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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Canajun eh!

Being a US citizen, would you consider moving to Canada? Why/Why not?
Being a US citizen, I have moved to Canada. I got my Canadian visa a few weeks ago and I am typing this answer from beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.
I moved to Canada because I co-founded a tech startup here with my partner Eve, who is an American citizen who became a Canadian several years ago. Life in BC has many advantages:
  • Better health care than most Americans can afford, for a much lower price
  • A better business climate for small businesses
  • A very high standard of living
  • A robust and functional social safety net
  • A more stable economy, and particularly a more stable financial sector (the huge sub-prime mortgage meltdown that wiped over a trillion dollars off the US economy’s valuation and required a massive government bailout could not happen here, because of the structure and regulation of the Canadian banking system)
It took more than a year’s worth of work to be able to move to Canada, and I’m still in the process of applying for permanent residency (my current visa expires in three years). But I am glad I’m here.


Understand that I am also a Canadian citizen so I have the unique ability to simply show up the border and move back.

The reason I don’t move back is economics and liberty. My life in the USA is far better than any I could have achieved in Canada. Sorry, the USA rewards hard work and ability far better than Canada does. The US tax system, as byzantine as it is, is something Canada cannot compete with. I make more money here and pay less in taxes and expenses overall. Even factoring in health care costs.

I had originally planned to move back after a few years. It never happened because in the time I was here, I also adopted American values. Notably the US Constitution and its system of individual rights. Don’t get me wrong, Canada is a free country. But in many areas, Canada limits individual rights more than they are in the United States. And since I consider free speech and firearms rights to be very important, I am not sure I can accept restrictions on either at this point in my life.

I recently returned from a visit to Canada and was stunned to see how the housing and job market had changed in my area. Houses running $300–500K in my hometown when a high end salary in the Toronto area is $80–100K. And that is 60km from Toronto. Closer in, houses run $700K-$1M. No one can afford to buy a house without two high earning jobs. Only a handful of areas in the USA is that situation in existence. Canadians just don’t have the same economic opportunities after taxes and cost of living that Americans have.

I realized seeing that that my circumstances outside Washington DC aren’t too bad. I basically do the equivalent of my hometown to Toronto commute but I make three times as much and my house costs a third compared to Toronto. I’m not giving that up without good reason.

That being said, it lies as a remote possibility in the future. If my wife decided she wanted a change of scenery and we were retired, a move to Canada might be a possibility. Especially if the US dollar remains strong by comparison. I’ll take a 30% increase in net wealth just for showing up.

I’ve spend almost equal amounts of time in both countries at this point. My preference is still for the USA. It would take a lot to happen here to get me to abandon what I consider my home. And a potential Trump or Clinton victory is not one of those despite the fact I am one of a few Americans would could actually carry out the largely empty threat of moving to Canada if so-and-so wins.

Courtney Welch  Non-profit executive, musician, reader, cook, lover, friend, guy with opinions

I’m a US citizen who did move to Canada, although it was before my first birthday. I have never even once wanted to move back to the USA, and since the passage of a truly bletcherous tax law, I won’t even visit anymore. I think Canada is a way better place to live.


I have nothing against Canada. I suppose moving there is a possibility. However I have no need to move there either. I live in Massachusetts and love New England. The climate and the terrain here is similar to what Canada has to offer. My friends and family are here. I like the style of the place.
Maybe if I was offered a great job there or met a woman, fell in love and she had to move to or back to Canada I would consider moving there.