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Is Canada an option for you?

May 26, 2010
Chicago, IL, USA

If you’re shopping around for a tier 1, first world second citizenship, you might find a solution in Canada (unless of course you’re a native Canadian).

In my view, Canada offers two key advantages. First, a Canadian passport is an incredibly valuable travel document– Canadians are generally greeted around the world without stigma or significant visa requirements.

Second, Canada has a very reasonable tax scheme for non-resident citizens who sever their resident ties to the country… usually by selling their home and moving to another country with all family and dependents. In this case, a non-resident Canadian is only subject to taxes on income sourced from within Canada.

As a Canadian citizen, you could live in a place like Panama or the Bahamas and never pay taxes ever again… but still have visa-free travel around the world, including to the European Union and the United States.

Similar to our discussion earlier this week about an Israeli passport, though, there are drawbacks to being Canadian.

First of all, taxes for resident Canadians are a real bear. You can easily pay north of 40% of your income to the government. If you harmonize the wages and cost of living, Canadian marginal tax rates rank much worse than the United States, and slightly more than rates in the UK and Australia.

Second, US citizens should be cognizant that Canada will absolutely be the first country to hop in bed with Uncle Sam. So if you end up on some three letter agency’s list in the US, you can be sure that you’ll eventually hear about it from the Canadian authorities.

Third, once residence is approved, an applicant must keep both feet planted squarely on Canadian soil for 3 out of 4 years in order to qualify for citizenship. Canadian immigration authorities will literally count the days in your passport. If you travel frequently, or hate cold winters, you’ll be out of luck.

For me, it’s these last two reasons that I have long rejected the idea of becoming Canadian, but I recognize that it might appeal to others.

So how do you go about doing it?

First you need to establish permanent residency. Assuming that you’re not a refugee (which Canada absorbs en masse), there are a few different ways. One approach is for entrepreneurs– if you’re looking to start a business, you may be able to get approved for residency in Canada.

Canadian immigration requires entrepreneurs who can demonstrate successful business experience for at least two years to have a minimum net worth of C$300,000 in order to qualify. Additionally, you must submit a plan demonstrating the viability of a new business that will hire at least one Canadian full time equivalent.

This process is transparent and well-documented, but it’s highly bureaucratic and can take more than a year. Plus, upon approval, you actually have to move to Canada, live in Canada, operate your business in Canada, and pay resident taxes in Canada.

Given the requirements, I think Singapore is a much more attractive option for entrepreneurs who are willing to move.

Self-employed individuals, including artists, performers, writers, and athletes, can also be accepted for residency if they meet basic financial qualifications.

The main problem with this approach is that applicants are scored based on pre-defined selection criteria: education, experience, age, etc. These criteria can change frequently, as well as the minimum score required to pass, so fundamentally an applicant’s approval is subject to the immigration officer’s opinion.

Furthermore, this approach generally only applies to individuals that can make a significant contribution to cultural activities, not self-employed professionals.

To me, the most attractive way to become a Canadian is as an investor. The government presently has a scheme detailed in section 94 of the Income Tax Act that provides a 5-year tax holiday to new residents.

Through this program, an approved applicant must move assets to an offshore trust prior to moving to Canada. Passive income and capital gains from assets within the trust are not subject to Canadian taxation for a 60-month window. During this period, the applicant can also qualify for citizenship.

At the high-end, an individual qualifies by investing C$400,000 with the government. This amount is returned after 5-years with 0% interest paid. As an alternative, some Canadian banks will invest the C$400,000 on your behalf as long as you pay them a substantial fee of C$120,000.

Overall, Canada may be a good option if you:

1) Have substantial assets that you can move into an offshore trust, don’t mind paying C$120,000 for residency, and don’t mind staying put in Canada for 3 straight years.

2) You’re desperate to leave your home country and want to relocate to an English-speaking, Americanized country; you are willing to live in Canada full time and don’t mind paying the high taxes and high cost of living.

Otherwise, I think there are better options out there for you, Singapore, Brazil, Uruguay, and potential ancestry options.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • John Freeman

    Great information, Simon. Thanks .

  • http://www.2searchsmart.com Jeff Johnston

    Simon, don’t forget the quality of life when considering Canada or any other country. I’m from Canada, and there aren’t many other countries where I’d like to live. I’d still be there, except for…


    If you love to ski, snowboard or snowmobile, then Canada is an excellent place to live (all other things considered). If, like me, you can’t take the cold, then you need to look elsewhere, no matter how simple it might be to become a Canadian resident.

    Moving to Ecuador is one of the smartest decisions I’ve made in a long time. Yes, it has its downsides, but so does Canada. And at least I’m not freezing for 5 or more months of the year!

  • sdca

    New Zealand has the same type of points system, for pre-qualification. And I believe the USA has this, as well.

    btw, since NZ was recently mentioned here, people should google ‘truth about NZ’ for more specific info about whether or not it’s really good choice to ‘move to’, as opposed to getting citizenship, for americans, canadians, etc.

    Also valuable are expat forums online, where you can peruse stories, experiences, and opinions-by others who have made such moves-both for canada and NZ, and most other countries. It’s quite enlightening to get that on the ground info, from people in various situations-retired, family with young children, employed, etc, etc. And I mean on the ground info about day to day living, working, bureaucracy, cultural differences, etc.

    City Data forum is extensive for US based cities and states, with a small but growing set of threads for international. Expat focus is another large forum that’s more useful than ‘escpape from america’, advertising-based websites/blogs.

  • Chuck B

    Having a Canadian passport makes traveling the world easier. But, here are some opinions why Canada may not be for everyone.

    High taxes and high cost of living – the Fraser Institute recently published a study claiming that the average Canadian family earns about $69,000 and spends 42% of their gross income on taxes and another 37% on food, shelter and clothing. If you earn more, the CRA takes more-thanks to the “progressive tax system”. Although dividends and capital gains are unfairly taxed in Canada, it is still at a lower rate than employment income. If you are considering Canada, I would recommend finding good financial and legal advice to structure your affairs to minimize the impact of the complex and punitive tax regime.

    Short summers and long, crappy winters can be very depressing for some.

    Soft on crime – organized crime, the illegal drug trade, plus the problems that follow this are real issues in urban centers. The justice system is seen as a revolving door by many Canadians.

    Cell phone and broadband internet service are overpriced.

    The so-called “free” health care systems is not free. It takes up a significant portion of the tax burden and is growing steadily.

    Overall, I agree with Simon, there are better options.

    • Zarquon007

      If you are earning 70K (rounded up from your figure) you are already in the highest tax bracket, so the progression has already stopped.

      Dividend income is taxed as regular income, capital gains is taxed at 50% of the rate (earn 100K capital gains, you pay income tax on 50K).

      As for the taxation rate overall, I pay less in taxes here in Toronto (income tax and health insurance coverage if you are going to compare apples to oranges) than I ever did when living in either California or Illinois. Yes they might be high tax areas of the United States, but the places that I lived in were comparable. (You can’t compare a low population rural area with a dense urban area).

      Soft on Crime, the city of Toronto; larger than all but 3 cities in the United States; is MUCH safer, has fewer drug problems and much lower crime than any comperable city in the US. They actually still report murders in this city in the news. Think they do in NYC, Chicago or LA?

    • Matt Parks

      I’m a natural born Canadian citizen and I would like to respond to some of these charges….

      1. The cost of living is only high if you live in one of the major urban centers (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, etc). I live in Saint John, New Brunswick and it’s ridiculously cheap. For example you can easily own a HUGE house here for $200,000 or less.

      2. The tax system isn’t that complex in Canada. It takes me about 15 minutes a year to do my taxes….

      3. The winters are long, but they don’t have to be depressing. There are plenty of rewarding winter activities. Personally, I snowboard, cross-country ski and play hockey. The summers are short, but people here appreciate them more. We Canadians spend all summer outside enjoying every second of it!

      4. Canada is not soft on crime. Crime rates, especially violent crime, are very low and have been dropping every year for the past 15 years. There is organized crime in Canada, but on a much smaller scale than in the United States, and the violence doesn’t spill into the streets often. In Canada, you’re way more likely to die or get hurt from hitting on moose on the highway than you are from violent crime. Also, Canada’s justice system isn’t a “revolving door.” We just believe in rehabilitation and shorter sentenses. Studies have shown again and again that longer sentences do nothing to reduce crime rates.

      5. Cell phones and the internet do cost more in Canada. This I cannot deny. The service for both is quite good though.

      6. Nobody in Canada calls our health care system “free.” Nobody. We call it PUBLIC health care, which it is. Yes, it is paid for through taxes, but every single person in Canada, whether they be rich, poor, or somewhere in between have access to the exact same health care options. You cannot buy yourself to the front of the line in Canada, and that’s the way we like it. Rich and poor are treated equally in Canada when it comes to health (of course the rich can simply travel to the United States and buy whatever treatments they want). We Canadians are VERY VERY proud of our public health system. Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise doesn’t know the true public opinion of Canadians very well.

      Thanks for reading! I think the East Coast of Canada is the best place to live in the world. I am biased, however.


    • Robert

      You realize that the Fraser Institute is a Conservative right wing think tank?, and that many of their opinions/statements need to be taken with a grain of salt. It would like nothing better that for Canada to become a carbon copy of the US.

  • http://www.torontomarketingcompany.net Miquel

    I want to add my 2 cents on the topic, because I am a Canadian immigrant myself and know the process pretty well, There are a special program for some skill people (American and Mexicans) under Nafta you can get a work permit in 24 hours, no kidding, so If you are in a rush to get out of USA, you can use this scheme as well, you do not have to deal with any bureaucracy whatsoever, you just have to have a job offer and thats it, forget all the Labor Market Opinion, etc… Feel free to contact me to know more about the country, I am immigrant myself and know the process very well.

  • priehl

    We applied for Canadian residence in mid-2005, at which point we were told the approval process could take more than two years. In December 2006, when we gave up on Canada, we were told the wait was pushing four years. We got back *most* of our $3,500 application fees, and within three weeks, for under $150, we had residence status in Mexico….

  • Bryan

    I’m a Canadian citizen who is getting the hell out of here. If I make money online with a website (such as with affiliate referrals, advertising, selling information such as e-books or newsletter subscriptions) will I have to pay tax in Canada? I will be a non-resident very soon.

    The other thing is that it’s up to interpretation whether you’re a non-resident or not. They consider ties such as bank accounts or even recieving mail at a Canadian address that you never pick up. If they wanted to tax your foreign income, they probably could.

    I’m heading to Korea in a couple months. Korea is introducing a points based citizenship program, and they will soon allow people to hold multiple citizenships. However, it’s hard to accumulate enough points without graduate degrees.

    • Zarquon007

      You will be taxed on income as based on residency, not based on source. So yes you will be taxed on that income.

      And yes, residency is subjective, and in order to ensure that you are properly defined as a non resident, you should contact a tax lawyer. Owning a house on its own will not prevent you from being defined as a non resident, however, how that house is legally defined may be. (an example, putting a house into some form of trust for use as a rental property would more than likely not preclude you from being a non resident. Leaving the house empty is much looser in interpretation).

  • Rex

    Hi Simon,
    Thanks for your efforts and insights.
    The main thing going for Canada is the citizenship and passport.
    Once you have that, you can abandon that toxic US citizenship, leave Canada, and pay no taxes on non-Canadian income. Make sure you have no Canadian income and you do not even have to *file* an income tax form. Can you imagine that? Freedom!

    To me, three years in a civilized country is a small price to pay.
    Beware, though, I believe Canada wants to know about any precious metals or bullion you hold anywhere in the world… unlike the US which couldn’t care less.

  • xUS

    A decade ago I immigrated to Canada and I haven’t looked back.
    re Winter – the temperature almost never gets below freezing in Victoria (BC).
    re 3 years – yes, it’s a long haul if you’re footloose and fancy free. But if you like where you live why would you leave? Canada is a very nice, civilized place.
    re taxes – If you and your spouse make about $60,000 per year (plenty to live comfortably if you don’t have a mortgage, car payments, or college tuitions to pay) the income tax is just not that onerous. I paid about $3000 for last year. Canadian income tax is a lot simpler than US, but there are still lots of loopholes :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-Kissane/1271510071 Patrick Kissane

    Hi Simon. I’m a chartered accountant and lawyer. Most countries tax a) their tax-residents on their world-wide income and b) non-residents of their income from the country concerned. However, tax-haven countries do not tax foreign-born residents on their foreign income. The only country that I know of that taxes persons based on their citizenship is the US. The US is definitely the “odd-man-out” here.

    • Tomd

      Hey Patrick.

      There is another country that taxes worldwide income based on citizenship- the Philippines.

      As you can imagine, tax planners definitely earn their keep figuring out how people with dual US & Philippine citizenship can stay financially viable . . .

  • eric

    I thought you might find it interesting to hear about the horrible experience i had this past weekend traveling to Vancouver Canada.

    I am a US resident and citizen, who like many others, is concerned about protecting my assets and getting them out of the country before it is too late.
    My plan was to bring some gold coins into canada for storage in a bank safety deposit box which i was planning on opening. Obviously, before undertaking such an endeavor, i researched the feasibility of doing so quite extensively. I called the canada border services agency (CBSA) several times to get confirmation that what I wanted to do was both legal and not subject to taxes. Each time i called, i got a different answer, but ultimately I did speak to a senior officer, who gave me an authoritative answer and pointed me to an official document to back it up.

    Accordingly, gold is exempt from GST as long as it is .99999 pure.

    I also contacted CTBTaxQuestions@gov.bc.ca, who replied with a very nice emil explaining that as long as gold is NOT collectable AND is legal tender, it would be exempt from any PST
    They backed this up with the following document links

    Bulletin SST 071, Silver, Gold and Platinum Bullion; Bank Notes; Commemorative Coins and Postage Stamps, available at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/sst_071.pdf, and

    Bulletin SST 043, Goods Purchased from Out-of-Province Suppliers, available at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/sst_043.pdf.

    So essentially, gold is exempt from any import duty and is also exempt from GST (if it is .9999 pure), and also exempt from PST (if it is non collectable and of legal tender).

    As Canadian Maple Leafs meet all of these criteria, that was the form of bullion I decided to bring. In the weeks before my planned trip, i converted other forms of bullion I owned to canadian maple leafs . . . naturally, there was some cost associated in doing so, but i figured it was money well spent, considering that it cost far less than the cost of paying GST or PST tax upon crossing the border.

    So with 130 canadian maple leafs 1 oz coins in my hand, I was ready to make my trip, but I was still very nervous. I decided to call the CBSA once more just to confirm that, if asked by an officer what I planned on doing with the coins, that it was proper to say, i plan on storing my coins in a safety deposit box. I was reassured that this was an acceptable answer and should not lead to any problem.

    Well as it turns out nothing could have been further from the truth.

    Upon going through customs, i declared my coins. The officer seemed very confused as to how to handle my declaration, but i showed him the documentation i had printed out to back up my
    position that my CML’s were exempt from all taxes. He said that appeared to be true, but that someone was going to have to inspect the coins to make sure they meet that criteria. He directed me to some back office where this was supposed to take place. Much to my surprise, no one there was interested in inspecting my coins, rather they were much more interested in interrogating me. As it turns out they did not believe any of the true answers I gave them. They kept saying “that just does not make any sense . . . Why would you store gold in a safety deposit box here? . . . They asked many prying questions about my income, how much I paid for my house, how much my house payment was, how much it is currently worth. Why i had vancouver real estate listing in my possession etc. For every truthful I answer i gave, they kept saying that “my story just does not add up”. They concluded that I was a money launderer, who was planning on buying real estate this weekend and never returning to the USA. They detained my family and I for 5 hours. They searched all of our luggage, and electronic devices (lap top and cell phone).

    Finally, they were finished and informed us that we were being denied entry into Canada and banned from ever coming again. I did have the right however, to contest this in court.
    I had to sign some paper agreeing to all of this. and then we were escorted to another flight out back to the USA.

    This was one of the worse experiences i have ever had in my entire life. We were treated like criminals and presumed guilty by some low income govt servants, who are completely clueless about the GFC, know nothing about the concept of preserving wealth and were in reality nothing more than rude, stupid jr wanna be cops thinking they had just caught the biggest fish to ever try to get past the border. Unbelievable!

    • Wed61071

      I found myself thinking, what a horrible experience for this guy. We’ve all been there. Long lines at these agencies (DMV), only to be treated as an inconvenience when you finally get to speak to someone. Yeah, that’s the beginning to a bad day.

      Then when the final paragraph of the post is read and I see things like “low income govt servants” and “stupid jr wanna be cops” and the writer refers to himself as ” the biggest fish to ever try to get past the border”, my thinking changes.

      Get over yourself! The fact is that 90% of us don’t really give a damn whether or not Thurston Howell gets his bullion over the border, we have to get up for work in the morning. Suck it up Sally!
      Further, if this was one of your WORST experiences in life, You got it pretty good, don’t you think? Some people, believe it or not, have bigger worries in life. You wouldn’t know them though, they’re low income and stupid.
      It’s pretty clear that compassion for your common man wasn’t taught at you’re finishing school? I learned it at my PUBLIC school. Maybe you were too busy having Brie with Nigel?
      Don’t be a friggin dink your whole life. You’ll be happier.

      • Roger

        ‘Tis you who sounds like a dink. The vast majority of us on this forum wouldn’t be reading these columns if we weren’t seriously interested in moving bullion across borders – safely, legally, and without abusive, intimidating behavior by arrogant government agents who do not even know their own laws.

    • Lol

      did they search your bum?

    • Matt Parks

      Getting into Canada can be a little tricky sometimes. I’m a natural born, white, Canadian citizen and I was given a really hard time when I returned from Canada from a trip to Jamaica. I was accused of being a drug mule, detained for several hours and strip searched. It was the most humiliating experience of my life….
      I also have more than one friend who has traveled to the United States and been detained by the FBI for having the same name as someone on the no-fly list.
      Getting into any country in a post-911 world isn’t going to be easy. Be prepared to be asked lots of questions, be anally probed and possibly turned away. Sadly, it’s a fact of life in this age of paranoia that we live in. Of course, you can always just stay home. That’s what I’m doing from now on.

    • AndyDaniel

      As a Canadian-born US citizen, I’m sorry that you had problems with your trip to Canada – but please realize that you were carrying the equivalent of $170,000 in cash and you could expect immigration inspectors to be suspicious no matter what country you were trying to enter. It’s completely legal to enter the USA carrying a briefcase full of cash but I wouldn’t expect the immigration inspector to just say “have a nice day” if you showed up with one.

      • Roger

        He wasn’t asking to be waved through with a “have-a-nice-day.” He was happy to answer to answer questions and did so truthfully. He has a right to expect basic courtesy. He did his homework, made extensive and repeated inquiries beforehand, did everything he could from his side to abide by the laws, properly declared the bullion, but was then detained along with his family for an unreasonably long duration, treated with a presumption of guilt by arrogant government agents ignorant of their own laws, and then denied entry.

        Of course, Canada is no worse than the U.S. in this regard.
        . .

  • Tim1

    Met a man walking a dog by the rose garden in Santa Barbara a week ago. About an hour later we were both agreed that leaving North America soon is very important. He is a Canadian citizen who has been resident in California for many years. His plan is to go to live in New Zealand, definitely NOT Canada. His reasons: weather, clean local water and locally grown food, politically stable, English language, not tied too closely economically to the US, about as far away as you can get from industrial pollution. He would be fine with Canada except for the weather, potential pollution, difficulty growing food locally, and the danger that as the US economy crashes, so will Canada.

    • Canada

      I’ll gladly respond to this. I have family on both sides of the border.

      1) Weather is bad most places in the US as well; pretty much anywhere you live you have to deal with either tornadoes, extreme cold, extreme hot, earthquakes, etc etc. The west coast of Canada has moderate weather, bit rainy, but its okay.
      2) Clean local water? are you kidding me? Canada has the freshest cleanest water in the world by a long shot. Most of our water comes from mountains/glaciers, some of the cleanest and safest water in the world. You can drink out of our rivers here.
      3) Our economy relies heavily one exports to the US, but dont mistake that for total economic dependence. Canada’s banking system is MUCH MUCH stronger than the United States; our housing market is no where near the disaster in the US, and our job market isnt as depressed. Probably because we dont have as many uneducated morans as there are in the US.
      4) difficult growing food locally? lol are you a farmer? who cares; we get most of our food from the US and other countries, and there is still PLENTY of great locally grown food. ever heard of Alberta Beef? lol, get your facts strait!

      There is so many problems with the United States that you can straight avoid by moving to Canada:
      – Guns
      – Right wing republicans who hate everything in the world
      – Fox news
      – uneducated minorities
      – uneducated majorities
      – just a poor education system altogether at elementary to high school level
      – the list could go on for days…

      • Nick Knight

        Actually, nothing agianst Canada, but they gave a far worse pollution record then the USA. In fact, they have had huge untreated water pollution problems, which still go one. Yes they signed Kyoto, stating they would reduce emissions 30%, but in fact the exact opposite has occurred. With oil shale that rate looks to increase dramatically.

      • Truth

        It’s ironic that so many people are posting ignorant, hate-filled rants about Americans and/or Republicans claiming that Americans and/or Republicans are ignorant and hateful. Pot meet kettle.

      • BillB

        “Probably because we dont have as many uneducated morans [sic] as there are in the US.”

        Gotta love it. :D

      • Philip Damra

        Moran is a derisive term applied to conservatives based on a meme that appeared when a conservative protester was spotted carrying a sign that read “Get a brain MORAN”. It’s an internet joke, google it.

      • Mackwiz

        Did you say uneducated?
        What is a moran anyway??? That’s a cool word, I never heard of it before. Please advise what it means.
        Your grammar is pathetic, grade 8 maybe??
        Get my facts strait?? Did you mean straight? Or was that a body of water you were talking about.
        I am Canadian and can tell you that it is unsafe to drink water from rivers anywhere here due to “beaver fever” etc. I won’t use the BIG word to explain what that is but maybe someone with an education can explain that part to you….

  • marty

    I am finding the information shared by Soverign Man useful in making decisions to travel to different locations. It’s always good to have someone that knows how to do things pave the way so to speak. Simon your recent plans to fly to so many destinations reminds me of the movie…Up In The Air!

  • pamela

    Where can I find out a little more about how to become a citizen of singapore and what the tax system is like,are they like canada as far as the three letter agency is concerned?
    many thanks.

  • Nick Knight

    I live in Ireland. Once you take in the fact that I do not pay property tax, or even a water bill, my taxes are actually lower then they were in the USA. I also get a lot more benefits.

    • Loveirland

      you also live in a bankrupt country and your kids and grandkids will pay the price…

    • Mattwrowe

      Yeah and no job, Irland has a very high unemployment rate

      • Nick Knight

        like the USA, but parts of Europe are still low and are growing faster. Germany Poland, etc

  • Dawn-alena

    Any democrats are welcome. Republican idiots should just stay put. We don’t like treating people as less than and that seems to be your MO. Us Canadians are known around the world as polite, caring loving people. We do not want the rest of the world to hate us like they do you. Stay in the US.,

    • guest

      Lots of Canadians share political beliefs with Republicans. Don’t let Dawn-alena scare you away. Move to Alberta where they still value democracy, hard work and conservative values. Just remember that Canadian conservatives are fiscally conservative, but socially liberal.

      • Friendlycanadian

        Lol ridicilous comment. Even the most conservative Albertans I know are far far far left of center in the US political scheme. I agree with Dawn-Alena, you gun slinging uneducated right wing anti-human right wingers, please stay in the US, preferably move to the very south away from our borders, and feel free to shoot one another…

      • MDL7

        “and feel free to shoot one another” – Now that was the most ignorant hate filled tirade I have ever heard from a Canadian. I think it’s just jealousy. Both countries have their goods and bads. For myself – I’m choosing to stay south of the border since I don’t get taxed to hell and back. I’ve been here since I first came down to play hockey in college and I’m loving it. Besides, Canada does not have the NFL.

      • Dragonlady9947

        No no no, You do all shoot one another – with gusto. How many shootings of police have we had in Washington State? And that doesn’t count the civilian shootings. You can wear your guns in Starbucks.

        Not really a tirade or hate filled. True – everyone can carry a gun in America…and use it too.

      • Rob

        “feel free to shoot one another”? ahhhh Canadians are so “nice and well mannered”…lol, true colours

      • Dewin142

        That’s the thing, you got it; American conservatives are NOT socially liberal you see. That’s why they villify minorities-it’s the witch trials all over again.

    • Dennmadi

      WOW, it’s obvious that Dawn-alena wasn’t in attendance at the 8/28 rally in Washington D.C. where she would have been subjected to the most polite group of Americans that the country could have assembled. And they would have even been polite to her, a disgruntled, misinformed Canadian. Some of my best friends live in Canada and I think they feel that way about us!
      Mean people suck in any country!

  • Michmilk

    I am not desperate to leave the USA; however, I love Canada and certainly would not be at all averse to living there as a Canadian or as an American. From Dawn-alena’s reply, you can get a clear picture of how a lot of Canadians view their southern neighbor…haven’t a lot of Americans given them the reasons to feel that way!? Darned right; same with England. I’ve been so embarrassed by the way some loud and arrogant US citizens acted when I was there that I wanted to just hide under a big hat and pretend I couldn’t speak (American) English! I have to take exception to Dawn-alena’s post only in that it’s simply wrong to assume or imply that everyone down here has the personality and mindset that you so strongly object to. I also strongly object to anyone with that way of acting, Canadian, American or simply Earthling. Mean people suck in any language.

  • Graberc

    I’ve been around the world a decent amount. In fact, I was in France prior to the invasion of Iraq and Americans were pouring wine into the streets. I was on a european cruise during the Iraq war.

    The idea that Americans are somehow villified and we should fly under a US passport. . .yeah, I can’t back that up. Never had the problem. So I can’t really comment on the article because the 1st statement is so “urban legend” that it must mean the entire article is non-trustworthy.

    The only Americans that gripe are the Americans who go into Europe thinking they are going to get picked on and look for examples.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Faather-Czasu/100000918464600 Faather Czasu

    Got to agree with Graberc on the Urban Myth that people around the world don’t like Americans. Total BS. Anyway, 99% of Americans that travel abroad are so obviously American because their voices can be heard at volume 11 on the other side of a jet engine… And the other 1% can be identified by their sweat pants that they don whilst dining at a **** restaurant.

  • AmeriCanadian

    Of course, keep in mind that the US does tax worldwide income of any US citizen, even if that person does not live in the US and even if the income is not earned in the US.

    There are ways to take a credit for taxes paid to the country where the income was earned, and the US will exempt a certain amount of salaried income.

    But, as it still stands, if a person held both US and Canadian citizenship, he would always have to file a US tax return, and if resident in Canada, a Canadian one as well.

    • Dragonlady9947

      Check tax treaties. That has been dealt with in the American/Canadian tax treaties and you can file otherwise if you have the documentation.

  • Steve S.

    The author forgot to mention the fact that if you’re a U.S. Citizen (naturalized), you must denounce that citizenship in order to take on another country’s citizenship. I am Canadian with a U.S. Residency and married to an American wife. If my wife and I want to move to Canada (and we think about it all the time) she can’t become dual citizen w/o losing the American citizenship. However, (ironically) I can become a U.S. Citizen as long as I consider myself an American first.

    • Londoner

      You are flatly wrong Steve S.

      An American citizen has to EXPLICITLY renounce their citizenship at any US Consulate or Embassy. Trust me on this. I looked it up since I will be bringing my American Bride to Canada to live.

      Just don’t forget that your American wife will likely be subject to US income taxes for some time even as a resident of Canada.

    • Dragonlady9947

      Well, this is not quite true. Check supreme court decisions in regard to dual Americans. Most people do not realise that the supreme court ruled on this issue.

      When you become an American citizen, they do not ask to to consider being anything first.

  • Jondaly70

    why leave the united states? I mean Canada is great, but it’s only great because it so close to the U.S. canadins don’t have to pay for a military bc they share a border with the u.s. They also enjoy access to the largest industrialized market in the world. no other country has these advantages. (except, well, for the mexicans. but mexico is so screwed up even the mexicans don’t want to stay there — they’re all headed for the u.s.)

    and even if canada is great, it’s still an unimportant, inconsequential place. canada has no global obligations. no one cares what the canadians think. no one. anywhere. no one in crisis ever says, “wait, let’s see what the canadians think.” or “Hey, maybe we should call in the canadians.” the canadians don’t cause problems and don’t solve them. they just “are.” they exist, but they don’t count. no one spends a moment thinking about canadians except during the curling competition during the winter olympics. does that sound harsh? does anyone doubt that it’s true?

    yeah, i guess it would be nice to live in a quiet country that everyone seems to love. as for me, i’d still rather be part of the freest, most dynamic, most diverse…most consequential country in the world.

    • SarahG

      If you are gay, you stand to acquire several rights and protections that the USA will not offer you. In fact, if you set up a ‘Send a Gay to Canada’ PayPal fund, there are probably Americans who would help you move. The USA may be diverse, but it’s hardly friendly if you’re different in some way.

      • Maholand

        Gee, that would come as a great surprise to the millions of gays who live happily in the U.S. Here in SF we have many former Canadian gays.

        Don’t believe everything you hear on TV.

    • Dr. Genius

      How do any of your complains impact an individual living in Canada? The free ride on America’s coat tails is a pro, not a con. So is being blameless in world affairs.

      • Neighborly northern neighbour

        Hey Folks,

        Hello from a born and raised Canadian. Here is the way I see it. Riding on America’s coat tails should not be a pro. Nor should riding on anyone’s coat tails. Too much of a good thing is not good for anybody and we Canadians need to recognize how lucky we are. Too often we critisize America for poor healthcare and too many guns, but in my opinion, no country has it perfect and I would trade my citizenship for American any day, just to be able to say I’m part of the group that tried, not part of the group that rode the coat tails. Cheers to you America for a job well done (Except the trillion dollar Iraq Bush goof) of course. We salute you!

      • Dragonlady9947

        Ok… You should come and live here for a time. ‘You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone’. Canada actually does a lot for the world and is really well respected – even by Americans. And other countries do call on us to ‘fix’ problems. We have even pulled American Diplomats out of countries to which the Americans could not gain access. We do not invade and occupy.

        Canadian are great but humble.

    • Gperchynski

      Canadians have a most stable banking in the world. They weathered the Bush debacle better than any nation. They are gracious, peaceloving, well educated people. They are more influenced by the UK and Europe culturally, and politically than the US. You sound like somone who doesn’t know what they are talking about.

    • Orijuice


      And next in the display of bizarre oddities, oddly misinformed American tries to describe Canada through the American news outlet. The only news outlet he/she looks at on a daily basis for all their American needs.

      Oh, and as for us just being “There”. I have a saying…”Better to be just ‘That Guy’ rather then ‘That Douche'”

      Nobody knocks on America’s door when they need help with their math homework, just when they need to have someone beat up. Its really all the nation amounts to anyways; and even the Chinese are superseding that rather quickly.

      “Should we call America?”

      “I think we would be better off calling ‘That Guy’…He might be unimportant, but he’s more respected than that other guy, America”

    • Bill Clinton

      ‘global obligations’ having a big military and butting in foreign affairs of other countries you mean.

    • Servertu

      Sadly as a Canadian commenting you are correct

    • 4nancy-marshall

      Sonny boy you have just exhibited the very behviour that is the cause of the majority of Canadians viewing Americans with such disdain about your attitude of self-entitlement..(get youself a dictionary)
      I suppose you can be forgiven for not looking past your own front door to understand that from the outside looking in, the global community cannot for the life of itself understand why you do not GET the fact that “America” is eating itself up with paranoia and bloated self-importance. Democrats are seen globally as peace keepers, Republicans as war-mongers. To listen to the misinformation that is pounded into the US populace on a daily basis about how if you enjoy free healthcare somehow implies that you are a (shudder) SOCIALIST while or course any self-respecting “American” would gladly offer up his financial security/home/pension (oh right, you don’t even have that straight) in perpetuity just so you can go visit your capitalist $500-bucks-a-shot-probably-graduated off-shore doctor who will just to diagnose you with the common cold… and who is going to help you out if you get cancer, hmmm?
      If the USA is such the epitome of all that is so effing good, why is it the only civilized country that offers health care only to those who can afford it? Why did Louisiana suffer (and continues to suffer..have you seen what is going on down there??) so much after Catrina? Why do you not get that those poor military boys of yours are dying every day because of oil….it’s all about oil…(I bac the boys but NOT the war) You seem to be the only ones who are prepared to put on blinders and sit back and eat the SH** that is being shovelled down your throats.
      I live in a quiet country called Canada. I enjoy the benefits of a free health care system that allows me to live on average 3-7years longer than a woman in the US. My children are free to be married, loved and respected regardless of if they gay or straight, they are globally respected as being citizens of a country which is committed to keeping global peace and respecting the rights of individual countries to self-govern (and not to try to shove your particular form of democracy at them). We are known and appreciated for celebrating individuality, respecting cultural differences, and for not demanding in foreign countries that we are spoken to ‘In AMERICAN FOR GAWD’S SAKE
      We are not you. and for that, every day, I get down and thank my almighty, everlasting and definitely not Republican God

  • Scryer_360

    You mention higher taxes, but you don’t mention the healthcare that you get in return. Canada spends only about $4000 per person on healthcare and gets better results than the US, where as in the US we spend on average $16,000 per person, and rank far lower in healthcare in the world. And in the US, virtually all of that is toted by an individual. So yeah, you pay more taxes, but its less than what Americans pay in taxes plus healthcare.

  • Torontonian

    I have never seen so much misinformation, so much in the way of biased opinions without basis, and all-around general stupidity in my life. And that was only in the article itself and the first few comments.

    First, it is possible to be a dual citizen in the U.S. and another country. It is not necessary to renounce your U.S. citizenship.
    Second, even if you did renounce U.S. citizenship, you still own U.S. income taxes on worldwide income for some years. Following some instances of high income people years ago, the U.S. changed the rules so that one couldn’t legally avoid income taxes in this way. Of course, low-income earners are likely to get away with not paying, as the enforcement mechanisms are just not in place — unless you have assets in the U.S. And getting IRA’s and other retirement income out of the country may not be easy, plus if you have paid in to Social Security for years, you may lose that.
    Third, getting permanent residence is not all that easy. Wait time run to years and the point system that has been in place for years means that if you don’t speak French, don’t have an education, don’t have a job in Canada, are much older than college age and haven’t worked much, it may not be possible to meet the requirements.
    Fourth, Jondaly70’s comments that Canada is “an unimportant, inconsequential place” is so far off the mark that it is hard to determine where to start. Canada has played a far more POSITIVE role in international relations than the U.S. Canadians had the good sense not to follow the U.S. into Iraq. And Canadians have long provided assistance in international disasters, UN peacekeepers, and general foreign aid to less-developed countries in greater amounts per capita than the U.S.
    Fifth, those of you Americans who can only shout “We’re number one” should really look at how much freedom you really have. People in the U.S. take the opportunity to disapprove of your behaviour in physically violent ways that don’t occur up here. Think about abortion bombings, killing of doctors, gay-bashing, mosque and synagogue defacing, and more. If this means freedom to you, you are mistaken.
    Lastly, I have been through the immigration process coming from the U.S. to Canada and most of you who are pontificating about the issues related to doing this should get some facts.

    • Dragonlady9947

      Don’t forget our great education system. I moved to the US 9 years ago and and so sorry my child had to go through the education system here. I feel I ruined her life.

      I actually had an American tell me that Canada does not have a constitution and so was was not a free country like the US. The best was, however, when someone called me a Commie and told me to go home!

      When I lived in Canada, my taxes seemed to be higher but I had more disposable income and my housing, food, and clothing were so much better. Healthcare here is a joke. The political fighting is a clown show and they spend their time trying to repress groups of people while they shout freedom and wear the flag as clothing.

      Some days, I am so homesick.

  • Londoner

    The marginal tax rates are indeed higher in Canada. We could lower them significantly if we dispensed with the awful notion of providing everyone with basic, affordable health care.

    My soon-to-be wife is from Texas, and still acclimating (no pun intended) to the differences in what is otherwise a fairly Americanized country. Last year, a couple of visits to the doctor during a period of unemployment and no private supplementary health care (which covers prescriptions, eye care, and varying amounts of dental care usually as the main components) resulted in ZERO out of pocket expenses for me, even including the blood tests that I was prescribed.

    Without private or employer sponsored health care, just seeing the doctor would cost her $70-100 without testing or any other treatment. The old saw about taxes being lower in the US is false, given that Canada covers an important aspect of citizens’ lives that the US does not (and will not with the new legislation): the basic health of its people.

    Add the cost to you or your employer of this coverage, and the effective taxation rates are actually comparable.

    One interesting note about health coverage though. In Canada, even natural born citizens must be resident within their home province for six months plus one day every year in order to have access to the service. Thus, if you are assigned to work somewhere else, or travel (as a retiree for example) for more than six months, you must wait six months for coverage to begin again.
    And by the way, sovereignman, Canada does NOT absorb refugees en masse. Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms is designed to protect the basic human rights of all who touch our shores, and the refugee process is imperfect and somewhat lengthy, but that does not mean we are an open bazaar either.

    Throwaway statements like the one you made only diminish your writing.

    • KIran

      Agree that Canada accepts refugees enmass and thats why our taxes are very high. Where do you think the money for refugees is comming from. Its from our high taxes. Why can they not accept immigrants the legal way , the way I came?

      • Shashi

        Absulately right Mr Kiran

  • Londoner

    I’m pretty sure that since Canadian banks were among the only banks in the world not affected by the crisis caused by US banks running roughshod over rules, fair trade practices, and even ethics, we know a thing or two about how to manage a very large country with relatively few people, and to be successful at it.

    In years past, it was common for the Canadian economy to mirror that of the US. But no longer. Our unemployment rate is going down, and we are still successfully trading with the US and other countries even though we have achieved a stable dollar parity (+/- 2-3 cents).

    Your comments about not having to pay for a military are a little laughable, given that your military budget almost always accounts for the largest portion of the extra debt the US has to sell every year to support Team America. This can not go on forever, and most Imperial powers have a last kick at the can before finally admitting they are worth less than they once were. It took the British a generation to get over losing the ’empire on which the sun never sets’, to lose the sense of Pax Brittania. I suspect the same with happen with Pax Americana.

  • Londoner

    Well said guest. The fiscally conservative part helped us weather the recent recession reasonably well since we could afford to spend the extra money at the Federal level when it needed to be spent, and at the same time help a lot of people who needed it.

    We’re still getting infrastructure improvements here in London. Sometimes it seems like the entire city is a construction site, but it supports high-paying jobs that might otherwise not exist. The bonus is that the infrastructure will be around for 50 years. I call that a good investment any time.

  • Londoner

    I keep seeing this 42% number for taxes…but really this isn’t something that the governments take from every pay check. I pay 18-20% of every check for Federal, Provincial taxes, as well as Unemployment Insurance and Old Age Pension.

    The other 20% are in consumption taxes based on what I buy throughout the taxation year. Careful consideration of purchases (especially food) can significantly reduce this. For example, on my last $85 grocery bill, I paid $1.42 in taxes. The people in front of me and behind me who filled their carts full of processed food likely paid 10% or more in consumption taxes.

    To some extent, consumption taxes, while seeming to offer little wiggle room, are definitely an area where those who choose poorly are taxed more. I’d rather save the money if I can, and consume less, and only buy what I need. Some people call me cheap, but so are many rich people (except when spending shareholders money).

  • alejandrito

    Not Canada or the US is compare to my country. In my country the education and health is free. Food is the best in the world, always you are a turist. You can go to any hotel or rent a car without restriction. Also you don’t pay for rent, because you live with the whole family until you leave the country. You don’t pay for tax, everything is free. I moved to the US in 1994 and never been back to my country, because I know if I go i will dirt with my steeps over so beautiful soil. I came to America, because I was pushed to come here. I remember when someone came with a boat and said to me:”get over that boat to the land of liberty. I was so scare and I did. Well what can I tell you. The US and Canada are to bad to stay, if not you can ask Fidel.

    • Cliffsiderock

      Didn’t Fidel just told the world Cuba’s communism economy does not work?

  • Dewin142

    OK, Canada is bilingual, not just Enlgish speaking!

  • Canadian5555

    As a Canadian, trust me when i say you do not want to move here right now. We have a right wing hateful Prime Minister who engages in lies and corruption. He is moving Canada to the right. If he was American, he would be a tea party member.

    • Bob Dole

      Not all tea party members are the nut jobs you hear about. Some are just sick of taxes, waste, and corruption. Aren’t you?

      • Bill Clinton

        you mean sick of taxes for social causes but willing to pay for senseless wars.

  • Joey44

    Canadian taxes are NOT necessarily higher especially for entrepreneurs. In the USA, the self employment tax of 15.3% is applied to the first 100k of income (about $17,000) before federal and state taxes. In Canada, this doesn’t even exist. Further, the US top federal rates are higher than Canada’s. Canada also doesn’t have local taxes and has lower property taxes (though higher state/provincial taxes and sales taxes).

    The idea the Americans are taxed way less than Canadians is a MYTH. It’s around the same – yet Americans pay a fortune for healthcare.

  • Mattkaya

    I moved to the US for work reasons but I still would love to head back when I retire. It is an awesome country!!! Forget the politicians – it is the people.

  • moiraesfate

    What do I think? I think the author of this is smoking something.

    As a Canadian living in the US (I’m married to an American), Canada is a billion times a better country.

  • Evert P. Botha

    Free healthcare.

  • Dlizard

    I came to Canada from Brazil 4 years ago. Basically I ruined my career and my financial life with that decision. My mistake was to underestimate the problem of unemployment and underemployment for immigrants in Canada. There are simply no decent jobs here. I believe that thing people called “systemic discrimination” is very real in this country. And the government makes things worse bringing almost 300,000 new immigrants a year (plus 100K + temporary workers, refugees…). Why do they do that? Nobody gives me a good answer. The traditional reason presented – that Canada need ALL these people because the native population is decreasing – is a lie. I mean, they probably need immigrants, maybe 10K to 20K a year, but definitely not 300K !!! The job market, the rates of unemployment, underemployment and poverty among immigrants clearly show that. The real answer, I think is that corporations and business people want a giant reserve of high qualified and cheap labour in Canada. MAs and PhDs who, out of desperation, will not refuse $10/hour part time, no benefits, survival jobs. Many immigrants (and I believe most of those who came from a relatively developed country) will eventually return after getting their citizenship – a kind of “consolation price” for “time served”. But time flies, and to spend 5 years in this country just to have to return to our countries and to start everything over from scratch is a horrible thing. My advise to those who are considering coming to Canada: think a lot before doing that, or you can make one of the biggest mistakes of your life!

  • tal

    Dlizard I work with many High Tech people from Brazil who immigrated and they seem to do fine and have settled in Canada. I think you have a skills problem not a discrimination problem.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeffrey-Earnest/100000120607044 Jeffrey Earnest

    Canada? Really? Socialism, drug abuse, high taxes, ridiculous hate speech laws. It’s just Britain driving on the correct side of the road. Most Canadians I’ve met want out but don’t want to give up everything they own to do it. And go where? I wouldn’t piss on Canada if it was on fire.

    • brian

      Get a life buddy, I’m retired at 55 with a 20% tax rate NO health care premiums, (free health care) a house that is still worth a whole lot more than we paid in the 70’s. My kids both have degrees and good paying jobs, an we all have access to a social security system that is still solvent for the next 75 yrs. This Socialism B.S. is an GOP story that they use to scarce you good folks in the US. My son- in -law is a proud American who is looking at Canada as an option to get a head in life and retire comfortably. Believe me life on Van. island is as good as it gets. Brian

  • Renaud Gagné

    Born French Canadian living on the very temperate westcoast on vancouver island.
    I’m grateful and apart from the politic, I always feel safe(low crime) even in big cities.

    But as a native, I am looking into Panama as a great second residency.

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