A Warning Before You Move To Vancouver

As an Employment Counsellor for immigrants here in Vancouver, Unceded Salish (First Nation) Territories, Western Canada, I must tell you “the straight goods” before you consider moving here.

If you’re rich, then it’ll be easy for you.  But you’ll continue to drive up the prices here, and cause too many fancy golf courses and other playgrounds for wealthy, lazy people to be built.

If you’re not filthy rich, think again.  Do you really wish to join the struggling masses trying to eke out a living in Vancouver?

Here is a warning I sent one world-be professional immigrant couple, a mechanical engineer and IT Specialist:

I feel that it is my duty to warn you before you immigrate to Southern British Columbia:

Before you come to BC, let me be honest with you.  The job market in Vancouver is very tough, almost in a constant recession-like state.  Vancouver is one of your most expensive places to live, and yet we have a shrinking middle class, very few manufacturers, and other industries that pay much lower than their counterparts elsewhere in the nation.  This city is more for retired people, or those who have a lot of money already, usually earned from other parts of Canada or the world.  People in your situation typically end up unable to work in their field and choose survival jobs to feed their families.  Immigrants struggle here more than in other places.

If I were in your shoes, I would consider other Canadian cities and regions where the economy is booming:
– Fort Saint John, Northern British Columbia
– Edmonton, Calgary, & other cities in Alberta
– Saskatoon, Regina, etc. in Saskatchewan
– Winnipeg, Manitoba

Ontario and Quebec are not easy, but much cheaper than here, and with more companies to offer jobs.

And if I were you, I wouldn’t make the big presence of your particular ethnic community here as your main deciding factor.  There has been research here that has found that immigrants adapt better and are more successful when they settle in small towns.  Many immigrants come to the Lower Mainland of BC and never adapt to the larger culture, because their own culture has such fantastic resources.  This initial convenience often backfires on immigrants when they run into decreased ability to find jobs, as they are stuck in only one small community.  This also limits there chances of doing business with people of other cultures.  And also, there may end up being family inter-generational issues when immigrant parents find it hard to relate to your children who have adapted better to the surrounding culture(s), and immigrants children can’t seem to communicate with their parents who cannot adapt to the new culture.  The ideal of maintaining your culture while adapting to the cultures around you becomes harder in a huge ethnic enclave such as we have in Surrey.  This affects your economic, cultural and family situation.

Please do your research by contacting many people and collecting a lot of information before you come.  I work in “Settlement and Adaptation”, so I feel it is my duty to assist you in seeing the bigger picture in planning your first year or two in Canada.  You can ask others and see what they say also. As we say, Get your information “from the horse’s mouth”, that is, from insiders who are “on the ground” already.

Thank you and best of success to you,


Questions or comments?

Contact me at dimitri.pravdin(*a*)mail.ru

About sleepless in turtle island

Hi, I´m Dimitri. I have lived in Turtle Island for awhile now, so my cultural understanding is slowly improving. Also, I can see things in this place that boggle my mind. Thus this blog...
This entry was posted in Canadian Society, Careers & Job Search, China, Immigration / Immigrants --- Canada, India, Wise Advice - Although I'm Not Too Wise and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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