There must be factors that influence many people to try migrating to Canada. Free education, excellent health system, security, freedom, and many other motivating factors that it appears worth the risk to leave a stable job, established family business and extended family back home, and spend thousands of dollars on documentation, transportation, and establish proof of financial capability to reach that Canadian dream life.
While many of such benefits in the Canadian welfare system hold true, they are littered with caveats that are nonetheless significant and may sway certain types of immigrants to stay put had they learned about it beforehand.
In Canada, education is free.
True. From grade school to high school, Canada provides free education to young students. However, extracurricular courses that aid students such as painting and arts, sports, music, and so on are optional and not offered for free. But since education is free at primary and secondary levels, it may be manageable. But always make sure to save up for university, where courses can be very expensive!
In Canada, children up to 18 years old receive allowance.
True. Allowance from the government that is. But that depends on family income so not all will receive this benefit. Should children receive such government assistance, it may be wise to pool it for college funds instead of opting for a student loans, which binds college and university students to debt even before they enter the workforce and land a job.
In Canada, there is free healthcare.
False. Not all are covered by free healthcare coverage. In British Columbia, for example, one has to be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen to avail of the provincial health insurance. In most other provinces, medical services are offered for free but don’t be surprised if you are in a long queue for a doctor’s appointment. If you don’t mind such an arrangement, you’ll be fine.
In Canada, it’s possible to get multiple jobs.
True. You can have as many jobs as you can manage time to work for each of them diligently. There are different reasons people take on several jobs at a time. Each of such jobs is low paying or doesn’t offer full-time positions so some workers have plenty of time to spare. Others may have high family expenses (household, education, mortgage, etc) or are heavily in debt so getting more jobs helps them get by.
In Canada, it is easy to buy a house and a car.
False. For many immigrants real property price in Canada is expensive so buying a house and car may not be the most viable immediate option. What may be true is that it’s easy to apply for a car loan or mortgage for a house. Such flexible payment terms depend on the financial capability of applicants and their willingness to pay on given terms.
In Canada, elderly people receive monthly pension.
False. Not all seniors 65 and above living in Canada are eligible to receive Old Age Security pension. To qualify, the applicant must be at least 65 years old, a Canadian citizen or legal resident, and have been living in Canada for at least 10 years since age 18.
In Canada, hard work is rewarded.
True. Skilled and hardworking employees in Canada get their fair share of compensation and promotion is granted to those who deserve it. There is no need for “backers” or name-dropping influential people; employment is based on the merits of skills and relevant experience. A referral from a past employer is enough. Sometimes, however, the color of skin or gender could still influence outcomes in cases of appointing those in executive positions.
In Canada, you pay bigger tax bills.
True. In most cases, income in Canada is higher than in places where immigrants come from. But the good thing about it is that taxpayers can see where taxes go. Healthcare, education, public infrastructure, security, and other services are rendered by the government of Canada. It sounds too much for newcomers but it will soon be justified with the way of life and government services people enjoy in Canada.
In Canada, all employed mothers receive a salary for a year after delivering a baby
False. Although certain employers might offer such generous grants to their female employees, it is not mandated by law. A more common privilege is the maternity and paternity leave allowance which is often defined as a portion, not 100% of a month’s worth of wages. Certain eligibility may apply such as tenure of employment or only after a probationary period.
In Canada, job discrimination is non-existent.
False. Unlike in some countries where nepotism is rampant and qualifications are based on pleasing personality and discrimination on age, Canadian laborers and regular workers who strive hard in their jobs are rewarded accordingly. However, when competing for jobs in the executive level, discrimination on the racial background may still exist.
When living in Canada, you are offered plenty of choices — jobs to take up, things to buy and own, schools to enroll your kids, and type of medical attention. Your choice depends on your chosen lifestyle. You can get a bigger house if you wish but may come at a price that you need to sacrifice time with family as you spend more hours at work. The bottom line is you have to live within your means to enjoy life in Canada, without sacrificing things that matter to you the most.