Major problems of living in Canada

Without a doubt there are problems that make you want to go back where you came from.

It is not easy to move from one country to another and feel comfortable until you have been there for at least a year. One of the most common problems that new immigrants report is tiredness. If you are not speaking your first language then you will have added problems while you get used to the local accent and pick up new vocabulary.

Here I have listed some of the things that I have found very difficult to cope with in Canada.

This is not an exhaustive list but one that will be added to at regular intervals.

Insincerity and institutional dishonesty

Shops, stores, other retailers and restaurants are not honest with their pricing, labeling and what they tell their customers.

Prices shown in most shops and restaurants are simply not honest because they do not show taxes that will be added at the checkout. Even worse, they do not tell customers that taxes will be added. Canadians who visit Europe come back telling their friends and acquaintances how easy things are 'over there' where what you see is what you pay.

This is one of the worst features of life in Canada, along with the 'Mail-in rebate' scam and the ever open hand of many North Americans.

Poorly made television programmes

Television generally comes via a cable and is available as a set of packages that are charged for by the month. The monthly fee for the cheapest package amounts to more than the cost of a UK television licence.

Here in Edmonton, Alberta our cable package comes from Shaw. We have the basic package of about 20 channels, I can say that there are only two that are work watching, the Weather Network - 24 hour weather news and forecasts, and KSPS Public Broadcasting from Spokane. The latter is a US channel that shows some old BBC series and a few interesting series. The remainder are not worth switching on.

Even the full cable package with hundreds of channels offers nothing better.

Excessive television advertising

During a movie you will probably watch between 30 and 50 minutes of adverts

The amount of advertising shown even on the premium cost television channels is excessive by any standard. Movie channels are similar. If you look at the television schedule you will typically find that a movie is allocated a 180 minute slot from say 7 pm to 10 pm. When you read the details of the film you will generally find that it is about 130 minutes, that means that you are going to watch 50 minutes of adverts during the film. The first 30 minutes of the movie will be free of adverts, but then the frequency and length of breaks will increase as the movie progresses. Personally I cannot watch a whole movie because of this.

You can not tell Canadians anything

Metaphorically speaking that is. What I actually mean is that Canadians (and North Americans in general) are very insular in their outlook. The vast majority of them do not travel outside the borders of the north american continent, do not speak another language other than English and cannot understand why anyone would want to live anywhere else except north america.

Perhaps they feel threatened when newcomers mention different ways of doing things that they have experienced elsewhere. It is certainly the case that you get an adverse reaction when you mention that there are other ways of doing something and that maybe they are better!

Here are a couple of examples of things that are taken for granted in Europe (particularly the UK).

First class post

In the UK you can choose First class post and most of the time your letter will arrive on the following day, including Saturday. That's just not possible in Canada, even Express Mail takes 2 business days, so NO Saturday delivery.

Next day delivery of parcels

There are no regular services that will deliver next day, so there is no way to order goods via the internet or phone and receive them next day.