1. Probably yes...? Option to take supplementary courses instead of the exam applies only in Ontario I believe. Ontario does things differently than most other provinces for RN license transferring process once NNAS assessment is over.
2. My friend took the whole 1 year course for about 20 grand Canadian dollars.
Basic refresher course is mostly focused on Medical/Surgical. Not in Peds or OB. Only theory courses may be taken online.
If your score for NCAS is not good enough you may have to take Nurse-Ready or Bootcamp courses through Kwantlen prior to taking your refresher course, which cost extra.
3. No. Provisional license is only if you pass the refresher course or if you do not have to take the refresher course at all and are waiting to take your NCLEX
4. To be honest, unless you take a refresher course, a lot of employers here prefer Canadian-grads, especially for non-RN nursing. This does not apply though if you do have specialty area experience. I am not sure about RPNs
5. Getting a casual position for RNs is fairly easy in BC. A lot of Ontario and Alberta new grads now come to BC to get jobs. If you take a refresher course in BC, you can easily get a job here in the acute care unit. Many acute care units work short in small hospitals. My old unit for instance, work short more than I can count every month.
All I can think is that unless you work in specific hospitals, working condition in BC is not as good as other provinces such as Ontario or Alberta; less pay compared to other provinces may be another factor.
I would personally get immigration figured out before trying to become a nurse in Canada. It's very difficult to take a refresher course in BC unless you have a permanent residency. Also getting a license in Canada doesn't help you getting a visa or anything status related. Most health authority websites in BC will ask if you have a working visa and if you need to be sponsored- they don't easily sponsor people for immigration unless you have a working visa > 1 year and are qualified to work in a specialty area.
Other provinces (SK, Newfoundland, Ontario) do allow non- PR holders to take refresher courses but immigration will be a different matter.