Re: Working in Canada vs. U.S.

Subject: Re: Working in Canada vs. U.S.
From: Keith Arnett <keith_arnett -at- RESTON -dot- OMD -dot- STERLING -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 16:11:20 -0500

I am forwarding the following post from Geoff Hart, as per his

Keith Arnett
Technical Writer
Sterling Software, Inc./Operations Management Division
Reston VA USA

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Working in Canada vs. U.S.
Author: <geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca> at INTERNET
Date: 4/22/98 12:30 PM


Just back from vacation, and spotted your comments about reasons for
not working in Canada, and felt that I had to respond. Could you
forward to techwr-l for me so I can contribute to the discussion? I
can't post directly. Thanks.

Keith Arnett posted his colleague's objections to working in Canada,
and though there's some truth to them, it's worth pointing out the
problems with the assertions:

1. Low value of Canadian dollar: Although the exchange rate is
currently about 40% (in favor of the U.S. buck), this isn't
necessarily a relevant criterion unless you're planning to border hop
a lot. If you do the currency conversion, most products now cost
about the same in both countries, and you'll often get higher quality
in Canada (e.g., our consumer electronics are much less likely to
cause house fires because the CSA criteria are much more demanding
than UL criteria).

2. Higher tax rates: The highest _marginal_ tax rate in Canada is
somewhere just above 50%, which is high indeed, but you can't base
your decisions solely on that fact. The _Financial Post Magazine_ did
a comparison a few years back (hired a Canadian and an American tax
accountant to compare several real families with a broad range of
needs and incomes) and it came out a wash. Some folks did better in
Canada, some did better in the States. You'll have to take a close
look at your personal situation to see which works better for you.

Valid reasons for _not_ working in Canada:
- Although our medical system is much less expensive and more
comprehensive than the U.S. version, getting access to overbooked
specialists can be tough. Even family doctors are increasingly in
demand in big cities. This has become something of a danger to
public health, and something's going to have to give soon
(most likely once a cabinet minister is hospitalized). Doctors I know
on both sides of the border report that the standard of competence is
- The competition for professionals is much more intense in the
States, which means substantially higher salaries in some areas (even
allowing for the higher cost of living).
- Reading about Quebec separation on the front page of the paper every
day gets old quite rapidly. <g>

The valid reasons _for_ working in Canada are too numerous to list,
but they're considerable. I've been headhunted a few times, but not
seriously tempted to leave yet.
--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Hart's corollary to Murphy's law: "Occasionally, things really do work right."

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