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Why Canada?

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ste

Nowhere is easy. I was retrenched three times back home, and went on to get a second degree hoping it would stand me in better stead. I still couldn't get work, so I became self-employed and did fairly well for myself. After coming over to the UK while waiting for our PRs, I was out of work for 7 months, whereas hubby, with no degree got a job within the first 3 weeks. I currently hold down two jobs, mostly evening work, which means time away from family.

It boils down to attitude. You either sink or swim. I hit really bad depression where I couldn't get out of bed for days on end because I felt so worthless not being able to get work, but we all left SA for reasons that were deemed good and reasonable at the time, and we need to remind ourselves of those. Immigration is damned hard, emotionally and physically, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel if you're willing to focus a bit ahead and see the big picture. You can't take SA into another country. You've got to be open-minded and adapt to a certain extent to make it work. If you're :blink: of at the country and its people, you're resisting adapting to them as much as you expect them to change for you. Life's an experience. Carpe Diem.

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Karen

Steph is right - nowhere is easy and we all have a story to tell.

At the end of the day, it boils down to attitude and perseverance.

Believe me, I could happily have returned home in my first couple of years here, but I decided to hang in, mainly for the sake of my kids at the time. I am very glad I did now.

I know all about financial hardships here. I went through that too. We arrived here with two small kids, $10,000 ( yes, that's all we had!) and a container of household goods. Ontario was in a deep depression, there just were no jobs and quite a mumber of times, we had to go and beg to pay the rent a week or two later - something we never had to experience in SA. My husband started a business. They had to beg from Peter to pay Paul to pay Johnny. We lived on $150.00 a week after paying our basic liviing expenses; we ate an awful lot of canned goods and cheap mince, but we never starved. I became a bargain hunter - bought the kids their coats, boots etc at Biways' sales at the end of the season. We had to be very frugal and turn over out pennies many times. I had two and, at one time, three teaching jobs, just to make ends meet. I worked two jobs - by day and in the evenings for nine long years.

Our first five years were very tough, but we decided to not give up. We are the type of folk who go for things, no matter what the odds. Slowly, but surely, we began seeing light at the end of the tunnel. We were able to buy a house and in the early years, we made sure we did nothing to it but keep up the mortgage payments. We leased better cars eventually and our kids, despite it all, went to school, grew up and did well. We hardly noticed the weather, as we were so busy surviving. My kids never went to camps, we holidayed for long weekends locally or stayed with family in the US, where we could drive. We had some really happy times together.

Today, almost 15 years later, we are doing so much better. The business is flourishing at last, I can work part- time at one job now, the kids have been educated and the first will soon be spreading his wings. We are slowly but surely fixing up our home and enjoying that. We continue to work for all we have, and work hard, but we don't feel we are any different from the thousands of other 'success' stories we happily continue to hear about here. We will never be rich in the sense of great financial security, but we are rich in so many other better ways. Best of all, we have given our children a more secure future, we are with them and we are not living in fear every time we venture out.

Give me snow and cold anyday over heinous crime and high walls and electronic fences.

It's all a matter of getting your priorities straight and having a pioneering spirit.

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Rolé

Wel, ek glo nie die Naumann's het nie hard probeer nie. Dit klink vir my asof hulle lang ure moes werk en om bus te ry kan nie 'n groot plesier wees elke dag nie.

Maar om mense aan te raai om eerder Australië toe te trek omdat hulle NIE gewoond gaan raak aan Kanada se winters nie, is 'n baie groot veralgemening. Hier is baie mense wat baie gelukkig is in Kanada en nie almal van hulle verdien enorme salarisse nie. Ons is al deur 4 winters (wel, amper 4) en ons geniet dit baie. Ek is een van daai mense wat meer van koue hou as hitte en dis presies die rede hoekom ons Kanada toe gekom het en nie Australië toe is nie.

Elkeen is geregtig op sy opinie, julle ook, maar net omdat julle nie van die winter hier hou nie, beteken dit nie almal voel so daaroor nie.

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iwestervelt

Hallo aan almal

Ek het jare laas deelgeneem aan hierdie forums. Ek kan dink aan baie redes, maar die belangrikste vir my was dat ek die veroordeling verafsku het. Het ons as SAners nie maar die gewoonte om te oordeel oor mense en dinge waarvan ons glad geen kennis dra nie. Vat nou maar byvoorbeeld immigrasie: Niemand kan vir my vertel dis maklik nie nie een persoon beleef dit dieselfde nie.

Van die groepie SAners wat ek al hier ontmoet het, het ek mense gesien wat makliker aanpas en dan het ek mense gesien wat sielsongelukkig was. Wat my wel baie opgeval het - let wel slegs mense wat ek ontmoet het en nie veralgemeen nie, is dat mense wat a.g.v trauma/spanning/werkloosheid die land verlaat het, dit makliker vind om aan te pas. Daarvan is ons self 'n voorbeeld. My man was moedeloos werk gesoek en moeg om te hoor van AA, dit het 'n geweldige impak op ons as gesin gehad. Ook was ons die slagoffers van 3 inbrake - gelukkig kon hulle nie in die huis inkom nie, wat weereens slapelose nagte veroorsaak het, want ons het drie dogters wat ons moet beskerm. Om 'n lang storie kort te maak, vir ons was dit 'n geweldige verligting om weer te kan werk en ook weer te kan slaap sonder om elke geluidjie te hoor. Dit het ons eerste jare baie makliker gemaak. Maar glo my as ek se ek verlang baie na my familie en is opreg bekommerd oor hulle veiligheid - maar nie almal is immigrasie materiaal nie, dis iets wat elke ou vir homself moet uitwerk.

Vir die wat dit nie maak nie - hoop dit gaan goed met julle waar julle ook al gaan - dit kon WEEREENS nie 'n maklike besluit gewees het om te neem nie.

Wat die gasvryheid betref hier moet ek ook bieg dat ons nie meer pure SAner is nie - mens het eenvoudig nie die tyd daarvoor nie. As ons naweke iets wil doen, moet ek tenminste elke aand 'n taak in die huis verrig, ten einde bietjie vrye tyd oor die naweek te he. Boonop is ons nou bevoorregte grootouers ook - BAIE BESIG :-)

Vir die wat nogsteeds oorweeg om Kanada toe te kom, doen so - ons is nou al 10 jaar hier en dit raak al hoe beter. Ons het ook beplan om later Amerika toe te gaan, maar eerlikwaar, ek hou nie van die mense se "attitude" nie - ek is nou dolgelukkig hier in goeie ou Kanada......

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edallenberg

Karen, and the others, well said, good points made.

I do believe most of us on this board do struggle when we get here, my husband is a civil engineer, we immigrated here in Nov 2000, and he only managed to find employment by the end of January 2001. He applied to the Prof Engineers of Ontario to obtain his PEng here, and was told he had to write a few exams, I believe he had to 3 or 4 to do and 'do his time' in the profession. His first job which he kept for 4 years paid pittance, but it was a job, and he managed to get his Canadian experience. Since then he has had one other job and then the job he is currently in. And today, after 7.5 years, he is doing what he was trained for, his speciality, and earning a proper salary. However, he works away from home during the week, and only drives home on Friday evenings and returns to his work again on Monday morning. So, yes, he is doing what he is qualified in and loves to do, but the downside is he is away from the family and living in a B&B during the week close to his work!! That's just one of those things we have to accept.

We have friends in Oz and NZ, and all I can say is the people in Oz say things are expensive, especially housing, but the warm weather is great - too hot in fact, and by the locals you are always made to feel like second class citizens. We did a comparative analysis between costs in Oz and Canada (in both countries we took a mining town there and a mining town here), and living conditions and money was far better here in Canada (even with the cold weather). The people in NZ say they are living like 'poor whites', after they have paid the rent, bought the food, etc, etc, they have so little left to even enjoy anything. We have friends who have been in NZ for about 18 months now and who are DESPERATE to leave there and come to Canada!!! They also told us what they pay for groceries, rent, etc, and compared them to things here in Canada, and Canada won again!! :lol::cry:

Regarding people who want to come to Canada on work permits - I don't think many know that when a company offers a SAfrican a job and then the paperwork is done through an immigration attorney here in Canada, the SAfrican must advise the immigration attorney that he wants a work permit for his wife (not with the same company, but an open work permit). The applicant will naturally have to pay for the spouse's work permit, but hey it's not expensive (I don't believe it is more than $160). This allows the spouse's wife to also get a SIN number when they arrive here in Canada, whether she even wants to work or not!! The spouse has the right to get this work permit if their 'other half' has been offered a job and the company has obtained the necessary LMO for the position and done all the other red tape involved in getting a foreign worker into the country.

Saying all this, one has to be positive about living here, and not sit on the fence. We tend to always remember the good things about life back in SA when we start getting negative about Canada!! We have all left a bit of our hearts back in Africa, but once you have made up your mind you want to leave, no one told you to leave, you chose where you wanted to move to and live, so deal with it. We don't regret coming here, even though I miss the ocean and the warmth of Durban, but you just maar get on with life. I have been fortunate enough since we arrived here that I have been able to go back to SA on 3 occasions, and will be going next month again.

You also have to remember everyone will 'hit a brick wall' at some time after they arrive here (or wherever you choose to go to), it may be within 3 months, it may be in 2 years, and you second guess yourself and say "What the heck, why did we come here?", this too shall pass. But it happens to everyone. It just happened to one of my friends who lives out in the prairies and she isn't able to buy one of her most loved perfumes, not even at the closest city, which is about 90 minutes drive away, but they have survived their first harsh Canadian winter, and now have settled down. I told her to go surfing on the net and buy it on line, which they did, and got it for a fraction of the cost as compared to retail in the stores. :D

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Island Life
Regarding people who want to come to Canada on work permits - I don't think many know that when a company offers a SAfrican a job and then the paperwork is done through an immigration attorney here in Canada, the SAfrican must advise the immigration attorney that he wants a work permit for his wife (not with the same company, but an open work permit). The applicant will naturally have to pay for the spouse's work permit, but hey it's not expensive (I don't believe it is more than $160). This allows the spouse's wife to also get a SIN number when they arrive here in Canada, whether she even wants to work or not!! The spouse has the right to get this work permit if their 'other half' has been offered a job and the company has obtained the necessary LMO for the position and done all the other red tape involved in getting a foreign worker into the country.

This has got nothing to do with whether you have gone through an immigration attorney or not - it has to do with the skill level of your job in Canada. Anyone with a job at the higher skill levels (NOC 0, A or :cry: automatically qualify for a spousal open work permit - see here

The fee to be paid is $150.

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Dora

PHEW!!!! A lot of reading. I have to say, I skipped a few pages. :)

I am going into my 39th year living in Canada. I came over with my parents, even though I was a young adult.

I got married in Canada to a SA'N. My kids are 1st generation Canadians and hopefully the second generation will come along soon. :P

I've been to Australia twice and loved every minute of it. The weather was fantastic, the livestyle very much like the SA I remember.

I would still not live there. Canada will always be home for me, bad weather and all.

I find Canadians are very friendly and hospitable when they get to know you. Being SA, I always invited my Canadian friends over for dinners and parties. I found they reciprocated each and every time.

I cannot say anything bad about Canadians, the few that I know. Most of our friends are from all different parts of the world.

Just my two bits.

ps Canada has been very good to us.

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edallenberg

Island Life

When you say "This has got nothing to do with whether you have gone through an immigration attorney or not..." the point I was making is that when/if you are so lucky as to get a job offer here in Canada, normally an attorney who deals with work permits for foreign workers (thus I called the person an immigration attorney) here in Canada will have to do the paperwork for the company as well as the candidate, and the point I was making is that when the work permit is being applied for by the attorney here in Canada, the candidate must ask the attorney to include an applicant for the spouse, naturally at a cost to the applicant family, and not the company who is offering the candidate work!! I hope I have made myself clear.

What has happened in real life is that most companies are extremely hesitant to attempt to do the paperwork for a work permit for the foreign worker by themselves, so they appoint an attorney here in Canada to assist them with the application for LMO and then who will be dealing with their prospective employee who is back in SA, the Canadian attorney will do all the paperwork for the company and new employee to get the employee and his family to Canada as soon as possible, normally between 7 and 9 months for incoming South Africans.

I guess this should explain it a bit better.

Cheers

Durinda

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reynette

For 2 years the American consulate in S.A cept my daughter( as I called it "hostage") from obtaining a visa so that she could join us in the U.S. They argued that we could remain illigally if she was allowed to reunite with us and thus was forcing us to go back. That was not a option!!!! We had to do every thing possible to ensure that our children are given the oppertunity to live in a safe enviroment and at least get a good education.

My husband is a truck driver( not the most ellite occupation) and was able to get a work permit in Canada very easily, due to the huge shortage of drivers.

We were pleasently surpprized at the welcoming attitued of the immigration personell at the consulate and when we arrived at the border. Not the arrogants we found from their U.S. counterparts. I must say that the every day Americans were great and were frustrated at the politics we endured while there.

Anyway, we immidiatelly applied for a visa for my daughter, and without any hassles she was approved.

We were reunited on December 10 2007.(undescriable joy) Thank you Canada!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our first winter here was not too bad untill I got my first Hydro bill, gosh what a shock. Things are more expensive here than in the U.S, and in a way I am reminded of S.A. Everything is so slow here, and I am sad to say we are really battling as we did then. I was very depressed the first 5 months untill I found my miracle cure on the internet. I just read up on what is going on in S.A and instantly I am reminded of the reason I am here. We will fight to make it and the time will come where we too can start enjoying ourselves in Canada.

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einselec

Reynette

We were also supposed to move to the USA but found the red tape and the 4 to 7 year waiting period way too long. Immigration to Canada will only take us 6 to 9 months and therefore we will be moving to Canada too. Hopefully we will be there by August 2008.

The only thing that you must still do is to change your profile so that it shows that you are from Canada.

Enjoy Canada and good luck for the future!!

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reynette

eiselec

I hope everything works out well for you.

Canada is defnitly more welcoming than the U.S., but brace yourself, things are very diffirent here than what we were used to in the U.S.A.------------BUT beats S.A by far.

Reynette

Edited by reynette

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Bob Fitzsimmons

Hi Folks:

I'm a born Canadian, and just reading some of the nice remarks various people have posted. Thanks.

I for one am glad you chose Canada. The more of you who come the better this county will be.

Although I was born here I have not always lived here. I was a second class citizen in many, many places, for many years. One thing I did learn is that it's always a struggle going to a new place. It is NEVER home. It NEVER has fond memories. It NEVER has old freinds you can count on to help. It's like being in a life raft with a few possesion, and only yourself to rely upon. Ships may see you - but they may also ignore you. Some may give you a drink of water - but that's all. For some - you reach land faster than other - but you will eventually get there. When you arrive you can choose to build for the future, or cast off again. What you build depends on you alone. If you fail to sharpen your axe, building anything will be harder, no matter where you land.

Some people are better at sharpening their axe than others. No matter which country you chose, their standards of education will surely be different. Again you can chose to sharpen your axe again because it no longer works, or you can refuse to sharpen it. Finding a way to sharpen the axe may not be easy. That task in itself may be hard - but it will have it's rewards.

It appears to me that most people from ZA rush out and look for a way to sharpen their axe, and do a damm fine job of it.

Edited by Bob Fitzsimmons

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Merv

Now what if we dont have an axe to grind? :huh: (Couldn't resist :D )

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Dedré

Bob, thank you for that. Much appreciated!

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West Works
QUOTE (Karen @ Jan 3 2008, 03:39 PM)

I have heard - and I stand to be corrected here - that Canada has some arrangement with SA to only take in X amount of immigrants a year. Something about not taking all the skilled folk away, but how dumb is that. All those folk will simply get themselves to Australia or NZ etc.

To my knowledge this is not the case. However, consider that Canada immigration policies only allow X number of immigrants per year total, and for as many applications as there are from SA, there are equal or more from many other countries in the world - Phillipines, China, India, UK, Singapore, Australia and NZ, Libya - need I go on?

Last I heard as well, Australia and NZ have both tightened up on their numbers coming in, although those who make it through the process make it in less time than to timeline to Canada.

By numbers, Canada is also one of the world's leading countries in population increases through immigration, so I really only think it is application overflow that makes thing as they are. We have an MP (Member of Parliament) here in Calgary who is very active in the plight of southern Africa as well, and he is very vocal in Parliament about streamlining the processes to create a more efficient system.

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Bob Fitzsimmons

I am a Canadian but I lived all over the world for many years. It is hard to translate the value of currecy from Marks to Rand or Shillings, or Dollars. One of the best ways to choose is to compare costs. How many hours of work, at your job, are required to buy things in various countries such as:- Shoes, Shirts, Dress, Tea Kettle, Coffee maker, TV, Radio, a dozen apples, a dozen oranges, tennis balls, garden fork, garden shovel, light bulbs, etc.

In Canada your money goes farther.

'Joshua' date='May 1 2003, 10:55 AM' post='5527']

Why Canada?...what about other countries?

whats your reason

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*Andrea*

Hi Everyone,

Wow what a lot to take in!

Can anyone please give me some more into on the following? Hubby and myself and two sons are thinking about immigrating to Canada (it looks so beautiful!)

We just want to give our two sons the best in terms of quality of life and get away from the politic, endless apartheid reminders (of our forefathers) that is slung in our faces and the terrible crime rate here (and burglar bars on the windows).

- I know Canada is very cold in winter (love the snow) what is the minimum and maximum tempretures?

- Safety (can the kids play in the neighbourhood and parks)?

- Are there really bears that roam the streets?

- Outdoor hobbies (hubby and I are keen hunters) where and what to hunt?

- Firearm laws are they very strict?

- Camping and hiking (are there nice parks to do this)?

- Fishing (how is the fresh water and deep sea fishing)

- Schooling (not private) is it really expensive?

- Casinos? Are there many in Vancoever for instance as this would have to be our line of emploment...?

- Prices of houses average 3 bedroomed?

- Car prices? Type and amount?

- I guess there are no "domestics" as such but are there baby sitters or child minders available and at what price if the parents want to go out?

- Churches are there any Lutheran churches?

- Quarentine period for animals (how long)?

- Is it cheaper to sell you household contents or to move with them?

- Basic food and clothing prices as comapred to SA?

Ok I think that may be enough for now....

All opinions would be soooooo welcome!

Thanks

Andrea :)

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Cathy K

Andrea, remember that Canada is the second largest country on earth.

You might as well ask what is the maximum and minimum temperatures of Africa. It varies. We live on Vancouver Island where the minimum temperature is rarely below -5°C. Other places boast with winter temperatures that exceed -40°C.

Canada is one of the safest countries on earth. Many suburbs have a 30kph speed restriction, precisely because kids play in the streets. Canada's wildlife share our towns, though bear sightings are not really all that common in suburbia. Many of us have problems with deer eating up our gardens. :)

Canada is a haven for those who enjoy the outdoors. We have great National Parks, and camping is very popular. You can do whatever you fancy, and that include great fishing and good hunting.

Fire arms laws are very strict.

Schooling is inexpensive.

Again, house prices depend on where you live. Impossible to give an estimate.

Take time to surf this website. Most of you queries have already been answered.

Welcome! Enjoy reading all the information found on SACanada.

Cathy K.

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Nirak

I'm going to try and answer as much as I can. But also do some searches, a lot of these questions has been answered a couple of times already. One thing you have to keep in mind is that Canada is a very vast country, and it is extremely difficult to generalise. I live in Winnipeg, so my answers are from my experiences here. I have compiled a spreadsheet before we moved that gave a good idea about weather, etc across the different provinces.

- I know Canada is very cold in winter (love the snow) what is the minimum and maximum tempretures?

We are living in a city of extremes where it could get as cold as -45C and as hot as 45C. But that is Winnipeg. And the sun shines here! Vancouver has a much milder climate, but it is a rainy city and you could go a long time without seeing the sun.

- Safety (can the kids play in the neighbourhood and parks)?

My perception is that it is very safe. The parks don't have walls/fencing around them (the few that does, is just a chain-link fence). We normally get a spot to sit and my daughter can run around as she please. We just call out to her every once in a while to see where she is. Also, her school isn't "fenced"-in. The bottom of the sport fields is open into the park. The fences that are around the fields is more for keeping the balls at bay when they play soccer.

I walk around alone after dark when I have meetings at the school and I've even walked around alone in the parts that the locals perceive as "unsafe"

- Are there really bears that roam the streets?

If you stay near to woods, yes. Where we stay, nope. We only have squirrels, rabbits and the odd raccoon that tears open our garbage bags. My friend that stays in Alberta has had wolves and bears in her garden.

- Camping and hiking (are there nice parks to do this)?

There are LOTS of parks. You can normally buy a season ticket that will allow entrance to all the parks in a province for the year and they are dirt cheap. Even the 3-day passes here are not expensive at all.

- Schooling (not private) is it really expensive?

Hahaha. I paid a whole of $10 for supplies. That is it. Oh, and a box of Kleenex.

- Prices of houses average 3 bedroomed?

I answered in your other thread.

- Car prices? Type and amount?

That will depend on what kind of car, new/used, etc.

- Quarentine period for animals (how long)?

There are no quarantine for cats/dogs. They might just have to stay over a night or so wherever they have connecting flights.

- Is it cheaper to sell you household contents or to move with them?

We found it cheaper to sell everything in SA and buy new stuff. Our furniture wouldn't have fitted in the house (although we have the same amount of bedrooms, the area is a lot smaller).

- Basic food and clothing prices as comapred to SA

Some things are more expensive, some are cheaper. My grocery bill is pretty much on par with what it was in SA. For clothing, you shop around for sales, etc and then it isn't that heavy on the pocket.

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miena

..and one of the golden rules isto first start with finding a place/province of work. Look at where the demand is and how much approximately you will earn annually. This will make you research much easier and we can be more specific.

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*Andrea*

Wow thanks so much for all th info!!!!

You are quite right Meina we should look for emploment and take it from there....

:)

Thanks again,

Andrea

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Willem Kruse

i am in brisbane, australia and is considering canada. where do most saffers go in canada?

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Karen

Just as Saffers in Australia mainly go to the larger urban areas, so they do in Canada.

Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto are the main cities most live in, but you will find ex SA's all across Canada, in small towns, in rural areas and even in remote far north 'dorps', but they will be few and far between in the latter.

You most likely will land up where you can find suitable work.

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Just J

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, it comes down to what suits you and what will be the best for your family.

It's very much a personal choice and having travelled quite a bit, you learn that sometimes you land in a country and feel totally at home there and other places you don't.

We wrote a list of what is important to us and what we need for our family. Looked on the internet/spoke to people etc about different places and made a short list. Visited those places and made a decision. Despite being rather sceptical, as we landed we fell in love with Canada and felt this was the right place. And hopefully soon, we'll be calling it home!

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johankok

I had a nice comparison between Calgary, BC (not Vancouver), Sandton and Centurion. The exchange rates messed it (that was done at an exchange rate of 7 to the Canadian, thus will have to do another one. That was taking a salary of R 700K with equivalent living of CAD 100K. In SA the assumed living expenses came to -18K and -17K for Sandton and Centurion respectively, whilst in BC is was +14 and Alberta +23.

The major cause of differences were: (Assumptions that both house and car was bought on debt - with 25% deposit)

  1. Interest rates: much lower in Canada than in SA
  2. Houses were based on a house of 2 Million in SA and $800K in Canada.
  3. Interest on house payment are deductible from taxable income in Canada - and not in SA
  4. Cars much cheaper in Canada than in SA (few exceptions though) - but then to optimize one would look at the more local preferences on either side.
  5. Insurance and energy costs higher in Canada than in SA.
  6. Alberta - no personal tax - just the 17% Federal tax.

The following (and important) factors were not taken into account:

  1. Low cost of schooling
  2. Low cost (and availability of grants (bursaries)) in Canada - Studies in SA is pretty cheap as well.
  3. Food: Pretty much the same as in SA, except for meat which is more expensive
  4. House rental which is very cheap in Canada (although with the counter loss of the tax benefit on the interest).

With the exchange rate (and the current lag in catchup on prices - not for much longer though) one can use it as a comparative base for CAN 70K income - there would be quite a difference though - as the house in Canada would scale down to +- CAN 500K I would presume - depending on where you are living, that could still be a very nice house. However that is much closer to the average family income levels in Canada, whereas R 700K in SA is more likely to be in the top 10% (of not less) income household income levels in SA.

The short and sweet of it - the likely hood of having a better life in Canada is very good (exlucing even the consideration of the other negative factors and economic outlook of SA) - maybe not in the beginning, because you are likely to have to "start from scratch", having quite a bit of costs, which will make the start a little difficult.

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