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 THE “UGLY” THINGS OF CANADA

 

 

-         TO BE TO LAST IN THE LINE

 

It is always a disadvantage to be the last in the line in many situations that immigrants have to face: Visa application, travel, housing and job search, etc.

As many other situations, these shall only be temporary.  The positive way of considering these facts is to have an action plan, which will let you get benefit, welfare and a better future for you and your family.

 

-         TAXES

 

As an old saying (Canadian?) says: , “There are only two sure things in a man’s life:

First, that he shall pay taxes, the second, that he will die” hat

 

 And in Canada this is absolutely right. You will have to pay the following sale tax over most of the products (some food products are the exception):

 

●  7 %  -  GST (Federal tax)

●  5 %  -  PST (Provincial tax)

 

On the other hand, every worker has to pay an income tax which shall be deducted from his salary by the employer. Rate is different according to the amount of the salary, and it is calculated over the total salary earned per year. These taxes (In Ontario) are the following:

 

●  Low Salaries:  Between $1.000 and $ 31.676 per year you shall pay taxes from 0% to 15.9 % (aprox)

●  Medium Salaries:  Between $31.677 and $ 63.353 per year you shall pay taxes from 16% to 25.9% % (aprox)

●  High Salaries:  Between $63.354 and $ 103.000 per year you shall pay taxes from 26% to 29% % (aprox)

●  Salaries over $ 103.000 per year you shall pay taxes of 29 %.

 

As a worker or employee, from the base amount shall be deducted the following:

 

●  CPP contribution to pension plan.

 

●  EI - Employment Insurance

 

NOTE: The rates shown above are aprox. for Ontario, and are the addition of different type of taxes imposed on workers (Ontario Provincial Income Tax, Ontario Health Premium, etc).  These taxes may vary in other provinces of Canada, where rates are generally lower.

 

Tax rates pay by Canadian citizens are within the highest around the world. There are different reasons:

 

Health and education financed by the state.

Large quantity of government employees with high salaries (burocracy)

Relatively small population in a big country, where expenses are high (highways, police, public services, firemen, town employees, etc).

 

For further information on taxes, follow the following link:  TAXES _ ONTARIO

 

-         START FROM THE BEGINNING (ZERO)

 

When you start living in Canada, you will have to learn again many things that you used to do as a routine in your country of origin. Moreover, to integrate in your new country and increase your possibilities of finding a good job, you will have to go to schools where you will learn important things as:

 

●  ENGLISH or FRENCH School

 

Schools to learn English and French are free for immigrants and the best way to increase your level of these languages.

 

If you decide to live at Quebec Province, you will have to learn French to successfully integrate into the working and social environment. In order to be more successful in your career of profession in Quebec, you will also have to learn English, since business and commercial relations are handled in both languages.

 

● Driving School

 

To drive a car in Canada it is obligatory to have a Drivers License, which it is obtained if you approve at least 2 exams (Theory and Road Tests). Even when you have driven a car many years in your country, you will have to take those exams. Although it is not obligatory to have a certificate from a driving school, it is advisable to take a driving course or private lessons, to increase your possibilities of approving the Road Test.  In general, immigrants need to take more than once the road test to finally approve it and obtain the license.

 

● Job Search Courses

 

These courses offered to immigrants are the best way of learning the Canadian way of searching a job. In these coursers you will learn resume techniques, how to write cover letters, and in some cases, how to prepare for the interviews. 

 

● College or University

 

If you take a university course (master) in your profession in Canada, it will be much easier for you to get a good job there. In that way, you will get profession recognition of your career and besides you will have a degree from a Canadian institution, with which you will increase you "employability".

 

Technology update, professional ethics and Canadian technical codes (security, electricity, construction, handling of gas, food etc) courses have to be taken in the cases of many professions and technical careers in order to be recognized by professional unions and obtaining obligatory special licenses.

 

● Learn History, Geography and Politics of Canada

 

After 3 years of living in Canada, Permanent Residents have the right to apply for citizenship and Canadian passport. In order to obtain them, applicants under 60 must prepare and approve an exam in English or French on Geography, History and Politic Administration of Canada. To prepare for this exam, you can take a school courses or you can study by yourself.

 

● Adapt to New Social Uses

 

Even though many immigrants try to keep their own original cultures, it is also necessary to observe Canadian people uses and rules, especially when dealing with other people. Many uses are common in the occidental world, other are more local customs. Among these uses, the most important are:

 

 Before a visit, you have to make a call and confirm. In many countries of the world, surprise visit to friends or relatives are accepted, this is not the use in Canada. It is always advisable to call your friends to announce your visit, and not arrive by surprise.

During a Visit When they arrive to a house or apartment, all the visitors take off their shoes, and put them orderly in a small closet or box and then enter the house only with the sockets. This use is very generalized, no matter the culture or origin of the house owner. If you don’t do it, it is taken as a lack of respect for the house owner.

●  Punctuality People use to arrive to a place at the arranged time. Arriving 5 or more minutes later it is considered an offense.

 

 

-         LACK OF NETWORK (FRIENDS)

 

This is the normal situation of many immigrants. One of the disadvantages of not having a network is when you are searching a job, since more than the 70 % of the potential jobs are in the hidden market, and those job searches are never posted.

 

As time passes, the immigrant shall built his network, through people known in different stages of his adaptation in Canada (technical courses, English schools, work courses etc.) The positive part of this stage for the Skilled Worker in Canada is that most of their new friends shall be of their own education level, in similar conditions and with the same needs. Through this communication with other immigrants, especially those speaking the same language, people and families exchange experiences and learn important data about the life in Canada. 

 

 

-         WORKING WITHOUT STABILITY

 

Most workers in Canada are hired with salaries based on an hourly fee.  Working journey is of 40 to 44 hours per week, depending on the province.  When there is not enough work in a company, they simply tell their employees not to come until they are needed again. They will not receive any salary or compensation for the day or time when they don’t work (unemployment insurance does not cover the first two weeks) and before the Ministry of Work this is a normal situation.

 

For example, in a manufacturing company of spare parts for a Michigan (USA) company, parts are not manufactured if it is a holiday in USA, since there is no car production these days, so their workers shall not have to go to work, and therefore, shall not receive any salary for that day.

 

Besides, every day it is becoming more popular in Canada to use Temporal Employment Agencies, especially in big companies, like Car spare parts manufacturers, so they do not hire their employees directly. This form of employment benefits the industrial companies by reducing costs, and damages workers, who shall receive a lower salary than a direct employee of the company, since the temporary agency shall receive a part of it. 

 

 

-         COMPETENCE

 

Canadian Immigration Program for Professionals and skilled workers is universal, and each week thousands of immigrants arrive from countries all over the world. The twelve most common countries of origin of the immigrants who arrived to Canada in 2004 and 2005 are: China, India, Philippines, Pakistan, USA, Colombia, United Kingdom, Korea, Iran, France, Rumania and Russia.

 

It is worth mentioned that professional and skilled workers arriving to Canada are not only from third world countries, many immigrants are from first world countries, like USA, England, Italy and France. These immigrants have the advantage of the language and their degrees are more easily recognized compared to workers of other countries

 

 

-         COST OF SOME SERVICES

 

Apart from expensive taxes and home rental, other basic services are equally expensive, like gas (indispensable during winter) and Cable TV (necessary to be informed, especially to know daily weather). During January and February the cost of gas, only used for heating purposes at home (not for cooking) may reach $ 300 to $ 400 per month. Cable TV fee (including internet) may be between $ 90 and $ 120 per month, depending on the service. In other terms, to support these basic services, you will have to work between 48 to 65 hours in a $ 8 per hour job.

 

 

-         DRIVING EXAMS

 

A valid driver’s license is obligatory in Canada to drive. That license can be obtained applying and approving practical exams.  It is not easy to approve Road Tests in highways, and you will be rejected if you make mistakes in some of the 50 or more subjects evaluated by the examiner during the road test. In practice, most immigrants have to apply several times for theses exams until they approve and get the license.

 

-         PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS

 

 

-         ALL THE UNPLEASEANT SORPRISES THAT YOU MAY FIND IF YOU HAVE NOT READ CAREFULLY THIS BOOK AND APPLIED THE ADVISES.

 

 

 

IMPORTANT !

    

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