expat network

Canada Calling

canada calling
This vast, resource-rich country stretching over six time-zones is still open to immigrants and has many job opportunities for those with the right skills and qualifications

A land of geographic differences and cultural diversity. Canada has a high standard of living with a friendly and sociable people. Within its vast borders, spanning six time-zones, there is a beautiful and varied landscape that includes major mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, and farmland.

Canadians often have been described as tolerant, community oriented, and polite. These personality traits seem to permeate the population’s attitudes, regardless of origins.

Within the relatively young cultural make-up of Canada exist several cultures based in European tradition. Canadians walk a narrow path between the conflicting demands of different language and attitudes, particularly between the French people of Quebec and the majority of the rest of the nation. Traditions are flavoured by the heritage of each ethnic group’s background, from the French in Quebec to the newly arrived Asians in the Vancouver and Toronto areas.

One of the most deeply rooted Canadian cultures belongs to the Inuit – the native people of northern Canada. The Inuit’s distinctive art forms include stone sculptures and carvings, basketry, and print making.

Canada was recently ranked sixth country overall for attractiveness to expats in HSBC International’s Expat Explorer survey. A major factor playing strongly into Canada’s positioning was the ease with which expats feel they can integrate with the local population and culture – 75 per cent said this is the case, compared to a global average of 61 per cent.

Complementing this, the report also notes Canada’s attitude to diversity. “Canada was one of the first countries in the world to legalise gay marriage in 2005 and it pursues a policy of multiculturalism. Expats rank it as the most welcoming destination worldwide regardless of a person’s age, faith, race, gender or sexual orientation (62% feel this way),” the report says.

Nearly half of respondents said it is also easier to progress in their career regardless of these factors.

The report shows Canada to be a long-term destination for expats, with 79 per cent having been in the country for over five years. Over a third said it took them less than a year to feel at home, despite two-thirds saying that Canada was their first expat experience.

Canada also fell into the top ten destinations for family life, ranking eighth. 72 per cent of parents said their childrens’ lives had improved as a result of moving to Canada, compared to a global average of 58 per cent. 68 per cent of parents said that their children are safer thanks to their move to Canada.

On individual family-related metrics, however, Canada fell well outside the top ten. It ranked twenty-first for school quality, twenty-fourth for childcare quality and nineteenth for the overall cost of children.

Canada ranked eleventh in the world for economics, but the report still found that 54 per cent of expats said the work/life balance is better than at home, compared to 18 per cent finding it worse. 89 per cent of respondents said they find their work just as or more fulfilling as in their country of origin.

Of particular note was Canada’s ranking of sixth for entrepreneurship. It also placed seventh for career progression, while it was fourteenth for wage growth and sixteenth for job security.