I'm a global citizen transplant to BC, after having lived in 6 countries, including the US (California), Australia and various European countries. I first discovered Vancouver/Vancouver Island on a trip in Dec.2004 right after Bush got re-elected there.
While I enjoyed the Bay Area and all it has to offer, the US no longer suits my ideological thinking.
While no place I've lived in is ideal, I do find that BC has a lot going for it, but especially Vancouver Island if you're looking for a slower pace, but higher quality of life. Vancouver is great too, but the increasing issues with crime, homelessness and high property prices, have made me move from there last year to the island.
Victoria is not exactly cheap either, but still a tad more affordable than Vancouver while offering many of its amenities. I personally chose an area 45mins drive north of Victoria, the Cowichan Valley for its excellent warm weather and affordability. You can buy a nice family home here for around $400K. The same in Vancouver would run you somewhere around $1million or more depending on your standard of living.
Like with any new place, it takes time to adjust to it and feel at home in. I would suggest you spend an extended vacation or rent/temporary relocate to Victoria/Vancouver area before making the big move to see if you like it. If your work travels well, is something that only you can know. But if you can contract or work from home, maybe that'll work. It's what I do.
FYI, my permanent residence status was granted to me in August 2006 and I moved here in Jan. 2007, but if not, it would've expired in April of 2007, usually the date of your medical examination. Are you sure you still have the option to relocate as a permanent resident ? Did your P.R. documents not give you a time limit to relocate ?
Anyway, I love it here and wish you much luck in your endeavor.
>> Steve () on 10/6/2009 7:57:58 AM
>> We are left-wing progressives and feel really out of place in the US, so we applied for permanent residence status in Canada. That status was granted to us in 2007 and we were all set to make the move to Victoria or Vancouver before we suddenly changed our minds. We decided to stay in the US and participate in the movement to create a more humanist culture in the US (a long struggle). We figured that the bank bailouts and continued misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan would lead to strong left turn here.
>> Now we still think that will happen, but very slowly. I’ve learned never to underestimate the capacity of US citizens to misconstrue corporate statehood for a system encouraging individual liberty. Every year the US economy grows less suitable for anyone but the wealthiest tier. The alarming failure of our Democratic party to enact any apparent disruption to this appalling trend has caused my wife and me to re-evaluate our decision and perhaps move to BC after all. We now have only months, instead of years, to pull it off.
>> Ideologically, Canada’s culture would fit us much better. Am I right?
>> Pragmatically, however, we’re very concerned about Canadian jobs, cost of living, safety nets as we age, university costs for our son (now only ten years old).
>> I have spoken to BC job recruiters and they tell me the job market is tough but that the economy is still strong. Are they blowing smoke or are they correct? Are there jobs up there for US immigrants? My wife runs non-profit organizations and does development work. I am a graphic designer. I'd really like to do political work, but that seems unlikely.
>> We have good jobs in the US and have some money saved. If we move to BC but can’t find jobs, we will go through our savings within a year or so.
>> Another question: How much is tuition rising at the Universities? In the US, it’s no secret that we struggle with a corporate driven health care system that values profits over people. Now our entire economy is growing very anti-human! College tuitions have skyrocketed and even our state universities have been allowed to accelerate their costs astronomically. Has Canada succeeded in keeping college affordable for the working class?
>> I would appreciate any considerate response.