Should we stay or should we go?

Atlantic coast or Pacific coast? Prairies or cities? So many choices in a country of Canada's size... why not post here and discuss the options with others?

Should we stay or should we go?

Postby jammydodger » Mon 09 May 2011 19:43

Our family moved to Manitoba just over 5 years ago. We are trying extremely hard to work, volunteer and really get involved with our new community.
We keep saying we need to give it time but we have not been happy for years now.
My husband wants to move to another region of Canada, I am reluctant to do so as our son is quite anxious (6 years) and I do not want to drag him to a new school, new things etc.
It is a heavily religious community and we feel we do not fit in no matter how hard we try.
We are miserable, The company my husband was hired by lied to him about his wages, he earned less than a thrid of what we had in writing,. It was reported but sadly not a lot you can do. He has since found other employment which is pretty good but I have had to go to work. I gave up a pretty high profile career in the UK to be a stay at home mom and change our lifestyle. I am working twice the hours for less than half the pay and I think we feel we have zero quality of life.
We never have any money, can't take vacations and have no family here so it is a strain when we can never have a rest.
We found in the early years we were taken advantage of finanically, paying WAY over the odds for things and as a result of his earnings not being what was agreed our savings quickly deminished.
We cannot decide if we should try a more diverse welcoming community in another region of Canada. We do not want to return to the UK but cannot decide what to do.
OUr son does not seem happy either. LArgely probably because we are not, but he also finds it hard - for example, kids wont have playdates with him becaase he is not a local.
We really are exhausted. My husband seems to think Calgary or BC would be better for us, but I am not sure if we should rideit out. I worry about our sons future, as you cant really get anywhere in this region if you dont have the right last name,
We wonder if this will progress. He will grow up with everyone else but he is still referred to as the immigrant, even though there are lots of immigrants in town.
Does anyone have any opinions on moving or anything? I just feel very sad right now with our situation. I foten think if I was going to work I would have stayed in UK and worked less hours for 5 times the pay, but you cant think like that or it will drive you mad!
I guess I just feel like we are in Limbo right now and could use a break to give us something to look forward to. Sorry to sound so doom and gloom! We are positive people, we wuldnt have stuck it out this long if not! We try to look on the up side but sometimes it wears you down. Any suggestions??!!!
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Postby Kay » Mon 09 May 2011 22:28

Hello and welcome to our forum.

It sounds as though you're having a really difficult time of it all. Yet you're sticking to it and not moving (yet).

Perhaps moving to a more cosmopolitan community might help, as you are already thinking about. If your son isn't terribly happy right now perhaps it won't be such a wrench for him.

As for having a well-paying career yourself and becoming a stay at home person. I completely understand - this website would not exist if I hadn't left a good career to be a "trailing spouse".

I've never been to Canada so I can't advise, but my gut reaction would be to move to another area in Canada. Lots of people seem to be very happy with their move over there, and it's not an easy thing to achieve. You seem to be very resilient people, otherwise you'd have run "home" long ago. I'd say to look around for a better place.

Good luck! I'm sorry to hear that you're having such a bad time of it.
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Postby Graeme » Tue 10 May 2011 01:26

Hello Jammydodger and welcome, what a yummy name. Anyhow, to business. Manitoba as far as I am aware is not the friendliest province in Canada, the smaller communities there tend to be close knit and almost xenophobic. You might well be better off in a larger Western community where they are more used to people from other countries. I found I was welcome in Ontario and BC with almost no problems.
Rather than try for a return to the UK which probably has worse problems now than when you left it would be better to move on to a better larger community where you can earn more money and join into the society there. I like BC and would encourage you to move there as it is a bit cheaper than Calgary, just avoid the lower mainland. You could try Kamloops, Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, Chilliwack (even though it's a bit farmyard smelly) even Prince George, all are made up of diverse ethnic groups and have opportunities for growth. I'm sure you can make your lot in life better by a move west, give it some research and see what I mean. Don't loose faith, Canada is a great place to raise your kid(s) and their opportunities are most important.
Please feel free to ask me any questions and I'll do my best to answer. Once again don't be despondent good things can still happen here in Canada.
Good luck.
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Postby jammydodger » Tue 10 May 2011 15:35

we love Canada and have no intentions of returning, but some days it gets tough. When I see the license plates that say Friendly Manitoba it makes me laugh!
I think the more days that go by the more we think about BC and Alberta. And I agree - it may be a good thing to get my son to a community where he is accepted. Its insane, we came when he was a baby so I consider him to be Canadian as this is his home, but funny how otehrs still see it differently. He is fine untilI open my mouth with my accent!! (He does not have our accent!)
Our citizenship is right around the corner now so it hink we have some decisions to make!
Thanks for the comments, it's nice to know someone listens and understands and make you feel better!!
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Postby Kay » Tue 10 May 2011 19:47

We're here most of the time so feel free to have a chat any time. You're also welcome to come over to our General Forum where people from all over the world talk about anything and everything.

http://britishexpat.com/expatforum/index.php
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Postby jammydodger » Tue 07 Jun 2011 15:15

So we have been putting a lot of thought into this, we are thinking about nanaimo, vancouver island..your thoughts and opinions are most appreciated, honesty is always good! Thanks!
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Postby Graeme » Wed 08 Jun 2011 00:42

Lovely area, a bit wetter than the rest of BC but has nice beaches, excellent fishing, cool and wet weather with not as much snow but no blinding heat in the summer. Great place to enjoy a bath-tub race or two. Only problem with the island is the ferry, it`s quite expensive and a lot of things have to come to the island from the lower mainland, as such there is a bit of added cost. You are also stuck at the whim of the ferry corp, prices go up with regularity. I personally like the area, but I know of many who feel isolated on the island and hate the dependence on the ferry.
Good luck.
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Postby Purley » Sun 13 Oct 2013 14:34

I was going to reply - but then I saw the post was years ago. Too bad we don't know the end of the story!
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Postby gozomark » Sat 26 Oct 2013 20:36

"Should we stay or should we go?"

A Clash was rather inevitable given the title
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Postby Graeme » Sat 26 Oct 2013 23:10

Groan!
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