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Unread 10-31-2009, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,250 posts, read 10,384,831 times
Reputation: 3587
Default Things AMERICANS Should Know Before Moving To CANADA

Many Americans think of Canada as sort of our "northern suburb" not really any different than we are except that they spell funny and that 36 degrees Canadian is hot and 36 degrees American is cold. And we have Dunkin and they have Tim Horton's (I will concede that battle to the Canadians- Horton's is 100 times better) They like hockey, we like football. But aside from that Canada is "pretty much like we are here in the USA". And, in many ways, they are.
BUT there are some very important differences that can dishearten Americans. The first is that Canada has a very different legal system than we do. Ours is based on our Constitution. Canada's is based on the Magna Carta (English law). In Canada you do not really have "rights" per se. They have a Charter which gives people basic human rights but things like "freedom of speech" and "the right to bear arms" among other things are unheard of in Canada.
Doing things you take for granted in the USA can get you in quick trouble in Canada. Speaking out against homosexuality or racial minorities will land you in court there fast. Speaking against the Queen is also forbidden there (but you can "nicely" speak against the government).
There is also no "freedom of the press" there. The government or a court can- and sometimes does- issue gag orders (called publication bans) on things they don't want published.
There is also no right to "bear arms" in Canada. Pistols are almost illegal for anybody but the police and rifles and shotguns must be licensed and you have to have a license to buy ammo there. And getting caught with an "assault rifle" will earn you about 5 years in a cold Canadian prison!
Other things can get you into trouble there too. For example, it is perfectly legal for you to watch foreign TV broadcast here and to own a satellite system from Canada (we have one we brought from Canada). The TV police won't come to your house in the USA, kick down the door and haul you off for having ExpressVU or Star Choice in the USA. But they will if you get caught with DirecTV in Canada. It can get you 3 years in the slammer.
On the other hand, you do have somewhat more rights in court. If you are accused of a crime- or even a traffic infraction- you can elect to "plead guilty with an explanation" and if you offer a good explanation to the court for your crime (such as "I just moved here from Georgia and did not know U turns were illegal without a sign permitting them"), the judge and The Crown (prosecutor) may elect to go a bit easier on the penalty imposed. You might get a small fine and "supervision" which means that, if you stay out of trouble for the next 6 months, the "crime" just disappears and no record of it will hurt you.
Another thing you should know is not to ever drink and drive in Canada. Unlike the USA, that is a FELONY offense in Canada and will get you jail time and, if you are not a citizen, a lifetime ban after you get out.
Another thing is cell phones. In the USA we have a cell phone culture. In Canada cell phones are very expensive. You are not going to find that nice $30 unlimited talk, text, long distance and roaming plan in Canada. A plan like that will set you back at least $90. And if you plan to bring your phone across the border while visiting, be prepared to be crushed by $1 a minute usage charges (50 cents for roaming and 50 cents for a long distance call)
Also getting into Canada is not all that easy unless you have family there (my wife is a citizen there) or you do a job that Canada needs people to do. Unlike the USA, Canada has a point system for admission of non family immigrants. You get points for education, speaking English and French and other things.
Maybe some Canadians can expand on this list.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Toronto
1,661 posts, read 2,738,587 times
Reputation: 726
Legal drinking age is 19 (18 in QC). We have Prime Ministers instead or Presidents, Provinces instead of States, capital punishment is illegal.. and we actually DO like football; we even have our own league, the CFL.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,250 posts, read 10,384,831 times
Reputation: 3587
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThroatGuzzler View Post
Legal drinking age is 19 (18 in QC). We have Prime Ministers instead or Presidents, Provinces instead of States, capital punishment is illegal.. and we actually DO like football; we even have our own league, the CFL.
True but the CFL is like Rodney Dangerfield- it gets no respect. That is why Toronto wants to swipe the Bills from Buffalo.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Toronto
1,661 posts, read 2,738,587 times
Reputation: 726
Gets no respect from the Americans, but we could care less as it is our game. And that still doesn't justify our passion for the game, lol.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 06:43 PM
Status: "Freezing in Coastal New Hampshire" (set 20 days ago)
 
9,045 posts, read 10,903,450 times
Reputation: 3888
where in Canada did you live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevK View Post
Many Americans think of Canada as sort of our "northern suburb" not really any different than we are except that they spell funny and that 36 degrees Canadian is hot and 36 degrees American is cold. And we have Dunkin and they have Tim Horton's (I will concede that battle to the Canadians- Horton's is 100 times better) They like hockey, we like football. But aside from that Canada is "pretty much like we are here in the USA". And, in many ways, they are.
BUT there are some very important differences that can dishearten Americans. The first is that Canada has a very different legal system than we do. Ours is based on our Constitution. Canada's is based on the Magna Carta (English law). In Canada you do not really have "rights" per se. They have a Charter which gives people basic human rights but things like "freedom of speech" and "the right to bear arms" among other things are unheard of in Canada.
Doing things you take for granted in the USA can get you in quick trouble in Canada. Speaking out against homosexuality or racial minorities will land you in court there fast. Speaking against the Queen is also forbidden there (but you can "nicely" speak against the government).
There is also no "freedom of the press" there. The government or a court can- and sometimes does- issue gag orders (called publication bans) on things they don't want published.
There is also no right to "bear arms" in Canada. Pistols are almost illegal for anybody but the police and rifles and shotguns must be licensed and you have to have a license to buy ammo there. And getting caught with an "assault rifle" will earn you about 5 years in a cold Canadian prison!
Other things can get you into trouble there too. For example, it is perfectly legal for you to watch foreign TV broadcast here and to own a satellite system from Canada (we have one we brought from Canada). The TV police won't come to your house in the USA, kick down the door and haul you off for having ExpressVU or Star Choice in the USA. But they will if you get caught with DirecTV in Canada. It can get you 3 years in the slammer.
On the other hand, you do have somewhat more rights in court. If you are accused of a crime- or even a traffic infraction- you can elect to "plead guilty with an explanation" and if you offer a good explanation to the court for your crime (such as "I just moved here from Georgia and did not know U turns were illegal without a sign permitting them"), the judge and The Crown (prosecutor) may elect to go a bit easier on the penalty imposed. You might get a small fine and "supervision" which means that, if you stay out of trouble for the next 6 months, the "crime" just disappears and no record of it will hurt you.
Another thing you should know is not to ever drink and drive in Canada. Unlike the USA, that is a FELONY offense in Canada and will get you jail time and, if you are not a citizen, a lifetime ban after you get out.
Another thing is cell phones. In the USA we have a cell phone culture. In Canada cell phones are very expensive. You are not going to find that nice $30 unlimited talk, text, long distance and roaming plan in Canada. A plan like that will set you back at least $90. And if you plan to bring your phone across the border while visiting, be prepared to be crushed by $1 a minute usage charges (50 cents for roaming and 50 cents for a long distance call)
Also getting into Canada is not all that easy unless you have family there (my wife is a citizen there) or you do a job that Canada needs people to do. Unlike the USA, Canada has a point system for admission of non family immigrants. You get points for education, speaking English and French and other things.
Maybe some Canadians can expand on this list.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 06:50 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
14,461 posts, read 15,057,540 times
Reputation: 17961
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevK View Post
Many Americans think of Canada as sort of our "northern suburb" not really any different than we are except that they spell funny and that 36 degrees Canadian is hot and 36 degrees American is cold. And we have Dunkin and they have Tim Horton's (I will concede that battle to the Canadians- Horton's is 100 times better) They like hockey, we like football. But aside from that Canada is "pretty much like we are here in the USA". And, in many ways, they are.
BUT there are some very important differences that can dishearten Americans. .
My dh is from Canada and the thing that bugs me the most about the culture is that nobody ever questions anything. Everyone (I know, anyway), is very docile and just sucks everything up without complaining or questioning. They are all totally Stepford Canadians. It's very weird.

I agree Tim Horton's rocks.

20yrsinBranson
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Unread 10-31-2009, 07:02 PM
 
1,645 posts, read 2,590,599 times
Reputation: 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThroatGuzzler View Post
Legal drinking age is 19 (18 in QC). We have Prime Ministers instead or Presidents, Provinces instead of States, capital punishment is illegal.. and we actually DO like football; we even have our own league, the CFL.
CFL never excited me the way the NFL does. Too few teams and not enough hype.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 07:03 PM
 
1,645 posts, read 2,590,599 times
Reputation: 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
My dh is from Canada and the thing that bugs me the most about the culture is that nobody ever questions anything. Everyone (I know, anyway), is very docile and just sucks everything up without complaining or questioning. They are all totally Stepford Canadians. It's very weird.

I agree Tim Horton's rocks.

20yrsinBranson
As an immigrant from Canada living in the USA now for 24 years, I TOTALLY AGREE. It's my greatest pet peeve of the canucks. They are also super pessimistic. The only province with any chutzpa at all is ALBERTA. They are like the TX of the Great White North.

And the provincial attitudes.

Crazy.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 07:19 PM
Status: "It snowed yesterday!!! Unbelievable" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
8,362 posts, read 3,687,325 times
Reputation: 6761
Actually "The Canadian charter of rights and freedoms" is the Canadian constitution and it makes Canada probably the freest country in the world. It's basic idea is that the rights of each person trump the rights of the state. I spend about half my time in the USA and half in Canada and Canada is a much freer country. The cops here walk on eggshells because if they abuse your rights not only are they apt to get in trouble but if you were actually breaking the law it will be thrown out of court for sure. I don't think anyone has ever been jailed for illegal TV reception. A fine is about it. We have all kinds of Canadian satellite TV and cable that you can get hundreds of stations on and many from all over the world.

Our gun laws are restrictive and most Canadians like that. That only applies to handguns though and the number of long guns per capita is higher than in the USA. We have a lot of hunters in Canada.

It's true that "hate speach" is illegal and again the Canadian people by a vast majority like this law. It's a crime just like sedition is in the USA and it has nothing to do with "The freedom of speach". In the USA spewing hatred against "Different people" has a long tradition and I feel very strongly that it has damaged the USA severely. Things that I have heard on FOX news if broadcast in Canada would result in the station loosing their licence to broadcast and possibly jail time for the bigot that was spewing forth the hate. We have fought a battle in this country for the last 40 years against racism and the war is mostly won. Lou Dobbs would also be toast here as far as his career goes.

Both Canada's and the USA's legal system are based on English "Common law" except Quebec and Louisania whos legal system is based on the French legal system. Neither countries law system is based on our constitutions. Our laws are based on our constitutions but not the system of law.

I think the main difference a person would find between the two countries is that Canadians are very laid back compared to Americans. There are very few extremists of any sort in the country. Most people are not interested in politics very much other than how it effecting them personally today. I also find that the average Canadian is much better informed about things in general both in the world and in there own country. My wife was in Tennesse last week and she asked a store clerk if such and such was valid in Canada? The clerk asked my wife,"what state is Canada in?" That would just never happen in Canada and we laugh because we run into things like that all the time in the USA. It's because the Canadian system of education is vastly superior than that of the USA. The public education is the same if you are from a working class area or from the richest area in the country. That illustrates another big difference between us. In Canada the division between the classes of society have been largely broken down. The kids of modest means really don't think the rich are any better or deserving than they are.

I'm not trying to bash the States here I'm just convinced after 56 years that Canada is light years ahead of the USA when it comes to social progress and humanism in the good sence.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
2,803 posts, read 6,509,807 times
Reputation: 2299
Tell us about the schools and colleges. I think there is some difference there as well.

No one mentioned the two types of attorneys.
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