Archive for February, 2006

Hidden charges

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

In Europe you would never get away with making charges that were not explained to customers before the contract was made. That’s not so here.
Take telephones for instance, I signed up for a long-distance package that looked like a very good rate. There was nothing on the contract about any other chages and I specifically […]

Tax on postage

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Post a letter, parcel etc and you’ll be taxed.
The postage is currently 49 cents for a letter, but you get charged 53 cents for the stamp, international letters are $1.49 which is $1.59 with the tax.
As usual there is no indication of this, it just happens at the checkout.

Tax on learning

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Yes, tax on books, including text books.
No indication in the shops, it just gets added at the checkout. That includes children’s books too.

Get an international driving licence

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

You can drive in Canada on your UK licence, but only for 3 months.
To get an Alberta ‘Operator’s Licence’ (driving licence) you have to take (write) the written exam, then the practical exam.
An international licence is good for a year, so you will not have to rush quite so much - but see the post […]

Get a SIN!

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Social Insurance Number - without it you don’t exist.
As a new immigrant you will have to show your documentation and will get a special number that starts with a 9. That tells everyone that you’re a newcomer.
You may feel like a second-class citizen, well you are! so don’t forget it.
It’s only countries like the UK […]

Register with Alberta Health . . .

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Or the equivalent in whatever province you are living in.
If you don’t register for healthcare then you will not get anything except emergency treatment and will not be able to register with a doctor. You go to the office and complete a form and PAY the contributions. It’s a bit like National Insurance in the […]

Banking and credit

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Open a bank account BEFORE you come to Canada.
Make sure you do this from the UK because you will then be known when you arrive. If you don’t do it then it’s not as easy to do and there are far more pressing things that you have to do.
Getting a credit card is difficult. In […]

How European are you ?

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Sounds like a silly question, but it’s not.
Culturally the people of the north american continet, that is the US and Canada, are substantially different from Europeans. In each place the people accept certain rights, responsibilies and norms are part of life. On holiday (vacation) these are quaint and interesting, but when you live with them […]

Mobile phones - Cell phones

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

First difference is the name, people will look at you as if you have two heads if you talk about a mobile.
The major difference is the contracts, would you beleive that people are actually signing up for 3 years! YES, 36 months, can you really credit that? Tell them about moving to a different provider […]