prefer to understand themselves: we are a nation of good, Nordic, “pure”, mainly White folks, as opposed to the lawless, hot-tempered, impure, mongrel Americans, with their messy history of slavery, civil war, segregation, assassinations, lynchings, riots, and constant social turmoil. Key to this propaganda–and that is what it is– is the Manichaean portrayal of two nations: Canada, the land of “Peace, Order, and Good Government,” of evolution within the traditional constraints of monarchy and authority, where racism was not and is not tolerated, versus the United States of America, the land of guns, cockroaches, and garbage, of criminal sedition confronted by aggressive policing (and jailing), where racism was and is the arbiter of class (im)mobility.

Indeed, in Canada, “race” and racism are concepts used to refight the American Revolution, to establish that the Yankee Revolt against the Crown was wrong, while Canada’s loyalty to the monarchy, heirarchy, and public order fostered a more harmonious and, ironically, rouge-tinted society.

But the price of this flattering self-portrait is public lying, falsified history, and self-destructive blindness. It means that we can forget about a Canadian-led expedition to the Congo in the 1880s, which resulted in Africans’ heads being cut off and stuck on fence posts– a scene that may have inspired Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. We can guiltlessly commemorate, with a single plaque, an entire Black community– Africville– which had been in existence for almost 150 years when, in 1962, the city of Halifax decided to relocate its citizens, razing and burying all signs of Africville’s former life. We can ignore the contributions of nineteenth-century Black settlers who cleared and tilled parts of this land until “official” settlers arrived from Ireland and England and claimed the title. Think, for instance, of Priceville, Ontario, where, in 1989, grave markers of the town’s first inhabitants turned up in a farmer’s field. Only then did the townspeople “discover” that the Black cemetery had been ploughed under, the Black presence buried and all but forgotten.

Our refusal to embrace the facts of our history means that we, as a people, can commit atrocities such as the one that occurred in Somalia in 1992, when “our boys,” part of a taxpayer-funded, elite paratrooper regiment, shot three Somalis and lynched one, a child. It means that we make liars out of our “coloured”– that is, “visible minority”– citizens, as our federal government did in 2003. In that year, when the United Nations released a report stating that Africans and Aboriginals suffer racism in Canada, the response of the Liberal government of Canada was that the UN was wrong…

… Unlike American literature and society, in which rebels, Black and White, are celebrated, canonized with folk songs, and given “star billing,” even if they were silenced by officially sanctioned bullets or state executions, Canadian literature boasts very, very few such figures. The Manitoban mystic Louis Riel, hanged for insurrection in 1885, is one vaunted rebel, especially for Metis and francophones. In African-Canadian circles, no such celebrity exists; our “criminals” are seldom martyrs…

… The reader will notice, no doubt, that, while I claim that Mme. Angelique is the best-known African-Canadian slave, she appears in only a handful of texts (excluding histories). Here we address the nub of the problem that Dr. Cooper’s research challenges: the repression of the history of Canadian slavery necessitates the oblivion of actors such as Mme. Angelique. The recovery of that history mandates the remembering of representative and extraordinary slaves…

Some may object that, because colonial Canadian slavery was not as extensive as the Southern U.S. version, Dr. Cooper’s research is academic and inconsequential. However, we must recognize that slavery was practiced in a solid third of what is now Canada– in Upper Canada (Ontario), New France (Quebec), New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia; that it numbered in thousands of slaves (with the greatest number in New France), held “legally” under various colonial regimes and traded globally; that it lasted for more than two hundred years; and that it ended only because it was not vital to the boreal economy.

As historian James Walker has argued, because colonial Canada held African slaves, its society fostered anti-Black racism-Negrophobia that persists in Canada today. Furthermore, because slavery was all about extracting free–and hard– labour from understandably recalcitrant persons, it sanctioned torture, even in Canada. Thus, one reads that a Loyalist kept his slaves chained to his basement walls in Fredericton, New Brunswick; or that a Nova Scotian bachelor minister owned two teenage female slaves, thus exciting public controversy; or that a Nova Scotian mistress bludgeoned a boy slave to death with a hammer; or that “a slave of Judge Upham” was hanged, on flimsy grounds, for the murder of a White woman in New Brunswick; or that Jean-Baptiste Thomas was hanged in the Montreal market, for theft, in the summer of 1735 (just a year after Mme. Angelique was executed); or that Josiah Cutten was hanged, in Ontario, in 1789, but was likened to animals that “go about at Night for their prey”. Ah, the records of Canadian slavery are every bit as vicious as those we Canadians know so much better– those of the Great Republic…

… “Four hundred years after the first African landed on Canadian shores (in Nova Scotia), 270 years after the grisly execution of Mme. Angelique, 170 years after the British Empire abolished slavery in Canada, and 50 years after Blacks were once again permitted to immigrate to Canada (specifically, from the Caribbean), one watches a brilliant irony unfold: the Jamaican-Canadian Dr. Cooper, a native of a society of slave revolts, presents her governor general, the Haitian-Canadian Mme. Jean, a native of a country established in rebellion and revolution, with a document about another Black woman, who was a martyr for liberty in colonial Canada.”

I now finish off with a quote from Afua Cooper in her Preface:

“The story of Angelique provides an opportunity for us to reclaim a hidden past. Since much of the Black past has been deliberately buried, covered over, and demolished, it is our task to unearth, uncover and piece it together again. This we are called to do, because the dead speak to us.