Is Canada losing its reputation as an expat destination?

Posted on 28 Jun at 6 PM in Canada
Story link: Is Canada losing its reputation as an expat destination?
Is Canada losing its reputation as an expat destination?

Is Canada losing its reputation as an expat destination?

Traditionally and especially for British expats, Canada has been the destination of choice, but the dream seems to have faded for now.

According to a recent survey of new expat arrivals in Canada, it’s difficult to find work at the same level as are newly-arrived expats’ credentials, and salaries are lower than those paid to Canadian nationals with similar qualifications and experience. Wages for expats in British Columbia are capped at an average of eight per cent lower than workers who’re third-generation Canadians by birth, and the situation in Vancouver is even worse as immigrant salaries are 18 per cent lower. Experts are warning the differential could eventually result in intergenerational poverty.

Another problem is that many respected international professional qualifications aren’t recognised in the country, with a grim joke saying it all. It asks where the best place is to have a heart attack, with the answer, ‘in a taxi cab, as the driver is probably an overseas-trained doctor’. Worse still, many recently arrived expat professionals with university degrees are now working in manual jobs. Even those who’ve decided to live in smaller or rural towns believing there’s a better chance of integrating and finding friends are having hard times attempting to adjust.

One study suggests the lack of a sense of belonging can harm the sense of wellbeing and lead to depression and anxiety but,outside major cities, there’s little provision for help with these emotional conditions. In most large Canadian cities, established communities of expatriates from across the world with diverse religions, ethnicities and cultures can help expat arrivals get adjusted to their new lives, but in small towns and rural areas, this support simply isn’t there. One recent study revealed the need for a sense of belonging, especially for expats from significantly different cultures. With immigrants now making up some 30 per cent of the country’s entire population, many mental health workers believe it’s now time to help integrate new arrivals far more successfully than in the past.

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