In the last few years, families, students, professionals and refugees have been moving to Canada in record numbers. Federal programs and government policies have been making immigration easier, but it’s more than just a matter of reducing red tape. In fact, you can come up with all sorts of excellent reasons to move to Canada.
Everyone has their own reasons for moving, and a great number of factors could play into the decision. People have financial considerations, personal aspirations, family obligations, political orientations, and so on.
Some of us just never figure out what we want to be when we grow up. But others know from day one that they want to be Canadian. Although most people arrive at this conclusion more slowly, after carefully weighing their priorities and examining their options.
You could probably talk to a hundred different immigrants and expats and get a hundred different reasons for why they moved to Canada. But we know that no one on the internet has the attention span to get through a list that long. And I feel like it would be impossible to put together a list like that without eventually sounding repetitious and redundant.
So rather than try to exhaust every possible scenario or reason for moving to Canada, I’ve decided instead to just focus on the fundamentals. In doing so, I’ve boiled it down to five basic qualities that make Canada a superior choice for anyone considering an international relocation.
Reason #1: PROSPERITY
If you plan to leave your home country and settle down somewhere else, possibly on the other side of the globe, it’s important to know that there is some economic opportunity there. As a matter of fact, Canada has one of the strongest economies in the world. Growth across nearly every sector has been solid and steady, with the GDP climbing about 2 to 3 percent a year.
As of early 2020, the national unemployment level is hovering around a modest 5.5 percent. But the bigger problem for Canada is the shortage of skilled labor. As the country’s high tech, medical and engineering industries expand, the need for skilled workers grows too. And that spells big opportunity for immigrants with the right kind of training and experience.
By international comparison, Canadians are among the wealthiest, and enjoy a very high standard of living. In 2019, US News and World Report identified Canada as having the best quality of life of any country. Furthermore, an orderly welfare system sees that very few residents fall through the cracks. In fact, fewer than 10 percent of Canadians live below the poverty line, and homelessness is not nearly the serious issue that it is south of the border.
For a country with a relatively small population of just 37 million, Canada also has a vast treasury of natural resources, especially oil. Their oil and natural gas reserves are the largest in the world outside of Saudi Arabia. But lumber is also in ample supply. And no shortage of snow.
Reason #2: SECURITY
Many immigrants come to Canada for the safety. Whether it’s personal safety or national security, Canadians enjoy a pretty peaceful way of life. Economic prosperity (see Reason #1) helps to maintain fairly low crime rates throughout the country. Even in the larger cities, incidents of crime are minimal. There’s actually more crime reported in some of the rural areas, like the sparsely populated prairies.
Despite ongoing talk of Quebec separation, civil unrest is simply not an issue in Canada. The disgruntled Manitobans have no plans to take up arms against Saskatchewan. Of course, the indigenous people of Canada were nearly exterminated by European settlers in the 19th century, but ethnic cleansing is not a concern for modern day Canadians. For immigrants coming from war torn areas of Asia or Africa, this can be a very refreshing change of scenery.
Finally, on the international stage, Canada has virtually no enemies. Crazed dictators and ruthless terrorists are not looking to prove themselves by taking shots at Canada. Basically, everyone loves Canada. Even if World War III broke out tomorrow, nobody would ever point a missile at Canada. Americans traveling abroad understand Canada’s reputation all too well. It’s why so many of them try to pretend they’re Canadian when they go out to a club in Bali or Mallorca.
You should still lock your doors when you leave your house and park your car in Canada. But for the most part, you can pretty well count on your fellow Canadians not to do you any harm. And Canadians can also count on the rest of the world not to nuke them out of existence. Just think, when was the last time someone bombed a Canadian embassy?
Reason #3: DIVERSITY
After years of steady immigration, Canadian society has become one of the most diverse melting pots of the modern world. From the beginning, the country was a patchwork of indigenous, French and British cultures. American influence gradually overshadowed the European roots, but French Canada always managed to preserve its identity.
This enormous territory with its minimal population has adamantly kept its doors open to immigration, and for the last century or so, Asians have poured into Canada in huge numbers. Chinese, Indians and Filipinos have been the most numerous, but every country is represented in Canada. According to the 2011 census, there are about 200 different languages spoken in Toronto, and 45 percent of that city’s residents speak a mother tongue other than French or English.
The diversity of Canadian society not only makes it an interesting and colourful place to live, filled with exotic restaurants and lively cultural festivals. It also makes for a very tolerant and open-minded population. Canadians are quite accustomed to interacting with all kinds of people with different colours of skin and different ways of dressing and speaking.
This diversity and tolerance applies to minorities or all stripes, including rainbows. Yes, Canada is arguably the most LGBT-friendly country in the world. The women’s rights movement in Canada has always been a few steps ahead of the US as well. If you prefer to live in an egalitarian society where diversity is recognized and celebrated, you can do no better than Canada.
Reason #4: DIGNITY
Enter Canada, talk to Canadians, and one thing you’ll notice right away is just how friendly they are. Canadians always have a kind word to say and a helping hand to lend. And when Canadians feel absolutely compelled to criticize or complain—which seldom happens—they are masters of the compliment sandwich. That’s when they offer two compliments and hide their gentle criticism in the middle.
Good manners contribute to the overall quality of life. It’s easier to stay positive, even in the dead of winter, when you know you can expect people to be nice to you. It’s also critical in a land of so much diversity, to help ease the cultural barriers. Mutual respect and genuine kindness can go a long way to bridge the gap between different backgrounds. They are the lube that keep the wheels of Canada’s multicultural society spinning smoothly.
Reason #5: SANITY
Still need another reason to move to Canada?
In the last 3 or 4 years, there’s something else that’s been luring immigrants into Canada, especially from the United States. The sheer madness of the political discourse in that country has sent many Americans running off in all directions. In fact, the President of that nation has succeeded in bringing the bar so low, that even the Canadian mental hospitals are like a sanctuary of calm compared to the inanity playing out in the Oval Orifice.
Of course, Canada has its own political divisions, and support for the Prime Minister rises and falls like anywhere else. But what it doesn’t have is a narcissistic egomaniac, with the juvenile indecency of a schoolyard bully, armed with long-range nuclear missiles. So for Americans less that keen on that arrangement, Canada is an attractive alternative.
Every politician puts a foot in his/her mouth from time to time. But Canadian heads of state do not brag about sexually assaulting women. That would not go over well. Nor do they stand before the country and make fun of mentally disabled children. In Canada, such behavior would not be considered acceptable.
If you’re looking for some persuasive reasons to move to Canada, there are plenty. You could probably sit down and come up with a few dozen while you wait for the ice to melt. But it really comes down to a few basic principles. Canada is a land of prosperity, security, diversity, dignity and sanity. And while this may be something of a generalization, no one can deny life in Canada is pretty darn good.
If you’d like to learn more about how or why to move to Canada, check out some of our other popular articles.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Geography of Canada (Wikipedia)