5 Reasons Why I am Not Leaving Canada

Green Timbers Urban Forest Park
Surrey, BC (2023)

A quick Google search shows that immigrants are leaving Canada in record-breaking numbers. They have numerous reasons for leaving and these are readily available with a click of the mouse. To help new and future immigrants get a balanced view, I will be sharing the reasons why I am not leaving Canada.

Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal, West Vancouver (2022)
Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal, West Vancouver (2022)

Resources Are Available

In Canada, resources are available to vulnerable or underprivileged groups. Even before leaving the Philippines, I already got help in preparing for life in Canada.

While the Land of Maple Syrup is far from perfect, it does offer resources and programs that are not yet as readily available in some countries – for example, mental health and workplace safety programs as well as excellent public libraries.

As a developed nation, Canada has great infrastructure. Its residents have access to clean drinking water, reliable sewage and waste systems, good transportation systems, and excellent recreational facilities.

Whistler, British Columbia (2023)Calgary, Alberta (2023)Kitsilano, Vancouver (2023)

Culture and Norms that Match My Current Preference

Immigration is a personal journey that aims to find happiness, fulfillment, and growth. The decision to settle in a particular city or country should then consider a person’s goals, comfort level, and preferences.

I will always have a soft spot for my home country and I would love to explore the world more. But at this stage in my life, the culture and norms in Canada match my dream life.

Similar to many Asian countries, the Philippine society tends to have a collectivist culture. A family is much more than parents and siblings. So, you get love, care, and help beyond the basic family unit. However, this can also result in repercussions in terms of managing privacy, time, and resources, among others.

I love the lively celebrations in the Philippines. Throughout the year, there is always a reason to celebrate. These festivities may include band performances, parades, and fireworks. Each day in the Philippines is lively – you may wake up to the sounds of animals, people, and vehicles. But right now, I appreciate the mellow seasonal celebrations and quiet ordinary days in Canada. I love the fact that I can be in a dynamic area a few minutes away from home but also choose to stay in my peaceful residential complex.

Barcelona, Spain (2019)Stockholm, Sweden (2019)Niagara Falls, Canada (2020)

Opportunities are Close to Equal

I don’t think opportunities will be exactly equal for everyone. But in Canada, the concept of equal opportunities is closer to reality. This is one of the reasons why I choose not to leave Canada.

The gap between the rich and the poor is not as clearly defined compared to other countries. For example, everyone can buy groceries from Walmart or Superstore. Though housing prices and inflation have become huge deterrents to home ownership, regular residents can still qualify for a mortgage. People can also afford to take vacations once in a while.

Whistler, BC (2023)
Whistler, BC (2023)

Work-Life Balance is Within Reach

The infrastructure and culture in Canada allow for better work-life balance.

Good roads, bridges, and public transport systems help people minimize travel time. Since people are not stuck in traffic for extended periods twice a day, they have more time for personal activities.

Efficient systems and smoother transactions result in more productive days. For example, I have only experienced system-wide issues with credit card terminals for a few hours in Whitehorse, Yukon. So far, I have not had issues with ATMs running out of cash. In our province in the Philippines, I hear about ATMs that have no cash to dispense on paydays. This means that aside from the challenges of running out of cash, a person can waste time and money just to find a loaded ATM.

While jobs in Canada can be demanding, there is more emphasis on mental health and work-life balance. Hourly employees are expected to immediately clock out at the end of the work shift or get paid for overtime work. Salaried (non-hourly) employees are given resources and advice to minimize overtime work. True, not all employees have caring, effective, and knowledgeable managers who uphold work-life balance. But, the Canadian culture has a higher awareness and regard for this concept.

Lighthouse Park (2022)
Lighthouse Park (2022)

Beautiful Canadian Landscapes are a Few Minutes Away from Home

Canada’s astonishing beauty is known worldwide. Each province and territory has something unique to offer residents and visitors for free. In British Columbia, people can hike in Quarry Rock and relax at Kitsilano Beach in one day. That in itself is an amazing blessing.

Canada’s amazing landscapes are free to enjoy…but priceless.

Quarry Rock, North Vancouver (2023)
Quarry Rock, North Vancouver (2023)

There is no perfect country in the same way that there is no perfect life. But there is a country that is almost a perfect match for the life that we dream of. At least for now, that is what Canada is for me. There may be reasons why I feel frustrated sometimes but there are more reasons why I am not leaving Canada.

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