I love nursing in Canada because... - page 6
I am starting this thread because I would like feedback on the positives about nursing in Canada. I hear so much about people moving to the US and I would love to hear from those who are staying,... Read More
Mar 11, '06Quote from wasupLet's see... the public education system in Canada is superior to that of the US. (I have been educated in both systems, and know whereof I speak.) Kids attend school from late August or right after Labour Day until the end of June each year. Most provinces have standardized testing to assess learning. Alberta issues a report card on schools every year.Very nice forum!
My question is for every body, from both sides of the border. What about children? Which country is better for young parents and their small kids?
The health care system is based on the Canada Health Act: universal, comprehensive, accessible and portable with a single payer, the government. It is funded through taxes, so Canada has higer levels of taxation than the US. Everyone is covered and everyone has equal rights to health care.
Child care is subsidized by the government; the framework is undergoing some changes due to the change in federal governments, but the intent is to ensure high-quality child care is available to all in need at an affordable cost.
In many Canadian cities, the crime rate is fairly low when compared to US cities of similar size. Violent crime is on the increase, but has a long way to go before approaching the levels seen south of the border. My kids were able to play safely in our neighbourhood without direct supervision. (We lived in a city with a population of about 650,000 when they were young.)
Many communities have a well developed recreational program, and while program fees can be high, there is usually some provision for low-income families so as not to deprive the children of the experience of playing on a team or learning new skills.
I couldn't imagine living in any other country. I look forward to seeing my grandchildren raised in Canada... whenever my girls get around to giving me some.
Mar 12, '06Thank you for your reply. This is exactly what I need to know! One more question. We are young family, me and my wife are RN. Can we manage a normal level of living when my wife stays home with kids and the only salary is mine. Is there any privilege in taxes or something like this?
Mar 12, '06By "manage" what do you mean, and where do you plan on living.
I was a full time mother for 9 years on a NCO pay cheque from the military. And he made a lot less than a RN! We had a mortgage and two cars. Not a lot of extras (dinners out, latest movies, fanciest clothes, or trips to Mexico or Florida) but teaching our children our values was more important to us (and the fact that my husband was gone six months of most years, Bosnia, training courses, middle east, etc.).
I couldn't have done in it in the lower mainland of BC or in Toronto, but managed to do it in Alberta. Property prices were lower, so we could afford a starter home and we did have a decent downpayment.
It's ultimately down to your families ideas of what is important to them, how much cash you have behind you for a downpayment on a house, or finding a rental property that fits your needs.
Good luck, your children are only little once, and they really don't care what they wear or how many trips to the movies or the fanciest kids play area (for the life of me I can't remember their names but you know the indoor playgrounds with ball rooms and stuff that cost $$) they remember Mum being there with them and Dad teaching them to change the oil on the car or whatever. My lot have those memories and I saw their first steps, my hubbie managed to be home for the first tooth fairy visit and the first stand up pee (an important thing in a little boy's world). The daycare staff didn't tell us about it.
I'm not slamming families where both parents need to work to feed and shelter their children, but sometimes I wonder about people I know. They drive the latest cars, have the bigger houses with all the latest electronic toys and leather couches. They drop their kids off at daycare at 07:00, pick them up at 1800 and the kids are in bed by 2000. Yup they go to Mexico twice a year to "bond as a family" but we bonded digging the driveway out when it snowed...
Mar 12, '06So true, Fiona, SO true!
My parents were both teachers, and mom 'retired' to raise her kids. This was the 50's-early 60's and teachers did not make a lot of money. Mom made some of our clothes to save money, and trips were mostly limited to visits to our relative's farms, or picnics a half day's drive from home. When we rented a cottage, our first one had all the unmodern inconveniences: outhouse, NO hot water, an ice box instead of a fridge, and one of those toasters where you flipped the slice over to toast both sides. (Later cottages were a bit fancier, but that still meant a pail-a-day toilet, and a rather primitive shower instead of a bath. And on cold nights, a primitive coal-oil stove (kerosene) that took forever to get lit!
What are my fondest memories? Dad flooding the backyard to make a skating rink. (We would rush home from school, and put our skates right on, and skate until suppertime.) Making snowmen with my brother and friends. Dad taking me in his arms and wrapping me in a blanket so we could go outside and stargaze together on a summer's night. Helping my aunts and uncles with the farm chores, and feeding sugar to the huge draft horses. Playing in the haymow, and finding newborn kittens there. Mom singing lullabies to us at night, and teaching us to play the piano.
Our first really big trip was by car, to the Maritimes, when I was about 11 or 12. We stayed in cheap motels, and ate canned food heated up on a hot plate to save money. A restaurant meal was a rare treat. I never flew on a plane until I had graduated from university, and my dad's trip to Atlantic City for a teachers' conference when we were in grade school was a REALLY BIG DEAL. I still have the embroidered hanky he brought home for me a souvenir.
Quality time is a lot more important than money, and the latest clothes!
Mar 12, '06Fiona, you took the words right out of my mouth... literally! I stayed home with my kids for eight years, then worked four hour evenings three times a week for five years after that so that one of us was always home. We too lived on an NCO's salary (Peanuts, people!!! Try living on the measly pension they get afterwards! I make more now than DH does even with his pension and his Reserve pay combined...) but didn't have a mortgage and only one car. DH didn't deploy, due to circumstances, so we didn't have any expectation of separation allowance or field pay. We DID have a child with complex medical issues, though that cost us a lot on so many levels. Parking at the hospital... sometimes as much as I budgeted for groceries. But my kids knew that I'd be home when they come home from school and that we'd have time to debrief every day. I could volunteer with the school for field trips and special occasions. Vacations were limited to visiting family, but they didn't mind. Some of their favourite memories of childhood are the weekends we spent with other oncology families at Family Camp, Darci looking over from third base at me in my lawnchair behind the backstop with the score sheet on my lap, the science projects I helped Amanda with (always medal winners, she did the work, I helped with the concepts), Adam helping me hang clothes on the line, the four family water fight behind our PMQs one hot June in Winnipeg, toboganning on the hill made of landfill across the street.
We've still never been to Florida or Mexico. Now that we have the money to do things like that, we have a multi-handicapped adult offspring to worry about. Do I regret that? Not one bit. Will we go someday? Probably not. Our grown-up children are well-adjusted, productive and generous people. I'd rather spend my money on helping them out now and again and making a nice home for them to return to from time to time. (No, girls, you can't move back in!!)
I know that things are very different in the world now and that my grandchildren are unlikely to have a stay-at-home parent beyond the first year. I hope I've provided an example of how to work outside the home and still be there for them when they wanted me to be or needed me to be. So, wasup, the ball is in your court. If you can be happy living carefully for a few years, in a rural, urban or suburban centre with a reasonable cost of living, then that's your answer. (Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria and the areas around them are definitely NOT in that category! But that leaves you so much of our wonderful country to choose from!!!!)
Mar 12, '06Hey Jan we managed our first "airplane" holiday on the deployment pay about 10 years ago. The kids still remember it well!.
Did you ever hear the one about how military paycheques are tax free? Or better yet, you don't pay to live in PMQ's? Or my fav. actually had someone ask me if the military paid our mortgage??!! I just stood there and said well, we pay it out of our paycheque, so I guess if you look at it that way does Cdn. Tire pay YOUR mortgage?
The alltime best, is when people ask me how much overtime he makes because he gets called in on weekend!!!
No people he does it because he believes...
Mar 12, '06Fiona, I had a teacher (get this!!) at a DND school in Grade VIII who got up in front of the class and berated us for how lucky we were... that because our dads were military they didn't pay income tax, CPP, UI (while at the same time my dad was paying all of those PLUS double pension because he'd made an error in judgment and got out for two years back in the 60's); that we lived rent-free in our lovely PMQs with the doors and windows that didn't close properly, the uninsulated attics, the cinder block walls; that our utilities were also "free" (the same year they started charging members); that we didn't pay to send our mail (that one really baffled me... guess he was remembering the War) and so on. I couldn't believe his nerve. He only taught at our school for the one year and then was gone. Wonder why?
We took our first airplane holiday in 1988 when the Rainbow Society gave Adam a Wish and sent us all to Disneyland. It was one of the brightest spots in his life. I have a beautiful picture of him sitting cross-legged on the ground singing to Snow White. He could charm the birds out of the trees... sigh.