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LSU_Subversive Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 03:26 PM
Original message
Americans who move to Canada. What do you think about them?
My partner and I are very serious about moving to Canada, specifically to the Vancouver area. We're thinking long term and are very excited about it. Obviously we are thrilled about the prospect of living in such a beautiful environment (so close to wilderness, lakes, rivers, mountains, and the ocean), the education system, and health-care. Also, UBC has some research programs that are practically tailored to our interests.

Basically, we're interested in hearing about what to expect from Canadians.

Will they naturally distrust us because we're Americans?

Should we expect greater than normal difficulty getting jobs?

How about the housing situation? I've been looking around on Craig's List and it looks sparse, especially for people with pets.

We're very interested in hearing what you think.
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achtung_circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. You're just people, right?
Kinda like other people, right?
Whether you happened to be born in another country isn't a deal, is it?

Just learn about the House of Tim and you'll have no problems. I can't help you on housing in the Lower Mainland, but I believe it's fairly pet-friendly. Just stay away from Surrey.

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LSU_Subversive Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks and I hope that other Canadians feel similarly
I've looked up "House of Tim" and the closest thing I could find was a donut place called "Tim Hortons" or something like that.
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achtung_circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Something like that? Fie and for shame.
Canadian Lesson #1
Tim Horton was a hockey player who started a chain of coffee shops. He later crashed his car, but Timmie's, or the House of Tim or Tim Hortons is an ICON.

In may area of the country we no longer conduct a census, Stats Can counts Tim Horton's and multiplies by 600.

Tim Horton's coffee seems to be adulterated with heroin. It is addictive. It's good, and most people order it "double, double", that is, 2 cream, 2 sugar.

Here endeth the lesson. Go, and sin no more.
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LSU_Subversive Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Thanks for the lesson
Do I get any points, at all, for figuring out that it was the coffee house?

If not, that's okay. Any other lessons? Seriously, I appreciate it.

BTW, what's up with Surrey?
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achtung_circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Surrey is the armpit of the Lower Mainland
Edited on Sun Jul-25-04 07:46 PM by achtung_circus
Fraser River delta, Greater Vancouver area. Steer clear.

PM HeyHey. He's located in the BC interior, is a native Vancouverite and if he's here, sober and not laughing at life too hard he'll be a useful contact.

I lived in Interior BC until last September. The standing joke is that BC stands for bring cash.

It's beautiful, it's arm it's special. Most places politics i a blood sport. In BC it's fantasyland, and yes one Premier (Bill VanDerZalm) owned a theme park called precisely that.

On Edit: come on in, the more the merrier!
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LSU_Subversive Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Thank you for the welcome and the heads-up on Surrey.
It's those kinds of things that one rarely figures out ahead of time and ends of learning by trial and error. Also, I'll make sure to head straight to Tim Horton's as soon as I get there. Double-double, right? We'll be visiting and checking out the territory in November and plan to move in July.
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ilovenicepeople Donating Member (883 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-16-04 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #10
40. When you get to Vancouver jump on a ferry and come over to the island
Vancouver island to be exact, lot's of beautiful spots to visit here and most of the people are friendly.WELCOME :hi:
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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. tim bits
Does anyone in Canada find it disturbing that donut holes at Tim Horton's are called "Timbits" given how he died?

:evilgrin:
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LSU_Subversive Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Eeewwww!
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Lefty48197 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
17. Tim Horton's got good sandwiches too.
and there's one on every corner.
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enki23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 06:35 PM
Response to Original message
3. i think they're really smart. and i want to be one.
if you'll take me along, that is.
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Parrcrow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
7. I think that for the most part you will have to assess us on
Edited on Sun Jul-25-04 07:48 PM by Parrcrow
an individual basis. You may have to listen to us talking about the War of 1812 alot, and who won it :D, we like to rib yanks about that. Cities are safer. Race is, by and large, not much of an issue compared to the U.S..

I can't tell you too much about Vancouver or B.C., but a number of people on here can. I just know it rains alot and they rib the rest of us about the flowers blooming in February.

Give us a visit. Come on in, the water's cold but the folks are really nice.
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LSU_Subversive Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. I'll definitely will be boning up on my Canadian history.
You know, things like the War of 1812 and such. Thanks for the tips.
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Screaming Lord Byron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
8. The whole Canadian Anti-American thing is a bit of a myth.
Put about by the right-wing who consider any criticism of the actions of the US right as anti-Americanism.
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LSU_Subversive Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. That makes a lot of sense.
And I hope you're right. Of course, I'm ready to prove myself as Candadian-worthy and it probably helps that my partner and I aren't your typical 'mercuns.

I wonder.....if there's going to be an even bigger influx of Americans subsequent to the election, regardless of the outcome. I must admit that a fair amount of our decision to move to Canada is related to how we feel about where our country is heading. But there's so much else too. Man I can't wait.
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gula Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. "Candadian-worthy " ???
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LSU_Subversive Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Just doing my part so suck up
B-)
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fudge stripe cookays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-04-04 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #13
34. Impress them by....
Edited on Wed Aug-04-04 07:57 AM by fudge stripe cookays
learning the capitals of all the provinces.

After writing a bunch (internet relationship) and then being engaged to reprehensor, I began learning as much as I could about our frosty upstairs neighbors.

One night at the Pub, a friend's sister began some good-natured ribbing about how most of us Yanks didn't know diddly about Canada. I said, "Oh yeah? Prove it!"

Out of all the provinces she gave me, I only missed one. Plus, I was able to name Laura Secord, Gordie Howe, Rocket Richard, several prime ministers (Wilfred Laurier, Sir John MacDonald, Pierre Trudeau, and a few others), and numerous other celebrities. I told her about the ship explosion in Halifax in 1917, my French Canadian ancestry, and quite a bit more.

She was so impressed she made me an "honorary Canadian" on the spot.

Do some google searches. You'll be great. :D

Note: While Alberta is considered right wing there, it doesn't compare to right wing HERE, and is the sunniest province. We're probably moving to Calgary in a few years. But I'd like to retire to Nelson, BC or the Sunshine Islands.

FSC
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-17-04 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #34
42. I can personally vouch for Nelson as an awesome place!
My late husband and I moved to Nelson in 79 and I would never consider anyplace else now. It is very beautiful, eclectic in it's various lifestyles, the only downside is that jobs are relatively scarce, my children live in Alberta because there were more jobs available to them there.
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fudge stripe cookays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-04 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #42
46. Thanks spazito!
Just saw your note.

I was actually thinking about starting a little shop if we were to move there. Soemthing vaguely antique store/tearoom-related. If that sort of thing would fly there.

I've never been-- heard lots, read some. Need to do my market research first though. And need to see if we could find something for reprehensor to do. :D

FSC

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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
16. Stay the hell in the USA!
Kiddin' no-one is gonna be mean to you, just expect a bit of ribbing from time to time.
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enki23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Hey Man, thanks for the hello.
Rib away, I'll consider it part of my dues. Not that I have thin skin anyways. Too many years of grad school has a way of toughening you up.

I was wondering when I'd get a chance to communicate with you. Achtung Circus says you're the man to talk to about Vancouver.
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enki23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. By the way, Enki 23's my sig. other and I'm using his computer
That's why you're hearing from me under this avatar rather than LSU_Subversive.

Just in case you're wondering.
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Hand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
20. I like them so much...
...that I am one! Moved here 14 years ago last Monday, just before Gulf War I. And was I glad not to be back in the US of A when that psychotic orgy got under way...

:hi:
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Swede Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-28-04 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
21. Come on down,er up!
In my town (Saskatoon) all the long haul truckers seem to be from Wales or the Midlands of England,all the cab drivers are from Romania, and half the doctors are from South Africa,and they love it here.
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LSU_Subversive Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-28-04 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. I love it! Thanks so much for the welcome. It really makes a difference
BTW I'm of Swedish descent as well. When it comes down to it, we're all immigrants of some sort anyways.
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dancing kali Donating Member (485 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-29-04 06:08 AM
Response to Original message
23. On the serious note. . .
"Will they naturally distrust us because we're Americans?"

Nope, Canadians are far to nice for that... most will wait until you give them a reason to distrust you. Unless they're like me and don't trust anyone.

"Should we expect greater than normal difficulty getting jobs?"

Uhhh... assuming that you are doing the legal immigration thing... you will need to have a job offer before you can immigrate... or be independently wealthy. Employment requires a Social Insurance number. If you are coming in on temporary working papers or as a student then they will assign you a temporary social insurance number, I think. I did my immigration 24 years ago. So some things may have changed.

The job market isn't great... depending on which sector of the job market you are considering. I'm in the arts... I'm chronically unemployed. The cost of living is high in Vancouver.

"How about the housing situation? I've been looking around on Craig's List and it looks sparse, especially for people with pets."

There is little low-cost housing and this is a hot political issue in Vancouver. Everyone I know who rents is paying somewhere between $1200 - $1600 (CDN) for two - three bedroom apartments or houses. However, depending where you live now, what I consider to be outrageous rental costs might be reasonable to you. That's in the city. The further away from the city you get the lower the rents are. Most places require references. Some of the rentals that say no pets will be OK with small quiet animals that are unlikely to destroy the property... Houses and suites in houses are likelier to allow pets but it's not guaranteed.

Buying houses now is very expensive... we're just coming out of a selling boom in the real estate market. Prices are still high.

I know you didn't ask about this but it does go with some of your questions. Public transportation in Vancouver is not bad... could be a lot better... Toronto has the best transit system I've ever seen. The buses are reasonable. The SkyTrain is fast, reasonably clean and is fairly reliable. It only runs east/west, from downtown Vancouver to Surrey, with a spur line that runs out to Coquitlam. A new line to run between Richmond, the Airport and Vancouver has just been rammed through the city council and this is a touchy political subject currently. The whole thing is part of the prep for the Olympics and the touchiness is due to the fact that the line is going to run through a very nice, upper class residential area and the residents are understandably unhappy about it. Others are unhappy because they think that the money should be better spent on other things... like low-cost housing, health care, education... not to mention the absolute hell the construction is going to make of one of the major routes into downtown.

You're gonna love Canadian politics. Watching the proceedings in the House of Commons is a completely different experience than watching the US House or Senate. Let's just say they're a whole lot livelier up here. Oh, and Canadian Senators aren't elected. They're appointed.

To end on a light note - if you're going to come here you need to know that Canada won the War of 1812, a knit ski hat is called a toque, and the last letter of the alphabet is "zed" not "zee".

You really can brag about the flowers in your garden in February here. However, it does occasionally snow here... and I mean occasionally. It doesn't happen very often and pretty well nobody knows how to drive in it and most cars aren't prepared to deal with winter conditions... For the record, a couple of inches of snow will paralyze Vancouver. We get snowfall warnings for 6 centimetres of snow and people in Toronto laugh at us.

One other thing - you can not get a good glass of iced tea in Canada. What passes for iced tea here is the premixed sweetened stuff. I once ordered iced tea in a very good restaurant here and they brought me a little teapot with ice, cold water and a tea bag floating on top.

Hope I haven't scared you off.
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LSU_Subversive Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-29-04 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. I really appreciate all the info.
I'll be coming in as an intern and my SO will be getting his Ph.D. in pharmacology, so we won't have to worry about "real" jobs right away. We've been leaning toward Coquitlam for some reason. I guess it's my impression that it's closer to the mountains, etc.? Am I right? Either that or downtown. I've been up to Vancouver before, but it's been a long time and I really don't remember the particulars of what area is what. Thanks for the info on the public trans. I don't know why I didn't ask to that to begin with, so that's good news. I'm also really looking forward to learning more about the Canadian political system. I plan to be reasonably well informed by the time I move up there, so I don't inadvertantly reinforce any negative American stereotypes.

Again, thank you for all the info. You've by no means scared me off. In fact, your well thought out response has really encouraged me. I'm very much looking forward to moving up there. It would be mighty interesting to meet up with other DU-ers, in Canada no less. :)
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dancing kali Donating Member (485 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-30-04 03:03 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. you're welcome and Coquitlam is nice.
If your SO is going to UBC for grad school, the commute will be a long one - Coquitlam is in the northeast corner of the Greater Vancouver area and UBC is on the extreme western side of the city. It would take almost 45 minutes to an hour to drive - longer if you're dealing with rush hour traffic. I think using transit would involve a couple of transfers but I don't really know for sure.

Pretty well anywhere in Vancouver is close to the mountains. Coquitlam is closer than where I am. A lot of housing developments have been going up over the past ten years or so. It's a lot less green than it was when I first got here. Urban sprawl and all that.

The only real negative American stereotype is the extreme right-wing, fundamentalist, gun toting, flag waving - you get the idea. Your presence in this forum implies that that description doesn't fit you or your partner. I don't think you have anything to worry about.







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Melsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-29-04 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
24. I'm packing for my move right now
My husband has been living and working in Canada since November.

It's not actually true that you need to have a job to be admitted as a permanent resident. There is a system where you get points for things like education, language skills, having family in Canada, work experience, etc. Having a job offer there will give you extra points though.

People have been very nice to my husband, and no one holds the actions of the US government against him.

You can read the official web page here:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english /

That's the best place to start.
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LSU_Subversive Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-29-04 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Congratulations on your move and being reunited with your husband!
It's good to hear from someone else in our shoes. Keep in touch, it will be so good to hear how things are going for you and your husband. When are you headed up there? Man it must be something to be packing your bags to go. I wish it were me and hopefully, come next July, it will be.
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dancing kali Donating Member (485 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-30-04 03:04 AM
Response to Reply #24
28. I stand corrected
Edited on Fri Jul-30-04 03:15 AM by dancing kali
Thank you.

Edited part: I like your artwork. I didn't check out all the pages but what I did see, I liked. Kind of puts me in mind of Frida Kahlo's work. Liked the kitty, too.
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Melsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-30-04 07:57 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Thanks!
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Minstrel Boy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-30-04 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
30. Well, Prince moved to Canada. And I like Prince.
Toronto's a dream: 'There's no pretension'
July 29
The Globe and Mail

...

Musicology, an impressive album of straight-up soul and insistent funk numbers, was recorded in Toronto, where the 46-year-old musician maintains a residence in the Bridal Path area with his wife, twentysomething Manuela Testolini.


Although it was Testolini, a Torontonian once employed at Prince's Paisley Park studios in Minneapolis, who drew him here, the performer took an instant liking to the city. "It's a dream to me," he says, "there's no pretension. I run out of adjectives . . . there are so many different people, so many nationalities."

Though he is believed to reside near the home of Gordon Lightfoot, the two musician have yet to meet. "I don't know his music that well, but I love his voice." Prince is not reclusive -- he attends Toronto Raptors games, showed up at a concert by Norah Jones at the Palais Royale on Lake Shore Boulevard a couple of summers ago and, on at least one occasion, stopped in at Blues on Bellair, a Yorkville blues club that has since shut down.

...

As for comparisons to his hometown, Prince offers a surprising assessment of this city's, shall we say, cultural dynamics. "In Minneapolis, you have to put your own funk in; with Toronto, it's already here."
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPSt...
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yvr girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 05:34 AM
Response to Original message
31. Bring Cash...love that
Vancouver is great. Coquitlam is nice, but the commute to UBC would be hellish, especially if you are deep into Coquitlam.

I live in Vancouver proper, just outside of Kits (nice neighbourhood) and my rent is $710 for a 1 bedroom in an older building (including rent, cable and parking). I have a good deal, but bargains can be found. July would be a good time to move. You'd beat the student rush.

Vancouver has people from everywhere here. It's very cosmopolitan. I was at the beach the other day and heard people speaking English (natch), Spanish, Cantonese, German and French. The stereotype is true. Canadians are pretty nice. I had a friend who was visiting from England. He was on the street looking at a map. He said that he practically had to beat off the people who were trying to help him find his way.

We may be famous for our BC Bud, but coffee is really the drug of choice. I've got two Starbucks within a 1 block radius of my apartment. That doesn't even count other coffee houses.

The following Website might be useful.

http://www.canada.com/vancouver/index.html
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300spartans Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-03-04 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
32. HOCKEY!
Well I signed up just to tell you that you will have to learn and love hockey in all its glory if you plan on moving to Canada. Just don't root for the Canucks, GO FLAMES! ;-)
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yvr girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-04-04 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. I resent that
I'll send Bertuzzi after you
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LSU_Subversive Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-04-04 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. Thanks for the hockey tip.
Last night my partner and I were just talking about how much fun the hockey games will be. I casually mentioned how we should make sure to get season tix as soon as we move. Well it sounds like they're not so cheap. What was I thinking??!! That's like casually mentioning how we should get season tix to the Red Sox. We're looking forward to at least making a few anyways. Now...I've been to a few games in Portland, but I'm ignorant regarding the teams in Vancouver. After reading your post I looked up the Canucks and Flames and learned a little bit. So...thanks for the info and I feel mighty privileged that your first post was in response to my thread. From one newbie to another: Welcome to DU!

:toast:
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-08-04 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #32
37. Hi 300spartans!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-19-04 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #32
45. Curling is better than hockey any day
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enigmatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-05-04 02:42 AM
Response to Original message
36. haven't had a problem..
I've been living in Edmonton for 3 years and haven't had a problem at all. I can here to be w/ my wife from the US and have been welcomed here w/ opem arms. You'll be fine...

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Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
38. Love ta have ya!
Welcome to Canada eh...
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LSU_Subversive Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. Thank you. I cannot believe the response to this thread. I didn't expect
people to be so encouraging. We're getting more and more excited every day. I spend hours on-line just getting a feel for the place and I still have close to a year left.
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BigJ Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-16-04 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. Some people...
might pick up on your accent and make a joke about it, but that's probably the worst you'll hear.

You might get a few jabs about Rick Mercers' "Talking to Americans." Imagine a Jon Stewart if he were from Newfoundland. He asks important and intelligent Americans absurd and just plain stupid questions Canada. Like our "tradition of setting seniors out to drift on northern ice flows." :P

Otherwise youll be welcomed into just about any community with no trouble.
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-17-04 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
43. You would be welcome in Canada!
86% of Canadians dislike bush, not the American public, so there would be no distrust if your name isn't bush, cheney, rumsfeld, etc, lol.

British Columbia is a beautiful province to choose, I love Vancouver, visit it often although I live in the interior.

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Grey Donating Member (933 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-19-04 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
44. links to check
Have a look at ViveLaCanada.ca and rabble.ca
left leaning news papers with a Canadian point of view.
also, if you have a warped funny bone, take a look at Free Dominion,
A "free ripuplic" wanna be. We have a few morans up here too.
I just love it up here and have to be dragged, kicking and screaming,
with a duct tape gag to family gatherings in the south.
Oh yah, become familiar with all the uses of/for duct tape and the Canadian icon, Red Green. Hope you both feel at home here.
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